Today's businesses can interact with their customers across multiple channels, providing more opportunities than ever to meet customer demands. To ensure this remains an advantage, companies must ensure that all customer experiences are consistent globally and locally relevant.
Recent research, carried out by Forbes, found that 82% of senior marketers felt that "interconnected consumers have broken down the barriers between global and local marketing". In the digital age, the challenges that brands face are ever more pronounced and a single action resonates globally in an instant. When brands have archaic decision-making processes that don't allow them to be agile, they risk piggy-backing on a local trend, a time when local campaigns need to be reviewed in real time.
When it comes to rolling out brands internationally, marketers need local market insight and to be able to translate brand values across borders for global efficiency. Lacking this ability leads to inconsistent brand messaging and a disconnection between brand and customer.
So what to do?
Get back to basics
It is unrealistic to expect a great customer experience every time, but the market and your consumers do expect the fundamental experience to be delivered consistently.
All organisations need to assess their culture and determine whether it is genuinely collaborative with mutual respect. Objectives must be aligned globally and although Africa's campaigns may differ to the Americas, all business units and territories must have an open and ongoing dialogue.
It starts with leadership
Leadership is, of course, vital to ensure that an organisation is set up with a clear strategy and vision for success. Management attention can be shifted to the implementation of activities to create competitive advantage.
As with any brand employing people, they are at the coalface, who often work far from direct influence of corporate charters, manuals or guidance. There is a need to create and sustain a culture that encourages employees to deliver the experience and memory we want our customers to have when they think about doing business with the brand.
Factor in cultural differences
When it comes to customer satisfaction in global cultures, one size does not fit all.
It is paramount for a brand to achieve global commonalities and use local insight to define the best opportunities, guiding the customer experience through a consistent engagement strategy and brand strategy. This will enable brands to create and sustain effective local engagement while securing global consistency for customers.
Actual delivery of the customer experience
The actual delivery will still hinge on all the relevant role players taking responsibility, and the brand as a whole collaborating and sharing insights that make a difference, globally and locally.
Understanding the impact that each employee and/or touchpoints has on the experiences customers receive, along with the responsibility of delivering the experience is the ultimate goal and one that brands continuously strive for.