Customer experience spending and adoption continues to rise in 2010, with most companies that offer better customer experience levels outperforming their competitors. Here is a summary of effective customer experience strategies heading into 2011.
1. The Voice of the Customer
Emotions account for over 50% of an experience, as Colin Shaw points out in The DNA of Customer Experience. Emotions can only be captured qualitatively, and voice of the customer programs are the way to do it.
Encourage and measure feedback from customers across all channels and touch points. Customer perceptions of the company and experience should be measured, analyzed, and acted upon to drive the customer experience forward.
2. Key Performance Indicator Benchmarking
In addition to qualitative feedback gathered above, quantitative key performance indicators (KPI’s) that measure progress towards customer experience goals should be established. These may vary from organization to organization, but it is important to ensure the KPI’s selected have a significant impact on the customer experience, are measured accurately, and can be acted upon.
3. Diverse Communication Channels
Customers have unique and diverse preferences on how they would like to interact with companies. The more communication channels you provide, the more likely it is that you cover their desired channel.
Emerging channels such as chat, online communities / forums, and social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc…) are popular among younger demographics, whereas the telephone is still the method of choice for older customers.
4. One View of the Customer
Nothing destroys a customer experience better than a broken / incomplete view of the customer across different departments or channels. Provide a complete view of the customer and interaction history across all channels and touch-points in the organization to ensure this does not happen. Customers should experience little to no disruption when being transferred between channels for support.
5. Engage Your Employees
Employee engagement has a positive impact on customer engagement. Aligning employee incentive programs such as bonuses to customer metrics is a great way to improve the experience.
As an example, information infrastructure provider EMC’s online community lets employees connect and engage through blogs, social networking tools, and RSS feeds. Employees are now well connected to the company strategy and culture, with a positive impact on customer service.
6. Create A Knowledge Foundation
Understand what your customers want and need, and continually model this information into a knowledge base. Provide your agents and employees with rapid access to this knowledge to ensure consistent experiences and the right support is provided to your customers with each interaction.
7. Customer-Focused Business Decisions
With each business decision your organization makes, you should ask one question: what is the impact on the customer experience? This impact should be a key factor in your decision-making if improving the experience is a core objective of your business.
14 LEADING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STRATEGIES FOR 2011
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