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Markies Monday: 3 Skills to Help You Reach the Apex of Customer Experience

Christine Davis
August 31, 2020

4 minute read

Today we’re kicking off Markies Mondays, a weekly blog series designed to help you learn more about the 2020 Markie Award categories, finalists, and winners. Be sure to check back each week to learn how Oracle CX customers are driving success and building customer relationships that last.

Success in any industry depends upon keeping your customers’ needs in mind. Companies that do this and build standout customer experiences create brand advocates instead of just customers.

Improving customer experience is a standard metric for most companies, and how we quantify success can take many shapes. The Apex Award for Best Overall Customer Experience highlights those organizations that architected standout customer experiences above and beyond the commonplace. As the judges reviewed the submissions in this category, they realized that companies who shift their focus from driving transactions to building brand advocates may take different paths to success, but they all excel in 3 areas:

Customer knowledge

Dymocks, who were finalists in an impressive 3 Markie categories this year, say their purpose is to inspire more book lovers. Customer retention and engagement are critical to how Dymocks combats threats from online and new entrants into the bookselling market.

To improve engagement, Dymocks decided to try to understand not only what their customers are reading now, but what they want to read next. They developed a custom algorithmic-based recommendation engine that uses past purchase data, product data, and trends, like popular new items and authors, so they could help their customers pick what to read next. This customer knowledge has led to a 250% higher ecommerce conversion rate on the Dymocks website for customers who click on a recommendation versus ones who do not.

Another finalist also took special measures to make sure they know their customers and respond to their needs. In 2019, they ran a survey to identify key differences in customer mindsets. The survey highlighted a pain point for a specific group of customers, and they built a digital marketing campaign designed to alleviate this pain point. Initial results showed a significant decrease in complaint cases for the group.

Customer knowledge is key to a positive customer experience.

Embracing change

There are days when it feels like the only constant in our work lives is change. That’s true for many other organizations as well. Adapting to change well is another key driver for successful customer experience.

When Australian National University (ANU) saw a steady decline in postgraduate numbers, a national trend, they knew they needed to slow the rate of decline. Universities usually give students a list of postgraduate degree options, costs, and a button to apply. That wasn’t driving applications the way it had in previous years. With their partner, Marketing Decisions, ANU instead created a two-way conversation between the University and its target students by answering questions, connecting people, and improving the overall experience. Their new carefully crafted, multi-channel student journey was a game-changer for their postgraduate program admissions, which not only ensured an exceptional customer experience for their students but even created student ambassadors. The results speak for themselves: Their target audience had a 22.2% conversion to application rate and a 62x return on campaign investment.

Embracing change and adapting to new norms can help you stand out in a crowd.

Utilizing the right tools for success

Having the right tools can mean the difference between simply selling your products and creating brand advocates.

Panasonic Computer Products Europe manufactures and provides managed support for ruggedized computers and tablets under their TOUGHBOOK brand and had already developed better relationships and improved lead conversions with a next-generation CX solution. They have a strong network of partners who need relevant information on demand, without information silos making it difficult to work with unrelated systems, to improve their channel partner network performance.

Panasonic wanted to elevate their channel experience with an increased focus on intuitive user experience, improved design, and near-real-time information. With partner Boxfusion, they developed a bespoke channel experience that included a partner portal, elearning solution, and digital asset library, which gives them enhanced visibility across platforms. Since implementation, they’ve seen increased partner engagement with the brand, reduced nurturing time from lead-to-sale, and shortened issue identification and resolution.

It’s always worth the time to consider what tools you need for success and draw up a thoughtful plan to use them to improve your customer experience.

What was clear from every Markie submission in this category is this: to be successful we must never stop working toward an improved customer experience. The finalists from The Apex Award for Best Overall Customer Experience are eager to learn about their customers, are open to changes in their market, and find the tools they need to drive their programs to success. The Markie judges can’t wait to see what they do next.

To learn more about the 2020 Markie Award finalists and winners click here.

Christine Davis
Christine Davis is a CX advocacy nerd who loves reading literature and about the history that inspired it. She’s an avid, though terrible, golfer and shares her home office with her cat Max. She’s been telling Oracle customer stories for the past 6 years.
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