Autumn 2020
7 CX Strategy Pitfalls to Avoid
Author: Natasa Le Prevost, Modern Marketing Consultant.
A few short years ago, content was considered king. The focus then shifted to the ‘Age of Mobile’, with promises of hyper-personalisation and frictionless communication. Now, the spotlight is on the power of data, data as the new oil, the data economy, the new currency. 
Focus areas may shift and currencies may devalue, however, savvy business and marketing leaders know that the customer is, and will always be king. 

According to McKinsey, leading companies understand that they are in the customer-experience business, and ‘how’ an organisation delivers for customers, is beginning to be as important as ‘what’ it delivers. 

Investing in improved CX can pay dividends. McKinsey reports that CX improvements and increased customer satisfaction can lower customer churn by 10 to 15%, increase the win rate of offers by 20-40% and lower costs-to-serve by up to 50%. 

However, in the haste to deliver a more seamless customer experience or implement transformation, business and marketing leaders can find themselves directionless, and rushing to implement solutions without having a robust CX strategy in place. 

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid when planning your CX strategy.

Pitfall 1: Visionless

It is often said that a vision without a strategy remains an illusion. However, business and marketing leaders can fall into the trap of developing a CX strategy without a clearly defined vision.

To accelerate your organisation's CX program, the business must agree on a clear CX vision which will guide your strategy and future initiatives. Think of this as your CX mantra and your ideal CX state. 

According to McKinsey’s Ewan Duncan, Kevin Neher and Sarah Ray:
“Great organizations instead spend significant time up front to define a clear, compelling, personal and ambitious aspiration, which doesn’t necessarily involve becoming a customer-experience leader. Depending on the context, it may make sense for a company to aim at having a best-in-class customer experience or to improve the baseline but not invest in a full transformation.”

Pitfall 2: Lack of Strategic Alignment


Customer experience does not belong to a single function or business unit. CX is the responsibility of the business as a whole. Marketing leaders can fall into the trap of developing a CX strategy at the Marketing and Sales levels only. This often leads to a siloed approach with minimal business support and sub-par CX. 

The CX strategy and vision should be an integral part of the business strategy and aligned to cross-functional strategies ie. Marketing, Communications, Sales, Operations etc. This will ensure support from the executive level and enable you to implement CX initiatives of greater value.  

This extends to implementing the CX strategy. Cross-functional involvement and collaboration are paramount to the success of any CX strategy. Ensure you involve stakeholders across all functions, especially in the early discovery workshop sessions.

Pitfall 3: Inability to Prove Value


Business-to-business customers are demanding a better experience. In a recent McKinsey* survey of 1,000 B2B decision-makers, lack of speed in interactions with their suppliers emerged as the number one pain point, mentioned twice as often as price. 

Marketing leaders understand the importance of customer experience and its impact across channels. However, they can often find it difficult to prove CX value (beyond customer engagement metrics) and demonstrate the impact on profitability and the bottom line. 

Marketing leaders must be able to demonstrate the financial benefits of CX. According to the Forrester Customer Experience Index, revenue growth of CX leaders is 5.1 times that of laggards. CX transformation impacts customer engagement and bottom-line growth. 

We recommend developing an agreed CX scorecard focusing on the business metrics that will be most impacted by CX. This may include customer retention, cross-sell, up-sell, share-of-wallet, as well as customer satisfaction, cost-per-lead and cost-per-acquisition metrics.

Pitfall 4: Casting the Net Too Wide


In an attempt to improve the CX for all customers, Marketers can fall into the trap of using customer segmentation as the basis of CX planning. Customer segmentation is used to classify customers into specific groupings (based on demographics, sociographic, purchase behaviour etc.) for targeting purposes. Whilst customer segmentation can be invaluable in delivering targeted campaigns and marketing initiatives, it is high-level data and lacks the depth of customer insights required to really understand and enhance CX.

Developing personas, based on customer segmentation, helps you better understand customers at a more personal level. Personas are fictional representations of real customers, helping you uncover insights into their values, behaviours, goals, motivations and objections. 

