Customer experience is the new global currency for companies looking to invest in differentiation and growth. Best-in-class firms have leaped in eagerly, capturing customer feedback at every touchpoint, closing the loop quickly and integrating efforts across their entire organization.
There are many different theories on how to build and sustain a customer experience program, and advancing technology continues to provide lots of cutting-edge measurement, reporting and planning tools. However, understanding foundational components is essential for company leadership as they look to adopt best practices. Here are five basic concepts to help firms raise their CX game.
Digital Feedback and Measurement
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Feedback has always been critical to improving the customer experience. Companies that utilize the many tools and options available to capture and analyze their customers’ feedback at the time of the experiences will enable themselves to provide better responses.
Currently, the major arena of customer engagement is digital. This is particularly crucial for millennials, who often initially reach out to companies through non-traditional channels like social media and chat apps. The process of understanding the barriers to customer happiness and conversion happens through a firm’s digital presence, and capturing feedback through those channels is crucially important.
But understanding is merely a prerequisite to as customer experience leaders can then use specific measurements and insights gleaned from those interactions to provide data-based coaching, upgrade the experience through A/B/n testing and drive greater satisfaction and productivity. These digital tools give customer experience teams even greater ability to close the loop with customers, as well.
Finding Key Drivers and Root Causes
Organizations that want to improve their CX need to understand why their customers are unhappy in the first place. Reactive responses are valuable, but finding the root of a problem and engaging a more proactive approach will help firms understand the key drivers and predict how their actions and decisions will impact customers.
When companies capture customer experience data – whether following a transaction or at another key moment in the customer journey – it opens the door for customers to indicate their level of satisfaction, highlighting the critical elements and sharing what could be done to improve. Merging that information with operational data will give organizations a much deeper understanding of what is driving their customers’ behavior.
Finding root causes, on the other hand, increasingly requires organizations to turn to statistical analysis. With the sheer volume increase in data over the last decade – and more to come in the future – advanced tools like machine learning and artificial intelligence are making it easy for companies to identify correlation, understand variables and evaluate statistical significance.
Customer experience platforms divide and embed relevant metrics for each level of the organization, which is a best practice for customer experience. Role-specific dashboards give the right information to the right teams and individuals as they need it, helping each group optimize their operations and provide the best possible customer outcomes.
This subdivision of relevant data means executives see the high-level business and operational metrics, as well as an overview of key drivers. Managers have access to team performance data and coaching insights. Customer-facing employees see account-level detail and receive action items based on real-time feedback.
As new data is captured by a firm’s CX program, it should be disseminated across the entire organization. Every piece of information is pertinent to every employee, and at different levels of focus. Sales organizations could see customer feedback and win rate drivers, whereas contact center teams benefit from customer satisfaction numbers together with resolution and productivity metrics. The proper division of data lets leadership direct efforts and make decisions with full context.
Closing the Loop with Everyone
Companies with strong CX will close the loop with all customers, not just those with negative feedback. Utilizing a feedback case management system that integrates with CRM systems helps by merging customer follow-up with standard account management practices. This provides a holistic view of open feedback tickets combined with account information, improving contact with each customer.
Case management systems can provide teams with efficient, actionable tools they need to track open tickets and respond to individual customers. This also enables automated responses like alerts and surveys based on specific conditions, resulting in improved front-line responsiveness. Integrated systems with mobile capabilities further enable people to be productive anytime, anywhere.
Managers have their own tools to track tickets, and see individual and team metrics. This not only ensures their teams are closing the loop with everyone efficiently and effectively, but empowers team leaders to improve performance and coach their employees with data.
Integrating operations across an organization is crucial to ensuring customer measurement leads to tactical action. In addition to CRM systems mentioned above, communication tools and analytics programs can help drive adoption and encourage best practices.
Communication tool integrations also provide an additional incentive for organizational adoption. By allowing relevant users to easily view and discuss customer data, teams are able to collaborate and take action in ways that are natural.
Analytics applications integrate complex operational data with customer feedback to provide valuable insights and context. This also lets companies determine their online customer needs based on mass profile and behavioral data, and helps teams build segment profiles and understand how certain variables correlate.
Great CX Impacts the Bottom Line
Leadership that only measures CX to get a score is missing the point. Making customers happy is not just about putting smiles on faces; any business ethos needs to provide financial value to the company. By tying improvements and enhanced experiences to key financial metrics that matter — like cost to acquire customers, share of wallet and customer lifetime value — companies can benefit from customer experience programs.