Everyone is talking about customer experience and most companies have NPS (net promoter scores) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction ) scores , but don’t confuse this with making CX a business priority for your company. There is as a significant difference between the theory of CX and the best practices. According to E Consultancy, at least 50% of businesses are just starting to put together any kind of experience-based strategy.
If customer experience is important companies need to be investing in things that actually impact the customer experience. This means a new customer focus on ease of use, speed, choice, and service. In order to accomplish this, the company is required to re-think the way they develop and deploy their products and services. Information must be gathered and shared across the enterprise, eliminating the organizational and technology silos that prevent this. Forrester data indicates that 68% of firms aspire to be CX leaders but only 16% deliver a good customer experience and 0 bands deliver an “excellent” experience.
Customers expect great experiences and the bar is continuing to rise. They don’t care about your organization –they want you to know who they are and what they want. They expect a seamless experience across your channels. Yet most companies can’t begin to deliver them. Doing this at scale, in a reliable and consistent manner is even harder. Yet this is what is required to build customer relationships and gain trust. Econsultancy and Adobe research indicate 40% of Fortune 500 companies on the S&P won’t be able to evolve to meet the customer expectations that technology brings and will close their doors over the next 10 years.
What do companies need to do to get started and survive in this new complex environment? Start investing in what counts.
1. Start with Journey mapping
If you don’t have a comprehensive end to end idea of your current customer journey how are you going to fix it? You need to map the journey for each of your key customer groups so you understand what customers expect, when they are disappointed, when they are confused and when you are actually delivering on your brand promise. The journey map should inform you of the customer pain points and moments of truth in the context and channels your customers are using. Journey maps should include behavioral data to support the customer interactions and should include all the channels you use to interact with customers now. It is important to understand your customers at an emotional level in order to understand and deliver value. The value of the journey map is to understand the challenge of the customer’s connected experience by thinking like your customer and creating connections where they need them.
Once you’ve spent the time to understand these journeys, you can prioritize the touchpoints and processes that will make the most emotional impact on each customer group and person.
2. Add Ethnographic Research / Mystery shopping and Observation
Ethnographic research helps you do a deeper dive on the customer pain points and moments of truth to understand why the customer is feeling the way they do. Enlisting ethnographers or cultural anthropologists to observe and listen to interviews, “in home” research, or shopper shadowing helps you understand how people use your products and services so you can learn where you can improve.
Ethnographic research helps you really understand who your customers are and what the customer is trying to accomplish with you. This highlights how your organization is preventing the customer from getting their goals met.
Take the example of the eyeglasses shopper. They want to purchase their glasses and get them as soon as possible, but their first hurdle occurs when they walk into the store and can’t figure out which glasses are for men and which are for women. Then if they are nearsighted they can’t see the “new” glasses on themselves in the mirror without glasses. So begins the downward spiral.
Use these techniques so your company really understands the customers and knows what to do to engage with them in a way that will be successful.
3. Invest in Data and Analytics
We need to move from our planned communications to using predictive analytics and automation to fix issues before the customers know they exist. Effective use of data analytics will help determine where to focus your resources and which customer groups are being impacted. Start by collecting all your customer data from throughout your organization, then plug it into a data platform to help you identify key personas. Learn how those personas interact and respond at different touchpoints to discover what they need. Make this a continuous process so you keep your data up to date and build a 360-degree view of the customer. Use your analytics to identify metrics like low conversion rates, abandoned cart statistics, video completions, repeat visits, churn etc. which indicate opportunities for improvement.
Data can also be used to help you build a stronger customer “identity” to help you recognize the same customer across your channels.
Key insights derived from big data and analytics will help you deliver more proactive, timely and relevant content to build customer engagement and reinforce the relationship. Machine learning can help detect patterns and trends that help you reinvent the next great customer experience.
4. Business Process Redesign
Your business process needs to be simplified and redesigned to be quicker, easier and faster. The time is now to re-examine how work is being done and to redesign it to make it more adaptable. While bots may be able to take over some of your more routine automated tasks, humans will still be needed help streamline your operations and make them more responsive.
The customer-centric business requires new skill sets, employee training, and better tools. This requires a significant investment in time, training and hiring. Many of the skills you will need are in high demand and it is necessary for you to build your reputation in order to attract the top talent that is required to make this transition. Do not under estimate how long it will take for the culture to adapt. It can easily take 3 to 5 years so now is the time to get started. Make everyone responsible for customer experience and create a bias toward action in order to get things done.
Your frontline employees are invaluable in providing insight into what is happening with your customers, so don’t forget to ask.
Last but not least is technology. Many companies start their customer-centric transition with technology. The technology needs to support your new strategic vision and your brand values. Therefore you can’t select the technology before you know where you are going and what things need to be accomplished. Technology enables the strategy. If you don’t have a strong strategy and enablement plan you will waste millions of dollars on technology and never retain your current customers, much less gain market share from competitors. Of course, you need technology to create your connected one-on-one experiences that are relevant to each customer segment.
You need to get started today to become more digital and agile. In this fast paced environment, having the best product is not enough to become—or remain—a market leader. The promise of a customer’s loyalty is fleeting. If you are able to earn loyalty, it’s because the experience you offer is superior- for now.
Success will require:
- Top Down Support
- Holding everyone accountable for results and creating shared outcomes.
- Forcing sales, and marketing to collaborate with service and product development and IT to create a better customer experience.
- Improve communications and collaboration across the organization.
- Having a bias for action – and testing your way to success.
If you need help please contact me at DBevelacqua@suitecx.com, 917 520-0261.
Share this Post