The key tactic for perfecting luxury experiences for premium customers

Yorick Astier, VP sales for customer experience at Oracle, offers his advice on how to deliver luxury customer experiences that hit the mark

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Adam Jeffs

Luxury CX

High price points for products and services have the power to inflate customer experience expectations. Astier notes: “the more a customer pays for something, the more quality they will expect”, so brands need to be prepared to go the extra mile for customers that have higher life-time values than most.

As brands have limited budgets and resources, in the name of prioritizing wisely, organizations are seeing traction from identifying high-paying customers and investing in delivering luxury experiences in their direction.

When providing high-priced products or services, brands may have the opportunity to invest more heavily into the experience delivered with a reduced risk to damaging a reasonable profit margin. A flexibility that is not as present with cheaper price ranges.

This freedom provides brands with an opportunity to demonstrate genuine concern for the customer’s welfare and comfort. “If a customer feels a brand truly cares about them, it triggers an emotional connection that encourages future engagement and leaves customers with a sense of respect and fidelity,” remarks Astier.

Some luxury brands host VIP, member-only events such as fine dining experiences, spas and wellness centres. These exclusive events add a social dimension to the brand and also allow the target audience to test new products or functionalities.

By locking in the customer’s loyalty with a delightful experience, brands avoid losing revenue from seeing a large customer churn and may even increase the customer’s future spend. Customers receiving premium experiences are more likely to recommend a brand to their peers, potentially boosting revenue even further. In fact, after having a positive experience with a company, 77 per cent of customers would recommend the brand to a friend

Challenges of luxury CX

Despite these opportunities, the experiences provided by many brands are riddled with flaws that frustrate premium customers.

The challenges of luxury CX have become more pronounced in recent months thanks to the pandemic. Covid-19 has placed a magnifying glass on the gaps present in digital luxury experiences, remarks Astier. As a result, the global health emergency has forced organizations to accelerate digital transformation strategies at a time where many were unprepared to do so, particularly with the task of digitizing in-person experiences.

“Now brands who want to deliver premium CX are accelerating projects to plug these various gaps,” explains Astier. “They know that to rebuild their business, the digital share will be the dominant one, and to make this happen, these brands have no choice but to focus on data and real-time CX.”

In fact, many brands struggle to deliver to what many consider as one of the most important pillars of luxury CX: hyper-personalized experiences in real-time.

The real-time aspect represents a significant challenge for digital customer experiences, as agents often need instant access to customer information in order to fulfil enquiries in the timeframe customers expect, notes Astier.

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According to Astier, the key to delivering personalized experiences lies in the unification of relevant  customer data into one source of truth.

If your brand lacks visibility on your customer’s preferences and expectations it will be near impossible to deliver a personalized experience. This is a frequent occurrence in today’s brands as most data relating to customer interactions tends to be fragmented or siloed across the enterprise as a result of internal processes and complex architectures built with legacy piece-meal systems and technologies.

“We need to bring the data related to customer experience together and to accept that silos exist, as they are connected to internal processes,” explains Astier. “There may be only one piece of data in these silos that is relevant for customer experience, this is the data that needs to be brought together and made available.”

By connecting various systems and unifying different sources of relevant information into one platform, brands gain the agility to provide intelligent experiences of a premium nature and the liberation to focus on improving the sophisticated, luxury experiences that premium customers expect.

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