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Gartner: the Growing Role of the Social Customer Experience

Customer Experience

Providing great customer experiences and optimizing touchpoints in a consistent way equals successful marketing. It’s as simple as that. We are shifting to a more customer-centric marketing view.

In the age of the connected and empowered consumer, providing relevant information and engaging in a mutually valuable way, is a must. Furthermore, the economic downturn, has woken up many marketers and makes them increasingly focus on optimization and thus the customer. The result of doing so is ROI. Let’s hope these insights remain once things go better again. Because one thing is sure: the economy will improve but the consumer will not become less demanding.

“Effective leaders strengthen the customer experience”

It’s clear that optimizing customer experiences is becoming increasingly important in organizations. This is not only the case in marketing by the way. A Gartner report shows that customer experience has entered the top 10 of CIO technology priorities for 2012. Guess why? Indeed: because management wants it.

“The focus on the customer is increasingly important for business leaders, despite times of continued economic uncertainty and government austerity,” Gartner’s Jim Davies says.

He continues: “Effective leaders use technology to strengthen the customer experience regardless of the economic environment, and they see customers as the key factor in helping their business deliver growth and operational efficiency in 2012. They also understand that a new strategy is needed to embrace social and media trends.”

Social CRM as a new way of doing business

Customer experiences are about touchpoints and touchpoints are by definition social. Guess what is a key focus in 2012? Indeed, social. “Not as ‘just another channel’ but as a whole new way of doing business,” Gartner’s Ed Thompson adds.

The company predicts that by 2014, refusing to communicate with customers via social channels will be as harmful to the relationship as ignoring their emails or phone calls is today.

Listen to the voice of the customer and start focusing more on the customer experience. A warning though: when looking to improve the customer experience as is done in Customer Experience Management, make sure you don’t fall in the trap of pure CRM vendors, rebranding themselves as CEM solution providers. The customer experience encompasses every business function and every touchpoint. Its is about more than marketing or CRM. It is about people.

Want to learn how to become more customer-centric, improve the customer experience, listen to the voice of the customer and achieve results in doing so? Check out what we have to offer at this year’s Fusion Marketing Experience: it’s exactly what you will learn by attending…

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