4 Ingredients of a Successful Customer Experience Program


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Today, consumers have high expectations, are more informed and have the ability to switch brands at a moment’s notice. This new reality has forced even the most entrenched businesses to start focusing on the customer and providing an exceptional experience.

According to The Digital Clarity Group, “Forward-thinking companies are taking a hard look at how they address customer experience and are making some major changes at the highest levels of their organization.” Some of these changes include hiring Chief Customer Officers or Chief Experience Officers but all include launching customer experience programs.

What is important in creating a successful customer experience program? Here are four key elements you shouldn’t ignore to create an effective customer experience initiative.

Start with a grassroots approach

For any project to get off the ground, especially one that cuts across different departments – like a customer experience program, it is best to start with a grassroots approach. The key is to start from the bottom and look for influencers who are on the front lines from sales to the contact center to operations. Look for individuals who will generate excitement around improving the experience for your customers and have a passion for the customer experience. It is essential to look beyond the title to people that have influence and internal respect from colleagues. According to report by SAS and Harvard Business Review, they found that, “A coordinated approach to customer experience management—and one that is built from the ground up— is more likely to take root.”

Building a strong and committed work group of customer experience champions that cuts across departments and roles is essential to get your customer experience initiatives off the ground and have a customer-centric mindset flowing through the company.

Getting the c-suite on board

Beyond creating a team of customer experience champions you also need a solid game plan to gather support from every corner of the C-suite from CEO to CMO. Unfortunately, customer experience programs can often be seen by senior management as soft and fluffy initiatives. Therefore, heading up a customer experience initiative requires you to demonstrate the real and concrete value that a customer experience program can have on the bottom line. One way of achieving this is by aligning customer experience outcomes to metrics the company already adheres to or metrics that are inherently important to the organization. Measuring and reporting on numbers that the c-suite care about will ensure that they understand the value that a CX program can provide. 

Laser focus on customer needs and wants and take action

Understanding and acting on the needs and wants of your customers is a core ingredient for any successful CX program. Yet many brands fail to do so, with a report from Econsultancy and IBM finding that only 30 percent of consumers believe companies understand them. One way brands can better understand their customers is through leveraging Voice of Customer solutions. By collecting information on your customer’s intent, needs, and experiences across digital platforms you can better understand strengths and weaknesses from a customer’s perspective.

However, having mountains of data on the customer is meaningless if no action is taken. An effective method adopted by one of our clients was regularly reviewing session recordings of visitors that rated their experience as poor, with senior management. By combining session replay and VoC data, management could quickly isolate the right sessions to focus on and quickly gain consensus and alignment to optimize the website experience.

Another way to take action on customer data is by marrying datasets and technologies together to provide the perfect experience for consumers. One way that iPerceptions is achieving this is with our Active Recognition Technology which scales customer feedback to the speed and velocity of big data to recognize the intent and experiences of anonymous visitors in real-time. Then, by injecting this data directly into a Demand Side Platform (DSP), organizations can align content and bidding strategies to visitor intent to create more relevant retargeting campaigns. Marrying datasets with different technologies and connecting different data streams together are just some of the ways companies can move from apathy to action.

Effectively leveraging emerging technologies

Today we live in an interconnected world powered by digital technology. Harnessing the power of these technologies is a key ingredient in delivering an experience that consumers expect. One way is by delivering a more personalized experience using immerging technologies such as beacon technology. Beacon technology presents retailers with a big opportunity to bring personalization and recommendations into the store experience. According to a Business Insider article, “Since beacon-powered apps will collect valuable data on consumers’ in-store activity, they could result in highly personalized and targeted offers.”

Another way of providing a seamless experience is through wearable technologies which already have adoption rates that are on par with the adoption rate of tablets in 2012, according to Price Waterhouse Cooper. A great example of using this type of technology to provide a better experience is the introduction of the MagicBand to Disney World. MagicBand is Disney’s own wearable tech that provides access to just about everything in the park with just a wave of your hand. By taking an emerging technology, Disney has transformed the experience for Disney world visitors.

The customer experience is mission critical today and can’t be ignored. As the customer experience becomes a growing priority, programs need to focus on creating a customer-centric culture from the front-line to the c-suite. Also focus on taking action on customer data and effectively leveraging technology will put the company on the road to success. 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Duff Anderson
Duff Anderson is a visionary in digital Voice of the Customer research with over 20 years' experience. As SVP and Co-founder at iPerceptions, Duff is responsible for providing expert advice to organizations on how to gain a competitive advantage across the digital customer lifecycle and become more customer-centric.


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