65 percent of Marketers say Delivering an Optimal Customer Experience will be the Key to Success in 2023 – Exotel Survey

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Key survey highlights:

74% marketers confirm that enhancing and optimizing CX is their #1 priority for 2023

Marketers focus is on customer retention over acquisition to fuel growth in 2023, further confirming the need to prioritize CX for brand retention and loyalty

45% of marketers say that their brands will compete on the basis of CX in the next 2 years

Developing a customer-first culture within organizations is a challenge however that hinders CX roll out, say marketers

With traditional brand marketing losing luster thanks to digital disruption, the customer is now in charge. In a digital world, it is simply not enough for businesses to be able to compete on price or product features alone. Customer Experience (CX) is becoming the key differentiator in a digital world, and the currency to drive brand loyalty, reduce churn and boost revenues.

Customer Experience – The New Battleground in 2023

To assess the current state of adoption of CX, organizational challenges in CX implementation, current and desired usage of various omnichannel tools and marketer priorities for 2023, Exotel conducted a survey with Indian marketers. Exotel is the emerging market’s leading full stack customer engagement platform comprising a suite of communications APIs, omnichannel contact center (Ameyo) and Conversational AI platform (Cogno AI) in the Cloud.

Without a doubt, customer experience is the new competitive battleground

A majority, 65% of marketers surveyed agree with the statement that customer experience is the new and next competitive battleground. In fact, 45% state that their brand will compete, either completely or nearly completely, on the basis of CX over the next two years.

It’s no surprise then that a focus to enhance customer experience emerges as the #1 priority, with 74% of marketers surveyed listing this as their #1 priority for 2023. Other priorities in order of importance are improving the omnichannel experience (70%), employer branding (69%), followed by a focus on sustainability initiatives (68%), and a strategy for immersive platforms such as Metaverse (67%).

Rather than acquisition, Marketers are focusing on customer retention

Given the concerns of an economic recession in 2023, brands are doubling down on engaging their existing customer base. With loyalty getting harder to come by because consumers have a lot more choices today, marketers are choosing to enhance and strengthen their customer engagement, working closely with the Customer Experience teams, to build lasting connections with customers. This is validated by the survey by Exotel. To drive business, 63% of marketers surveyed said they are looking at increasing adoption of existing products, or introducing newer products to existing customers.

WhatsApp is the most important CX channel

India is WhatsApp biggest market with 487.5 million WhatsApp users in 2022. It’s no surprise that 86% of marketers surveyed say that WhatsApp is the most important customer service channel. One out of every 2 marketers say that it is a part of their CX journey and 26% say its usage is critical to their business. 9% say they have recently integrated the channel as a part of their CX journey, and are already reaping the benefits..

Usage of other CX tools in order of deployment is SMS at 33%, Call center at 27% and chatbots at 26%, among the marketers surveyed.

Organizational and behavioral challenges to CX roll out

The desire to prioritize CX comes with real-world challenges. Marketers surveyed, 40% cite driving a customer-centric culture and understanding CX platform capabilities as the challenges that they face in designing an optimal CX journey. Other challenges include measuring CX effectiveness and impact and collaborating cross-functionally within the organization.

Adopting a customer-centric marketing approach is not an easy task, despite its importance in the scheme of things. While 51% of marketers surveyed say that keeping the customer at the center of every decision is a behavior that is challenging to drive within the organization, 34% of marketers cite the lack of involvement of senior leaders to demonstrate customer centricity top down to being an impediment in authentically driving customer centricity into the organizations DNA.

Udit Agarwal, VP & Global Head of Marketing, Exotel, said, “To stand out against the competition and deliver additional value to customers, organizations need to adopt a unified approach for conducting and tracking customer engagement. Building a comprehensive understanding of the entire customer journey and the data collected from all interactions will result in valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. Through investing in improvements towards the customer experience, one can ultimately reap a positive return on investment in a digital market. Exotels full-stack engagement platform assists organizations in building customer relationships, which is the most valuable currency in todays business world.

Organizations will necessarily need to lead from a customer-centric position. With economic uncertainty persisting, 2023 looks set to be another challenging year for businesses. Organizations will need a comprehensive view of the full customer journey across all interaction data to yield deep insights about their customers and design optimal CX journeys to connect more closely with their customers and anticipate behaviors. Those organizations that invest in experience enhancements to solidify customer relationships will be poised to receive positive ROI in a digital world where customers are spoilt for choice. Customer relationships is the #1 currency that Exotel helps organizations accrue through its full stack engagement platform,” said Angira Agrawal, Global SVP, GTM and Strategy, Exotel.

Methodology

Exotel received responses from 263 marketers in an online survey that was conducted at the start of 2023. CMOs, VP Marketing, and Chief Customer Experience Officers responded to this survey from mid to large organizations across verticals of Tech, BFSI, E-commerce, Telecom, and automotive.

About Exotel

Exotel is the emerging market’s leading full stack customer engagement platform and business-focused virtual telecom operator. Incorporated in 2011, Exotel’s world-class cloud-based product suite powers 50 million engagements daily for over 6000 companies in India, SE Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Today, some of the fastest-growing companies in the emerging markets (Ola, Swiggy, Flipkart, GoJek, Byju’s, Urban Company, HDFC Bank, Zomato, Oyo, etc.,) manage their customer engagement with Exotel’s omnichannel contact centre, a suite of communication APIs and conversational AI platform over the cloud. They’re a $100 million Series D funded company with $50 million in ARR.

For more information, please visit www.exotel.com.

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