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Mission Critical: It’s Time to Bridge the Customer Experience Gap

Astute, a full-service end-to-end customer engagement platform for the world’s largest global brands, acquired Socialbakers and iPerceptions in 2020. Together, they join forces to provide a unified customer experience platform, bringing marketing, sales, and care teams together to help brands close the customer experience gap. 

What a time to be in the customer experience industry! Since the start of the pandemic, building a first-class customer experience strategy has become a priority for brands. But creating seamless customer experiences in the complex world of multiple marketing channels and interconnected platforms is not for the faint of heart.  

Here’s what we know for sure: businesses are struggling to meet consumer demands. There is a clear disparity between what people expect from businesses and what businesses are able to deliver. 

Organizations need a customer experience platform that extends the full length of the customer journey. This is the very reason I came on board as Astute’s new CMO. Astute is building a customer experience platform that speaks to all parts of the customer journey and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it. 

My mission as the leader of Astute’s marketing organization is to build an industry-leading team that will not only drive awareness and expand our customer base, but also bring together the story of one cohesive brand. It’s a brand that is bridging the customer experience gap for our clients, from the inception phase all the way to the post-purchase phase. We are helping our clients create an infinite loop of experiences that inspires customers to come back again and again. After less than a month in my new role, I am more confident than ever that our mission is critically important, and will serve as a beacon for the customer experience industry. 

Our clients no longer live within a well-defined marketing funnel; they are striving to create infinite loops that connect touchpoints in engaging and delightful ways. With the recent acquisitions of iPerceptions and Socialbakers, Astute is building a comprehensive platform that addresses every touchpoint along the customer journey, giving our clients the deep insights they need to build strategic customer experiences as well as the capabilities to act on them. 

Our goal, as a marketing organization, is to capitalize on the opportunities at hand. By bringing together all functions of marketing, we are already in a solid position to meet Astute’s growth objectives. But there are challenges ahead. 

With so much momentum internally, it feels a bit as if we have all jumped on a moving train and are trying to navigate it at full speed. The good news: the train we are on is already headed in the right direction. My job as CMO is to maximize our full potential and work in partnership with other business units to be mindful of our customers’ needs and react in a timely fashion. And now that we have the combined capabilities of Astute’s customer engagement technologies with iPerceptions’ voice of the customer capabilities and the added benefits of Socialbakers’ social media marketing solution, the sky's the limit. 

One of my favorite literary quotes is from the 13th century Persian poet and Sufi Master Rumi: “Run from what's comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I'll be mad.” 

When deciding to switch careers in the middle of this pandemic, I thought of this quote often as family and friends questioned whether or not I was going mad. I was choosing to leave the safety and comfort of my previous role to start a new career during one of the most economically tumultuous times in our history. Rumi’s quotes have always served as inspiration for me, but it was especially pertinent as I came to terms with what I wanted to do on a professional level: Running from what’s comfortable. Forgetting safety.

Time and again, I have been rewarded on both a personal and professional level by going to the places outside my comfort zone. As I thought about this quote, and how it has impacted my life, I realized that it speaks not only to me on a personal level, but also to the customer experience industry and the achievements we are trying to reach as a community. In all the disruption we have faced, it is time we move beyond what is comfortable and safe and explore whole new business models. The old marketing funnels no longer exist – we have to destroy our previous notions that what used to work will still work if we just try harder. 

We have to venture where, once upon a time, we may have feared to go to bridge the customer experience gap and help brands meet consumer expectations. But it doesn’t have to be scary, because we’re doing it together – and I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s next!

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.

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