In a recent study published by Forrester it was reported that 75% of business leaders believe improving the Customer Experience is their #1 strategic priority. The unfortunate reality however is that none of the brands featured were ranked as Excellent in the survey of almost 13,500 consumers.
The study, which covered 203 of the largest brands across a range of industries in the UK, France and Germany, asked people to rank customer experience somewhere between ‘Very Poor’ at one extreme to ‘Excellent’ at the other. Rather surprisingly it found the vast majority (87% in the UK and 84% in Germany) were ranked no better than merely ‘OK’ or ‘Poor’. In an era where customer obsession is reportedly the best strategy for winning and retaining customers, only 12% of the UK firms and 14% of the German firms received a ‘Good’ score, with every single French brand being judged as no better than simply ‘OK’.
So who’s getting it right?
It seems when it comes to Customer Experience the firms getting it right apparently are those in the Financial Services sector, from banking and credit card firms to insurance companies. Elsewhere in the survey, the Digital-only retailers fared better than their store operating rivals, proving I suppose that there is an inherent advantage and improved perception of customer experience when consumers are able to shop anywhere, anytime, and importantly be able to get enough information at that crucial decision point to be happy to complete the transaction.
This is what Google previously referred to as the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), and when consumers pass on their good customer experiences by word of mouth, online reviews or via social media, then that recommendation becomes the next person’s ZMOT under Google’s new mental model of marketing. So these days, the impact of delivering excellent customer experience is likely to have an exponential impact on sales growth.
And what can the rest of us do?
The good news then for everyone else is that there is significant room for improvement, but firms have to first of all realise they have a problem and then set about preparing a clear customer-focused plan that is communicated to and acted upon by the whole organisation. It’s this need to improve customer experience that makes PIM ever more valuable to organisations in almost every industry sector you can think of.
What PIM does brilliantly well is it helps you eradicate most of the usual content spaghetti and duplicated effort from serving a vast range of products to ever increasingly diverse channels and markets, and instead lets you focus on the much more important activity of Content Enrichment, through better and more informative product descriptions and a greater range of supporting digital assets, such as imagery, videos, product reviews and technical specifications, etc.; anything basically that gets your customer to that ZMOT point quickly and easily (without them having to go to a competitor’s site), thus enabling them to complete their transaction.
And if we needed more convincing?
For those that remain unconvinced, there is a whole host of research available that points to the performance differences of companies operating with or without a PIM solution in place. Here, for instance, I’ve drawn on some data collated earlier this year by R3 Consulting Partners which illustrates the impact of not having a PIM
Without a PIM: Companies have estimated data error rates between 15-30%
With a PIM: Companies have experienced…
- Reduced time-to-market by up to 400%
- Increases in sales from 15% to more than 50%
- Up to 23% less product returns
- Up to 27% less customer enquiries
In short, detailed product content is a clear differentiator when it comes to Customer Experience, and it’s the PIM solutions of today that are the enablers of the high-quality, consistent product information demanded by consumers at every stage of the buying process.
Simply put, PIM is a game-changer. Want to learn more? Download our guide below.