It doesn’t come as a surprise to hear that a major challenge for organisations today lies in customer experience as they struggle to engage with customers across channels consistently and effectively. Many of us can relate to the negative experiences we’ve had with brands, and often ask ourselves this: with of all of the customer data and technology available today, how are brands still failing? Getting at the answer to this question, most CMOs (88 percent) admitted in a recent CMO Council study they did not have a real-time, well-integrated view of customer interactions across their enterprises.

As a CMO, I find this unacceptable, but I also understand the difficulties of knowing where to start. To compete as a customer-centric organisation in 2015, companies must break away from the status quo and modernise, to deliver a global customer experience across all channels, devices and languages. There are three things marketers can ensure they’re doing right away to move toward this modernisation: utilise a cloud delivery model, leverage available customer data effectively and make language and culture a priority.

Embrace the Cloud

The cloud delivery model enables organisations to optimise multi-channel customer experiences from any device, understand brand health and product perception in real-time, and nimbly adjust campaign strategies to increase marketing effectiveness and impact revenue. Cloud technologies are also faster to implement, easier to maintain and offer increased flexibility and increased ROI. It sounds almost too good to be true, right?

If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re not alone. Despite all of these benefits, marketers haven’t always been the first to embrace this technology delivery model. However, now that the technology has advanced, and is robust and secure, marketers have begun to accept cloud as their go-to, preferred delivery model with on-premise as a plan B. Considering the increased need to be agile to respond to customers in real-time, it is critical for brands to make the shift to the cloud if they haven’t already.

Capitalise on Customer Data

In a world where the customer is in control, brands must continuously enhance, optimise, enable and support the customer journey. A great place to start is to develop a deep understanding of the behavioral characteristics of your most important customer segments. By listening to, understanding and analysing customer data, organisations can effectively predict buying and brand advocacy across the entire customer journey. This involves defining key personas of customers, developing playbooks as prescriptive guidance for how to move customers along their journeys toward desired behaviours, and setting KPIs that measure the most important customer behaviors as well as organisational behaviours. Ultimately, this process enables brands to better understand their customers, resulting in more personalised and targeted communications to convert customers across the entire buyer journey.

Speak the Language of Your Customers… Literally

Fortune 500 companies have admitted that while they deliver product information in up to 35 languages, they often only provide support in one or two languages. This is an obvious break-down in the customer experience. To avoid this, marketers should utilise translation technology solutions that enable the delivery of content across languages for new markets in near real time. Another thing to keep in mind is that localisation goes beyond translation.

Not only should customers be able to read communications in their native languages, but the content must be relevant and personalised for their cultures. To manage the complexity of global multilingual campaigns, marketers should leverage tools that include localisation services and technology to consolidate and optimise the most relevant multilingual content, multilingual SEO, social media analysis and campaign analysis.

While these three steps are not the only changes marketers should make to improve enterprise customer experience, they are a good place to start. By embracing a more flexible and agile delivery model with a much quicker ramp-up time, and putting a focus on customer data and language/culture, organisations will see major returns – including improved customer experience and ROI. Consumers today demand responsiveness and relevance. In 2015, marketers must take the reins and refuse to accept mediocre, non-personalised experiences for their customers.


By Paige O'Neill, Chief Marketing Officer at SDL

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