The CMO’s New Role: 360 Degree Customer Engagement

Posted by Mo Nezarati on December 15, 2016
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Once, chief marketing officers (CMOs) were primarily tasked with brand management, market research and advertising. Today they’re being asked to do a whole lot more—from implementing technologies to analyzing data to customer service to measuring impact—all in an effort to forge stronger bonds with customers.

Customer relationships have become the key differentiator for companies that formerly relied on product or pricing for competitive advantage. Old strategies have been swept away by digital innovations that have removed barriers to product transparency, quickly commoditizing new manufactured goods across sectors. Digital devices in customers’ hands have also contributed to the shift in focus to customers. A smorgasbord of new communications channels—all clamoring for attention—makes it difficult for brands to cut through the “noise.”

Furthermore, as technologies converge in the new API economy (public, supported APIs now more than 10,000 strong), better ways to encapsulate and share information between elements in an organization’s solution stack have evolved. This means that once isolated facets of a business, such as website, CRM and phone, are all connected, allowing organizations to collect, organize and analyze customer data more comprehensively than ever before. With insights thus gained, companies can better serve customers by more accurately addressing their needs.

These are the factors that have elevated the CMO role to one of greater complexity, including responsibility for business growth that is now reliant on delivering a stellar customer experience and building loyal customer relationships.

The customer experience and the contact center

Perhaps nowhere is this more relevant than in contact centers—the hub of customer interactions for many businesses. Today’s leading-edge contact centers (click here to see our case study on Fonolo) are taking advantage of APIs through robust cloud-based communication platforms, like Zang, to incorporate real-time communications into their applications. This is improving customer service in many ways—from reducing average hold times to easily allowing customers to elevate interactions to a higher level (e.g., from online chat to live phone call).

Here are some ways that Zang-developed contact center applications can improve the customer experience with your brand:

  • Webchats and Bots: These text-based interactions can be offered to customers waiting on hold to speed service. They are used to marry the webchat sessions with the contact center call session. The Zang piece of the service includes SMS and phone numbers. Bots can help answer common questions even outside business hours.
  • Interactive forms: The exchange can include structured data like forms and photos. The forms can instantly sync data back to specified fields in your CRM to keep customer records up to date. Once submitted, the caller immediately receives an alert that the form has been received and that he or she will be sent to the appropriate service rep.
  • Dropdown menus/alerts: These lists make the forms easier to navigate than a typical interactive voice response (IVR) system.
  • Interactive voice service: Give customers the opportunity to quickly move from your mobile app to a live contact center call by just tapping an on their mobile screens.

Not that long ago, the CMO was the unlikeable gal or guy responsible for interrupting your dinner with an inopportune marketing phone call or disrupting your favorite TV show with ads—or even jamming up your email inbox. Today’s CMO is a loveable individual whose only aim is to please customers, sending relevant and messages through their preferred channels (thanks to Web activity tracking) straight into their hands (via mobile devices).

The potential of CMOs to engage with existing and potential customers, and to provide a great customer experience with their brands is boundless with technology and APIs.

Topics: CX, SMS, bots