Hi Babar, tell us about yourself, your background?
I am a CIPR certified public affairs researcher, an advertising industry analyst, and a media investigative reporter. Currently based out of Islamabad, I head the public affairs practice for Z2C Limited, the second-largest multinational communications, advertising, public relations, technology, and commerce holding company in Pakistan.
Delivering scientific and evidence-based plans around perception management, I help our blue-chip customers promote goodwill, create demand, attract investors & alliances, and implement a brand strategy that generates inelastic demand.
Prior to joining Z2C Limited, I spent the last four years as a data journalist, analytically covering the Pakistan advertising & media industry across Campaign Asia in Singapore, Branding In Asia in the UAE, and a Wall Street Journal affiliate called Profit in Pakistan.
As the voice of the advertising & marketing community, I authored investigative reports pertaining to the blue and red oceans in the technology & advertising ecosystem, helping decision-makers understand strategic whitespaces, potential collaborations, root causes to varying issues, and identify top talent.
Online commerce was booming in 2020, and so did consumer reviews. – How can brands better utilize this data to improve their customers’ experience?
A study from the USC Marshall School of Business found that good reviews can increase the choice probability by raising consumer baseline preferences. This may also increase the seller’s bargaining power, which may result in higher purchase prices and subsequent lower choice probability. Customer-centric business decision-makers can use the research findings to conduct their own experiments on how pixel-tracked reviewers can be propositioned based on the variables identified in their reviews. The researchers from USC, for instance, found that historical price and discount frequency strongly impact the bargaining power of the customer. If a business is in the mass market business, it can use this POV to its advantage and let the customer feel like they have won.
What is one element that must always be considered when working on a CXM (customer experience management) strategy?
The customer needs to believe that the company can be trusted, it also needs to be satisfied with the product purchased, and it must be convinced that loyalty will be rewarded. In making sure all three are aligned, a business can grow its own valuation through the three dimensions of customer acquisition, customer retention, and add-on selling.
Do you think personalization and customer-centricity are going to become increasingly more relevant in the coming year? How so?
With the erosion of third-party data, personalization will be the only differentiating factor for mass audience brands.
What are some of the ways companies can strive to eliminate the CX Gap?
By creating trust through brand-building activities projected for the long run and by fixing their own specific capabilities gaps during customer acquisition and retention.
Babar’s predictions for the future of CX
What are your predictions for trends in customer experience in the coming year
Advancements in predictive analytics will dramatically change how omnichannel projects intersect with the end customer. Companies that fail to plan for scenarios around data, privacy, and attribution will fail at omnichannel.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
Customer lifetime value based on a rundle.