Most marketers in the communications industry have long recognized that creating a positive customer experience (CX) is critical for acquiring customers and building long-term, profitable relationships with them.
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But as you manage the controlled chaos of multiple campaigns that have competing demands and nonstop deadlines, it’s easy to understand how CX might not be at the top of your priority list — or why you may think that CX improvements should be another department’s responsibility. The fact is that marketers have vital contributions to make toward improving customer experience. Marketing activities can help build customer loyalty and increase lifetime customer value — which means CX should be one of your top marketing priorities.
CX: An Antidote to Hyper-Competition in the Communications Industry
Informed and empowered consumers, cheap and abundant alternatives, and disruptive competitors are pushing many firms into a vicious cycle: They’ll win increasingly fickle customers using aggressive (and expensive) pricing and promotions; lose their gains to relentless churn and attrition, and then repeat the process. Today, however, there’s a body of solid research showing that firms with exceptional CX are following a very different path. For example, according to Forrester research data reported in June 2016, TV and Internet service providers with industry-leading CX showed 29.4 percent compound annual revenue growth between 2010 and 2015. Providers classified as CX laggards showed growth of 4.5 percent over the same period. Looking across industry sectors, Forrester observed a 14-point advantage in revenue growth among CX leaders. This and other data supports Forrester’s assertion that a clear correlation exists between CX leadership and superior revenue growth as long as customers have a choice and companies offer differentiated experiences. Clearly, CX is a powerful, and proven, antidote to the effects of hyper-competition and commodity pricing.
Pulling the Right Levers for Success with CX
So how can your marketing team help elevate your organization’s CX performance? The answer lies in sharpening your data and analytics capabilities. A few statistics illuminate some key areas where marketers can get real customer-experience bang for their data-and-analytics-improvement buck:
Relevant and personalized communications. According to McKinsey, “data-activated marketing based on a person’s real-time needs, interests, and behaviors can boost total sales by 15 to 20 percent.” 
Adding context and continuity to customer interactions. found that 89 percent of consumers have an improved opinion of firms that remember previous interactions, and 83 percent feel good about businesses that put customer information to good use. These figures speak to the frustration of interaction with companies that are not capable of moving with a customer from one digital channel to the next without asking again — and again, and yet again — for the same information.
Avoiding costly CX missteps. There’s a lot at stake when CX failures push customers into taking action: 25 percent of customers will defect to a competitor after just one bad experience. And yet, many companies continue to live dangerously due to sub-standard CX: 58 percent of customers say they haven’t seen an improvement in their relationships with brands.
Data & Insights Help Drive Lasting CX Improvements The improvement areas we just discussed have something in common: They rely on access to robust, reliable, and comprehensive customer data, along with the analytical tools required to extract timely and relevant insights. But the relationship between CX and data actually goes much deeper and is far more important than you might suspect.
To understand why, consider what “customer experience” really means. It is not just about touchpoints, contacts, or interactions, either individually or as a group. It’s not just about your content, your marketing offers, or your online experience.
In fact, as Adam Richardson wrote in Harvard Business Review, “Customer experience needs to be seen as all these things, and more. It is the sum totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just in a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer.”
This fact drives home the importance of obtaining a truly holistic, 360-degree view of your customers. Anyone can deliver friendly customer service every time a customer contacts a business. But only a marketing team, and an organization, with a 360-degree customer view can tie all of those interactions together, make sense out of them, and turn those insights into longer-lasting and higher-value customer relationships.
Data, Insights & Customer Experience: Ready to Step Up Your Game?
Want to learn more about how communications organizations can contribute to substantive CX improvements with the right data and insights? Check out our new interactive eBook, “Improving Customer Experience: A Practical Guide for Turning Data Insights into High-Value Relationships.”
 Forrester Research blogs“Customer Experience Drives Revenue Growth, 2016,” June 21, 2016.
 Mckinsey.com (reference to McKinsey original research) “Five questions brands need to answer to be customer first in the digital age,” July 2017
 Thunderhead.com (based on original research conducted by Populus) “How to be a brand with a ‘Happily Ever After’ story,” July 7, 2015
 Thunderhead.com (based on original research conducted by Populus) “The Disappointed Customer,” July 5, 2015
 Harvard Business Review (HBR.com) “Understanding Customer Experience,” Oct. 28, 2010