Personas add an emotional and behavioural layer to your customer segmentation and should be used as the basis for CX planning and customer journey mapping. Personas can shift your thinking from focussing on a segment (i.e. first-home buyers) to focussing and enhancing the CX for a person e.g. Jenny, a single-mum to Harry and Mia, who wants to live in a community that values safety, neighbourhood connections and encourages her kids to experience outdoor play.
Our Modern Marketing Consultants can help your organisation build a CX strategy to avoid these 7 pitalls.

Pitfall 5: One-size-fits-all Customer Journey Mapping


Customer journey maps are one of the best ways to identify focus areas for your CX transformation programme. Customer journey mapping is a visual representation of every experience your customers have with you. It is a powerful tool which enables you to step into your customer’s shoes and see your business through their eyes.

Customer journey mapping enables you to develop a holistic view of current customer experiences across touchpoints and focus on customer behaviours, needs and wants at different stages of the journey. It helps you identify ‘moments that matter’ and pain-points, enabling you to prioritise and concentrate efforts and expenditure on what matters most to maximise CX effectiveness. 

Given the power of customer journey mapping, it is imperative to not fall into the one-size-fits-all trap. Customers have different needs, values and pain-points. It is important to identify and define your target personas and create a specific map for each persona. 

Ensure you invest the time to develop a data strategy to not only identify target audiences that personas require immediate attention, but also to support your organisation's customer journey and personalisation efforts. Focus on data-driven audiences first, then expand to other personas and customer journeys as your CX programme grows.  

It is important to map your current state (unless you are a start-up business) and focus on CX improvement areas. Do not start with a future-state map - you cannot transform what you don’t know. 

Pitfall 6: Single Channel Focus


Today’s customer demands (and expects) accessible and relevant information at the right time and right place. Customers decide on which channels they want to interact with your brand, and expect your brand to deliver (seamless) communications across these channels. In order to enhance CX and engage in more frictionless, relevant and meaningful conversations with your customer, marketing leaders must adopt an omni-channel CX approach. 

According to an Invesp study, companies that provided omnichannel customer experiences were able to retain 89% of customers, versus, 33% for companies that provided only multi-channel experiences. 

Adopting an omnichannel approach puts the customer at the core of all your sales and marketing initiatives, ensuring a consistent, unified experience at every touch point. In comparison to multi-channel (casting the widest net to engage customers across multiple channels), an omni-channel approach enables you to inter-relate communications across channels, ensuring your customer is having a seamless and consistent experience with your brand, regardless of the channel.

Pitfall 7: Rushing to Technology Solutions


Throwing different technologies at the problem will rarely deliver the the best CX solutions. Investing the time to develop a robust CX vision and strategy, based on customer research, journey maps and personas will enable your organisation to identify the areas of CX improvement that will deliver the most value.

Only then should you select or review your digital technologies to better understand how they can help you to enhance your CX programme. Marketing Automation platforms, such as Oracle Eloqua, can help you create more authentic engagements with your customers whilst streamlining and automating communication processes.

Consider the Oracle Eloqua platform to develop always-on customer nurture programmes, ensuring your brand is front-of mind and providing relevant, timely and personalised content throughout the customer decision-making process. 

Key Take-aways

  • Be clear about your vision and purpose - what you are setting out to achieve
  • Engage and align your stakeholders and plan for change. This about who will manage this process and how
  • Create a clear line of sight between the marketing strategy deliverables and strategic marketing and business initiatives
  • Agree and develop a scorecard to demonstrate success
  • Develop and use personas to guide your customer journey mapping and CX initiatives
  • Adopt an omnichannel approach to ensure a consistent, unified experience across customer touchpoints 
  • Avoid oversimplification and making output too generic to drive personalised experiences. On the other hand, do not overcomplicate the process to the detriment of the business case
  • Match the technology and capability to the vision and strategy, not the other way around
  • Finally, do not be afraid to ask for help. Marketing Cube has been helping organisations to do this for many years, and is here to support you where required. 

Guide: Do More with B2B Content Marketing

Content Marketing is in a unique position to help create better customer experiences. Think of CX as the track and content as the train. Content can move buyers and then customers along their respective journeys.

Content marketing in B2B is more than composing, curating, and distributing content. It's about building trust and affinity, long before a prospect is ready to buy. 

Access this guide to learn how content marketing works in B2B and best practices for aligning your content strategy with business objectives and measuring performance.

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