Raise your hand if you’ve heard this before: “Customer experience is the new marketing.” Or: “Companies are now competing more on customer experience than product or price.”
According to Dimension Data’s 2017 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report, 71% of organizations understand the importance of customer experience and cite it as one of their top performance measures.
And it’s easy to see why — the Dimension Data report offered some pretty clear benefits of improving the customer experience. Among organizations that invested in CX:
– 92% of reported increased customer loyalty;
– 84% saw an uplift in revenue; and
– 79% recognized cost savings
But that same report found that only 13% of those organizations would rate their CX delivery as a 9 out of 10 or higher.
It’s one thing to say CX is a priority, but implementing it successfully is another matter entirely. If your organization is part of the 87% of companies struggling to deliver excellent CX, it’s important to know how to get started.
UNDERSTAND THE BUZZWORDS
Every company provides customer service — better known as resolving issues and answering questions via the care channels your organization has set up. Typically, this function is owned by your contact center and does not involve other departments within your organization.
Customer experience, on the other hand, extends beyond your contact center. It involves everything from the advertisements your customers see, to how they engage with your content, website and sales teams, to how they interact with your product or service after purchase. Delivering a truly great customer experience involves a significant investment by an organization and a coordinated effort.
PUT YOUR CUSTOMER AT THE CENTER
Customer centricity, or customer obsession, is the idea that the customer should be at the center of everything your organization does. It requires constant listening, testing and tuning of the customer experience to deliver the most seamless and personalized experience possible.
And while this might sound a little, well, obsessive — the fact is that 81% of companies are now citing CX as their top competitive differentiator. At the same time, most organizations struggle with effective CX delivery, which is usually the result of siloed and disjointed approaches to customer care. Customer obsession can sound extreme, but it could actually be the level of focus your organization requires to deliver the superior experiences your customers demand.
MAKE IT SOMEONE’S RESPONSIBILITY
A little over 30% of companies do not have someone responsible for overseeing all customer experiences. Customer experiences cross most parts of your organization — from marketing and sales to account management and your contact center. And, in many cases, it’s likely that these departments aren’t constantly communicating with one another about the customer experience. In order to deliver the kind of customer experience that puts your customer at the center of everything, you need to have someone overseeing the customer journey from start to end, to understand where the roadblocks might be and fix them before they become frustration points for your customer.
STREAMLINE YOUR CHANNELS
The growth of digital customer service channels has companies scrambling to set up new contact methods such as chat and mobile applications. The problem, however, is that siloed approaches to new channels most often hurt, rather than help, the customer experience. For 58% of companies, CX channels are still being managed in silos and for 42% channel data is not actively shared between teams.
It’s tempting to want to be on every channel at every time — because your customers are busy and constantly on-the-go. But if your channels don’t work properly or provide a seamless and efficient experience, they will just frustrate your customers. Focus instead on the channels that are most important for your customers.
Recentering your organization to put the customer at the crux of everything you do is no small undertaking, but in today’s customer-obsessed environment it might just be a necessary one.