Today, what really sets a brand apart is the ability to understand customers and deliver meaningful interactions across every channel. Although personalized customer engagement is only possible with the right customer data, a customer will only provide that data if they feel confident in a company’s ability to keep it safe.
A new whitepaper from premier global market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC), sponsored by Twilio, titled A Platform Approach Is Critical to Customer Engagement Success and Building Trust*, examines why more organizations are seeking to adopt an integrated customer engagement platform (CEP) in order to drive personalized interactions at scale and increase profits, all while protecting and securing customer data.
How CEPs can help businesses build consumer trust
As today’s consumers become more aware of how their personal data is used and concern over data security grows, building trust with them has never been more critical for companies. In order to maintain and grow customer relationships, companies need to put data protection and security at the forefront of their customer engagement and data management approach.
According to IDC, a CEP is defined as a flexible, interoperable set of customer data tools (such as a customer data platform) and omni-channel communications tools (such as email, SMS, WhatsApp, voice, and video) to build innovative solutions that drive personalized interactions at scale, across the customer life cycle. The IDC whitepaper found that only one-third of companies surveyed have a CEP or set of fully interoperable communication tools that stretch across every touchpoint of the customer journey. Of those who do not have an interoperable CEP today 98% of respondents are working on establishing a CEP to access enormous omnichannel benefits.
With a customer engagement platform like Twilio’s, brands can maximize customer lifetime value by marrying strong data privacy and protection with engagement channels. Companies can enjoy a fully integrated set of data and communication tools, plus securely connect with customers through their preferred engagement channels.
Customer trust is built on effective security and privacy
IDC found that customers’ interest in understanding the cybersecurity posture of companies has increased by almost 60%. In the United States, 73% of organizations say they have seen an increase in their customers wanting to know about their data privacy capabilities.
Meanwhile, more than half of companies indicate an increase in consumer security interests will force them to more closely align with the security preferences of their customers. And, when it comes to the top three customer experience focus areas for companies, 45% of companies prioritized customer satisfaction, while 41% prioritized customer trust and privacy. Interestingly, 58% of CEP users stated that they fully trust their solution versus 36% of non-CEP users globally.
Positive customer experiences are vital business growth
Almost three in four customers say that a good customer experience is key to remaining loyal to a brand, according to respondents from various industries and roles across the globe. The IDC whitepaper also found that improving customer satisfaction is a higher priority than either profit or operational efficiency as companies struggle to gain and retain customers.
IDC also found that companies understand that getting new customers is expensive, and that it’s less costly—and more profitable—to retain current customers. They also understand that a good customer experience is foundational to building long-term customer value.
Brands that use trusted zero-party data—explicitly shared by customers through surveys, account creation, and more—as well as first-party data—collected through customers’ digital interactions with a brand such as a website or app—can know their customers intimately, tailor the best engagement experiences for them, and grow their business accordingly.
Viewing successful customer engagement through a technological lens
IDC found that by 2024, 50% of companies plan on upgrading various marketing technologies such as orchestration, content management, and other parts of their marketing technology stack to remain competitive. They also plan on upgrading their customer communications, including CPaaS, email, chat, bots, and other applications.
34% of companies will also implement a customer data platform (CDP) as a way to manage and utilize customer data. The ability to effectively store, manage, and analyze increasing amounts of customer data requires the right tool, and right now a customer data platform like Twilio Segment is the best tool for the job. And, as the purchase and sale of data to third parties becomes more difficult, using a trusted CDP and CEP together will become paramount, especially as global laws and regulations governing the movement and geographic location of personal data come into full effect.
Companies are responding to customers’ demands for better digital and physical experiences
There’s no doubt that customer experiences today have become “digital-first”. This requires businesses to not only review their digital customer engagement strategies, but also truly understand their customers preferences and needs. The more personalized the customer engagement, the higher the return on their investment (ROI).
IDC found that among top five investment priorities for companies worldwide:
- 31.5% are investing in technologies that improve the customer digital experience
- 26.1% are investing in security technologies
- 25.8% are investing in big data and analytics technologies
Don’t miss our IDC + Twilio webinar diving into the whitepaper
Join IDC’s Alan Webber, Program Vice President for Digital Strategy & Customer Experience, and IDC’s Grace Trinidad, Future of Trust Research Director, as they share their latest research on the importance of trust when adopting a CEP. Plus, Twilio’s Senior Director of Product Marketing Scott Edwards will discuss how to build an effective customer engagement strategy and the many benefits companies can experience from adopting a CEP.
*IDC Whitepaper, sponsored by Twilio, A Platform Approach Is Critical to Customer Engagement Success and Building Trust, Doc #US50417823, February 2023