The #CMO Must Own the Customer Experience

By , Contributor for ExactTarget

Social media, email, mobile messaging, and web channels host a number of customer-brand interactions, from social media advertising to customer service. Since ownership of these digital channels has increasingly fallen to marketing, customer service and the entire customer experience have begun to move to marketing as well.

As indicated in Figure 1, 38% of CMOs report an increased role in customer service (via social media, call center, or a similar function). Nearly a quarter, however, feel underprepared to manage these major customer service touchpoints (see Figure 2), necessitating a greater push from CMOs to fully assume control of the customer experience and increase revenue as a result. According to Forrester, the revenue impact from a modest improvement in customer experience can range from $177 million to $311 million, and the impact from a 10-percentage-point improvement in customer experience score can yield more than $1 billion.

Fast, personable customer service is a key element of the digital customer experience, and it’s progressively merging into marketers’ online strategies. Jay Baer, author of Youtility, puts it simply: “Helping is the new selling.” Real-time social media responses, how-to YouTube videos and Vines, and helpful content marketing all usher in an era where service is the new sales. Now that CMOs own the largest share of the customer journey, from brand awareness to service, they must partner with traditional product and service teams to offer an optimal experience in the desired channels and timeframes.

Inadequate customer service impedes both revenue growth and marketing effectiveness. Sixty-six percent of B2B and 52% of B2C customers stopped buying after a bad customer serviceinteraction, further proving the argument that CMOs who understand, streamline, and automate customer service control one of the most important profitability levers. Unfavorable customer service also hinders digital marketing efforts, as a bad experience can unravel into a quickly circulating Twitter post or negative online review in the blink of an eye.

Today’s CMO is expected to do more than blanket customers with brand awareness and messaging. The CMO’s responsibilities now follow through helping and serving, with a focus on collaborating with other departments to place the customer experience first.

Dive into more findings on the world of the #NewCMO (and marketing as a whole) in Bridging the Digital Divide: How CMOs Can Rise to Meet 5 Expanding Expectations.

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