By: Samer Saad, regional manager, Middle East, AppsFlyer
When we talk about the new normal, there is an implication that COVID and its associated lockdowns gave birth to things like digital transformation and remote working. But, of course, we know it merely accelerated them. One such trend is the commercial obsession with customer experience. This issue comes from a pre-COVID realization that consumers are predominantly digital natives — or at least digital-savvy — and they will not sit still for lagging digital channels or poorly integrated digital journeys.
A recent Gartner report showed that customer experience (CX) drives over two-thirds of customer loyalty, more than ‘brand’ and ‘price’ combined. This prioritization of CX can also be seen regionally. Just months before the pandemic emerged, SAP surveyed GCC businesses and found that 96% of them considered customer experience a top priority. And of course, the pandemic ensured that regional consumers would live far more of their lives online. Now our discussions turn not so much to great customer experience (which is a given) but to the management and analysis of CX — the return on experience (ROX).
The Path to Brand Loyalty
Most business stakeholders now know that they must provide their customers with always-on, easy-to-use, responsive digital experiences, where the prospective buyer can engage with the brand via their chosen channel. Service continuity and individualization are also critical. If a business can deliver all this each time with every customer, then brand loyalty — and possibly advocacy — follows. But how do marketers connect digital investments to business outcomes?
Web- and mobile-attribution solutions were created to address this issue. By gathering behavioral data and tying it to the deployment of various capabilities or campaigns, organizations can skillfully navigate the competitive landscape. Optimization comes from knowing what works and what does not. The right platform will steer stakeholders towards an increase in conversion rates and lower acquisition costs.
Mobile-first companies lead the pack in this regard. They prioritize m-shoppers when apportioning budgets, leading to a cycle of investment, where businesses enjoy returns on their efforts and invest more in CX as a result. But in the SME-heavy economies of the GCC, most companies that start out on this journey will need to be careful with initial investments. After the economic ravages of the past year, they will need to be mindful of ROX at every step.
Success will hinge on people, data, and tools. Shrewd marketers will use deftly segmented datasets to individualize campaigns that cover mobile, Web, social, email, and other channels. Throughout these campaigns, for coherent information on ROX, enterprises must capture detailed data at every touchpoint to enable actionable insights. Tracking a campaign message’s success through an “open”, to a “read” to a “response”, and onward to installs and sales is the backbone of ROX. Such data leads to insights such as discovering that the most active customers are mobile users that respond positively to a loyalty program. This is highly actionable information that allows a business to construct a campaign to convert Web or offline customers to mobile-app consumers.
ROX is vital to the digital transformation journey. This was true before the pandemic, and it is true today. Regional enterprises operate in markets that are CX-oriented and will remain so. If they adopt platforms and tools that allow them to link their technology decisions to business outcomes, they will be able to create superior user experiences across all their channels and funnel more customers towards app installs, thereby increasing the long-term value of each.
The Right Platform
The right ROX approach will ease the transition of non-mobile consumers. Businesses should concentrate on driving organic traffic to websites, then capitalize on the high propensity of those users to convert by demonstrating to them the benefits of mobile channels. Of course, such attribution solutions must work seamlessly across an organization’s entire digital ecosystem — from Web to mobile to back office — and be capable of gathering data from any customer touchpoint — email, social, and others. It must keep track of who your mobile customers are so experience-journeys can direct the right people to the right resources.
With the proper tools, any organization can focus its technology investments on the right phases of the customer experience. When optimized, the return on the experience will give way to a cycle of profitability that is self-sustaining, driven by enhanced brand loyalty and further investments.
ROX will take center stage in the coming years, as regional businesses jockey for position in their industries. Being able to accurately gauge the impact of a digital investment on a crowded market will be the quintessential success factor of the post-COVID era.
Opinions in this piece belong to the author