By Juliet Umeh
Everywhere around the world, Inflation is on almost everyone’s mind right now. The supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have been compounded by the war in Ukraine and tight labour markets in many countries. Nigeria is no exception. In September, the country’s inflation rate hit a 17-year high, accelerating for the eighth straight month to 20.77 percent from 20.52 percent in the prior month.
President, Middle East and Africa, at Zoho Corporation, a Software providing company, Mr. Hyther Nizam, has advised that if Nigerian businesses want to survive, they must start offering a great customer experience, CX.
He stated that customer experience could be the difference between losing revenue and retaining a client.
Nizam said: “In fact, research shows that as inflation rises, companies can expect to see inflated demand for great customer experiences.
“So, far from cutting back on investments in customer experience to reduce price increases, companies should ensure that it remains a major focus.
“Both businesses and their customers are being adversely affected by this inflation. Businesses have been compelled to raise the price of products and services as operating expenses have increased. But they do so at the risk of revenue as clients either forego a purchase or opt for a less expensive alternative.”
- CX goes beyond being just a competitive advantage
Nizam explains that research by Gartner (2021) shows that 89% of companies compete primarily on customer experience. That is considerably higher than the two-thirds which did so in 2018. He also predicted that up to 80 percent of customers will switch brands after a negative experience.
For him, “that means, in a world that provides customers limitless options even amidst high inflation, the experience an organisation provides has to be exceptional to not just earn customer loyalty but to also elevate the perceived brand value.
“This will help brands retain customers even when they increase the price of their product or service.”
Nizam noted that customer experience extends beyond browsing a website and then paying for goods or a service.
According to him, “It encompasses the totality of their experience with a company, from marketing to the purchase process, billing, and after-sales service.
“A good CX tool will ensure that these experiences are personalised, meaningful, timely, and engaging. Most importantly, it will ensure consistency by providing different customer-facing teams and contextual information that will help them engage with the customers in a meaningful way.
“Organisations need to break down silos, and ensure that different departments have visibility into various customer-facing initiatives.
“For example, if the social media marketing team is promoting a holiday sale campaign, there is a good chance that customers may be adding items to their cart and waiting for the sale day to make the purchase.
“This would increase the cart abandonment rate and the relevant teams should have that information, which can be achieved through a unified marketing platform. Similarly, having an insight into which customers have open support tickets or pending payments will enable salespeople to narrow the list of clients they want to upsell.
“As we gear up for testing times, the cost of customer acquisition is likely to shoot up even as more and more customers rely on brands they trust. Businesses need to turn their focus on customer retention by providing exceptional CX on all touchpoints,” Nizam explains.
The post Tech sector needs extraordinary customer service to avert inflation appeared first on Vanguard News.