Keeping customers delighted is harder than acquiring new ones. Should the CMO be involved here?
’Customer Delight’’ is perhaps the one key phrase you can see everyone from the entry level executive to the CEO talking about. It is no longer a buzz word but a norm now.
Keeping customers delighted is easier said than done. In fact, experts go to the extent of saying that acquiring new customers, in many ways, is easier than retaining existing.
Why is that so?
Because the customer of today is way smarter and far difficult to impress. Armed with the internet, customers today have the luxury to choose between brands even as their expectations increase both on product quality and after-sales-service.
Now for the big question –
Should the CMO be involved in customer delight?
Isn’t it a little too much of an asking already? What with the CMO sharing borders with sales and after-sales-service teams, will s/he not be stretched?
As Dave Anderson, VP, Global Marketing at DynaTrace (Boston based software company) succinctly puts it ‘’We are required to create miracles in data science. Measure a brand, identify lead sources, create strategies to attract new prospects and retain existing ones. Expectations and pressure to continually innovate grow with each passing day’’
Whatever may be the case, and whether a CMO would like it or not – it is slowly becoming evident that the CMO can play a significant role in customer delight. How so?
Setting expectations right
First things first, customer delight stems from customer experience (see our previous blog post) and customer experience is highly dependant on customer expectations.
There are mainly two ways to go about dealing with customer expectations – one, align yourself to these expectations and provide results accordingly; two, the more practical and plausible way – to set the customer expectations right from the very beginning.
It is here, that the role of CMO is utmost important –helping set the right customer expectations.
Leading the ‘’Experience’’ revolution
Technology, for the better or worse, has changed the way customers buy, think, expect and behave. With availability of knowledge and service at the click of a button, the customer of today has truly become the king. Product quality apart, customers now value the in-the-moment brand and purchase experiences.
And, experience across the marketing value chain – from brand awareness to brand purchase – has become essential to delight customers. The CMO in collaboration with the sales and service delivery teams and access to volumes of customer data is pivotal for leading the ‘’Customer Experience’’ revolution both internally across various stakeholders in the organization, and externally across the various customer touch points.
Adding to customer delight
A report by NewVoiceMedia provides an interesting insight – poor customer service or bad customer experiences costs US companies about $41 billion every year. Now this sums up the sheer need for good customer experience. Good customer experience can result in customer delight that will eventually result in customer retention – a thing that is getting harder to achieve in this digital era.
This is where the role of the CMO gains more prominence as s/he can deliver a much better customer experience leading to customer delight. This in turn, can finally, lead to customer retention and loyalty.
One significant change, when the CMO plays a role in achieving customer delight, will be the value s/he will get at the C-suite table. Now that, is something that any CMO will look forward to.
Next read: KPIs and performance measures for CMOs.