Successful strategy is often about executing plans to develop differentiation between existing competitors.
In the digital era, there is a growing consensus that most impactful differentiation depends on customer experience delivered to customers.
Today’s strategy for success needs to increasingly focus more on customer experience management initiatives. Here are seven that I think would be important. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I would welcome your inputs on additional ones.
1. Channel Unification
Customer interactions with service providers typically occur across multiple channels. From the customer’s perspective, the expectation is that the experience across channels will be consistent. This can be achieved only when service providers have a strategy in place to unify their channels, and then execute on that.
2. Monitoring Customer Experience
Collecting feedback and Voice of Customer (VoC) are examples of techniques that are increasingly important to monitor the customer experience on a regular basis, across customer touch points, and at every stage of the customer journey. In my opinion, Service Providers would do well to incorporate “Customer Experience Data Collection Platforms” as part of their IT initiatives.
3. Process Optimization – Trouble to Resolve
It’s not enough to monitor customer experience and attempt to resolve issues, concerns and complaints. What’s important is to constantly optimize the Trouble to Resolve processes so that customers see a steady reduction in the cycle time it takes for their complaints to be addressed.
4. Proactive Customer Care
Why wait until a customer complains? Advanced Customer Experience Management strategies include the ability to predict when customers are going to be unhappy, and proactively initiating actions that can address the issues. A typical example is that of the telecom service provider monitoring signal quality and ‘call drops’ and proactively messaging the customer with an apology (and perhaps some incentive).
5. Customer Profiling / Analytics
It’s time for organizations to really begin to know their customers. With the number of customer touchpoints and interactions exploding due to the digital age, there is enormous amounts of customer data available. Studies have shown that customers will consent to sharing some of their data in anticipation of better services. Therefore profiling customers based on demographics, purchase patterns, and so on is becoming increasingly important.
6. Churn Analytics
Customer churn is a reality for any business. What’s important however is to be able to understand the reasons for churn, and fix whatever is possible. For example, you might have a mobile app that people are downloading but not using, or are uninstalling the app. Analysis of the reasons might point to a poor user experience, or perhaps insufficient functionality. Fixing this quickly can possibly address the issue before it is too late.
7. Precision Marketing
The one department that has maximum stake in the Customer Experience Management area is marketing. However nothing can be more annoying to a customer than a marketing message that’s ill timed, has poor content, and no relevance to the recipient.
The optimum customer experience is when marketing messages are precise and personalized to the customer. For example, in the e-commerce space, most customers today would expect recommendations based on their past purchases rather than generic promotions and recommendations.
Good reminders. I would add that once the customer is delighted by a personalized customer experience, a nice reminder/communication summary of the value they are receiving, along with a “thank you” may build more relationship chemistry.
Excellent article on customer experience management. One thing that many companies get wrong is the consistency between different channels of business. Online, in store, on the phone; it should all be consistent. Anything less erodes the customer’s confidence.
Great article with very good points to succeed in providing great customer experience. Like Shep pointed out, not many companies provide consistent experience in different channels.This is also linked to precision marketing / selling. For example doing online shopping using a computer you would expect that the cart content is kept when you switch to iPad so that selection process doesn’t need to be repeated. Personalization is also important when solving customer’s problems. I have one recent example with digital magazines where the September issue was not delivered as it should have. Issue was solved, but it was really frustrating to go through the same discussion and same things-to-check list with service reps in November when the delivery failure happened again
You have covered almost all the important points to consider for a better customer experience management. One more thing that I would like to add here is to follow up with emails to know their experience with your products and what improvement they want to see in their next purchase. This can even help keep them satisfied and loyal, as customers feel valued when you reach them with suggestions to improve. Overall a very good article. Thanks for sharing.
Great article @Flavio! I would definitely add churn analytics part to my business because it’s important to understand the reasons for being churned. This helps in targeting that specific customer and working around to resolve its problem. It’s a perfect bucket of initiatives listed by the author.