Customer experience has become more than just a buzzword. Companies that truly understand and address the expectations of their current and potential customers achieve far superior results, compared to firms that don’t. And this isn’t just true for firms selling to consumers.
Between December 2018 and January 2019, Aberdeen surveyed 369 businesses regarding their customer experience (CX) strategy and results. The findings from this survey revealed that managing customer experiences is a key strategic business objective for 86% of B2B firms (companies selling directly to businesses).
While all companies would aim to have happy and loyal customers, not all firms can achieve this outcome. The CX survey revealed that the ability to provide each customer the right information to help them make educated decisions is the number one challenge impacting CX leaders across B2B firms.
The second top challenge impacting these firms is the ability to seamlessly orchestrate customer journeys across all channels. This is a daunting task given the complexity of today’s customer interaction channel-mix. To this point, the CX survey shows that 51% of B2B firms use at least 10 channels (e.g., web, email, social media, chat) to interact with current and potential buyers. Adding channels to the CX channel-mix is easy. The challenging part is using each channel in such a way that the content provided to customers across each channel provides a consistent and personalized experience.
To uncover the role of content optimization in helping CX leaders overcome the above challenges, we separated the 369 respondents from our CX survey into two groups. First is a group of companies that self-reported having processes and technologies in place to optimize the content they use in customer interactions across all channels.
For clarity, content optimization doesn’t strictly refer to activities such as campaign management or search engine optimization. Rather, it refers to a more strategic approach to bridge the organizational silos within the business by using content to avoid delivering fragmented customer experiences. This requires dynamic views into customer journeys, identifying the stakeholders interacting with customers at each stage of these journeys, determining what content they use, as well as when, where and how they use it to achieve common objectives. Of the 369 participating firms to our survey, 65% indicated they currently use a technology platform to optimize use of content across the entire customer lifecycle — ranging from marketing programs to raise awareness to the purchase process with sales, onboarding experience with client success, and support activities through customer service.
The second group in our analysis comprised companies that don’t use such a platform. To reveal how content optimization influences company performance, we compared the year-over-year performance changes across these two groups.
Improving this metric requires firms to meet and exceed the needs of their clientele. It also requires increasing customer spend over time by driving customers to purchase more products, renew subscriptions to company services or buy related products / services. The favorable results enjoyed by firms optimizing content means that content optimization not only helps maximize the likelihood of potential buyers to purchase a product, it also helps firms retain clients and grow their spend over time.