Although South Africa has just avoided a recession, the outlook for the economy is less optimistic. With subdued investment levels and consumer spending being curbed, there is no doubt that local businesses face an uphill battle. Notably, the latest Absa Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) data shows weaker levels of private sector activity, and a pessimistic outlook on future business conditions.
In the face of these challenging conditions, businesses have to look to the factors that are under their control – and turn tough times into an opportunity to strengthen their customer service and provide an unparalleled customer experience. Indeed, while political and economic volatility cannot be immediately solved, business owners have the ability to actually boost bottom line growth by finding ways to provide a seamless, personalised and efficient customer experience (CX).
According to Salesforce 84% of customers say being treated like a person (not a number) is very important to winning their business; while almost 60% indicated that tailored/personalised engagement based on past interactions is very important to them.
Given that customer experience is so pivotal – and is becoming even more important as consumer expectations rise – it would be natural to assume that SA businesses are getting this right. Sadly, this is not always the case. In fact, as businesses grow and scale, and customer interaction channels multiply, businesses are losing their ability to develop an intimate and essential link with their customers. Despite the reams of data being generated daily, businesses lack insight into their customers and are therefore failing to provide the efficient, engaging and personalised customer experience that is essential to business success today.