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Another day, another nebulous business acronym, but this one may have some wisdom behind it…
The abreviation du jour? ROX, short for Return on Experience, and a fancy new way of saying ‘satisfy the customer and the cash will follow’.
Healthy doses of cynicism aside, there’s a kernel of wisdom in the thinking behind ROX.
First things first. What’s wrong with traditional ROI? Nothing, except for this: In an environment where mapping the customer journey, and the touch points that drive the most valuable interactions, is increasingly important, ROI models don’t provide the full picture for customer-centric businesses.
Proponents claim using ROX lets businesses think clearly about which interactions provide actual measurable results, and ultimately, make better decisions that affect the bottom line.
And that’s the focus of PwC’s new 10th annual Global Consumer Insights Survey which seeks to map the sentiments of more than 21,000 online consumers and provide business with actionable insights.
ROX thinking identifies your company’s ‘critical few’ customer interactions, so that systems and processes elsewhere in the business can be set up to support them.
The survey finds online consumers savvy, cynical and demanding frictionless interactions with their favourite brands.
“Not only are consumers the strongest link in the global economic chain,” says John Maxwell, PwC’s Global Consumer Markets leader, but “the technological tools available to them have put them in a position to demand a tailored, channel-agnostic, socially conscious and social media-powered experience.
“Whether your organisation sells household goods, health services, cars or financial services, delivering a superior experience will be what makes you a winner”.
Now the assertion that superior customer experience affects the bottom line is hardly an earth-shattering conclusion, but it is one that has real implications for businesses trying to compete in the increasingly crowded online space. The less friction the customer faces on the purchase journey, the more likely they are to actually purchase, and purchase again. The more often they purchase, the more they spend. It’s a simple, but too often overlooked formula. Likewise, they are much more likely to mention their friction-less experiences to their family and mates.
So what can we learn from companies doing it right?
Take the case of global online retail megalith, Amazon, a company with the self-proclaimed goal of being ‘earth’s most customer-centric company’.
Amazon has done its homework on ROX. One-click buying, crowd-sourced customer reviews, groundbreaking home delivery options – even the ill-fated Dash button – Amazon continually tweaks and upgrades the purchase experience and even has a dedicated process separate from its other day-to-day tasks, such as supply chain and inventory management.
“Sixty-five percent of our global sample does at least some shopping with Amazon,” says the PwC report. “But what’s really interesting is that of those individuals, more than one-third (34 percent) said they shop more frequently because they use Amazon, which… suggests that there must be something about the experience that encourages shopping.” [Emphasis added – Ed]
Simply put, a ROX framework lets companies zero in on customer touchpoints, identifying things that are being done well, and then making sure that IT systems, business processes and performance metrics are aligned with those core capabilities.
Put another way, ROX thinking identifies your company’s ‘critical few’ customer interactions, so that systems and processes elsewhere in the business can be set up to support them.
It all sounds great in theory, but how to go about actually creating a ROX-centric business? PwC offers six tips for improving your business’ ROX chops.
Understand that customer experience and employee experience are two sides of the same coin
“It’s hard to overstate how important employees are when creating ROX,” says the report.
“A winning culture fuses CX and EX. Consumers interact with your brands through your frontline employees, who both embody and experience your brand and the culture that shapes it.
“If you galvanise your employees around your business and nurture their goodwill – for instance, by letting them make more suggestions, giving them more autonomy over their schedules and offering better benefits – they will make a major contribution to ROX.”
Consumers – and employees – are seeking businesses with a higher purpose. Provide that and interactions improve.
“Many people want to engage with businesses that align themselves with social values, such as sustainability and local production… Millennials, in particular, are consciously making purchases around sustainable and environmentally packaged brands and products.
“It’s important to figure out what employees and customers care about and to communicate your shared values. Find opportunities for meaningful engagement with both internal and external audiences, especially using mobile and social tools, since engagement on these platforms is growing.”
Build on positive interactions
When consumers are overwhelmed with choice, consumer loyalty is hard to sustain. To minimise customer drift, focus on ‘magic moments’ – positive interactions that earn loyalty over time and create a relationship that endures beyond the next product search.
In other words, keep sending out those birthday vouchers.
Understanding your customers’ behaviours
There’s’ no way around it: In 2019, your tech should be telling you what your customer is thinking.
“Demographics can’t tell marketers how, when, where and why consumers shop. Behavioural and attitudinal attributes can.
“Armed with that information, you can bring together all of your commercial investments – including promotions, content, e-commerce and advertising – to deliver seamless, end-to-end experiences tailored to a specific shopping context.”
Respect customer data
The fastest way to burn through customer goodwill is by exhibiting a cavalier attitude to customer data. Don’t do that.
“Customers want the companies they interact with to protect their personal data,” says PwC.
“Research indicates that they’ll take their business elsewhere if they don’t trust that a company is safeguarding it. Anticipate this demand and rethink how you use consumer data, how much control you give consumers, how you value data, and how you’ll deliver value by using it.
“Consumers are making it imperative for companies to be transparent about their data policies and proactive about publicising the value they offer in exchange for it.”
It’s a journey (as well as a destination)
“You can win over customers on-premise or via e-commerce by understanding what they are trying to experience and then making it easier for them to accomplish that goal through things such as ease of navigation, breadth and quality of selection, price, quality of advice or exclusivity.”