Age Of Search, AI, And How To Excel At Customer Experience: Microsoft Study

One in three customers will stop interacting with a brand they love after one bad experience, and nearly half will completely abandon the company after several bad interactions, according to a PwC Future of CX report.

Determined to help advertisers improve on the customer experience in ads and on sites, Microsoft Advertising teamed with Advertiser Perceptions, which surveys advertising professionals who control the media spend for their respective companies.

The two conducted in-depth interviews and an online survey to gain insights from marketers who excel at creating customer experiences.

The research focused on understanding the buyer journey and then improving marketing based on that understanding.

Christi Olson, Microsoft search evangelist and author of the report, calls the combined practice Customer Experience Quotient CXQ. The 20% of marketing leaders from the study who excelled at both are referred to as High CXQ Performers. 



Brands and marketers that do well when it comes to providing a better experience to consumers share data with agency partners, the findings indicate.

Some 82% of High CXQ Performers use agencies to help, and 58% increase the access they give agency partners to their first-party data, compared to just 24% of lower-performing marketers.

Consolidating data, better understanding consumer data, and realizing higher efficiencies and ROI are several ways to reap the benefits.

The findings show that first-party data sources from organic search, paid search, website analytics, CRM, call center, customer service, mobile app analytics and online sales set high performers apart from the rest.

High performers also consider and respond to privacy concerns and new data regulations in ways that address customer concerns while ensuring they can still collect valuable data, according to Olson. This includes moving from cookies to first-party data and offering consumers incentives to share their data.

About 88% of High CXQ Performers rely on third-party data to overcome barriers to cross-market media. They view the combination of first- and third-party data as the enabler to create on source of truth and improve marketing performance.

About 78% prioritize using first- and third-party data, compared with 40% of low performers. The top two applications are journey mapping and dynamic personalized creative.

Artificial intelligence technologies can personalize experiences that interact with consumers, and the data can predict intent across the customer journey such as the likelihood that the consumer will make the purchase. Google also uses this type of technology.

While these consumers are far more likely to take advantage of chatbots, digital assistants and AI cognitive services technologies, 88% typically engage with cognitive services.

High CXQ Performers also are nearly twice as likely as low performers to use cloud services.

Some 78% of High CQX Performers use cloud solutions to overcome barriers to how consumers choose to journey across devices and the internet.

This column was previously published in the Search Insider on January 7, 2020.

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