Customer Experience is a simple phrase that subtly captures the entire, complex interaction between a customer and a business. For typical product design cycles, focused areas of responsibility are easy to identify: Engineering owns functionality, Sourcing owns costs, Testing owns reliability, and so forth. But who owns customer experience?
Answer: The entire team.
While the answer is simple, the implementation is not. But truly world-class teams ensure that every member completes their core tasks while also finding ways to contribute to customer experience.
Team members must recognize that customer experience is a broad brush stroke encompassing all areas of the product life cycle, including : first awareness (advertising / brochures), purchase, usage, support, warranty, and end of life phase-out. Then, hopefully back around to a repurchase/replace phase.
Basic methods for achieving full team contributions to overall customer experience are:
Be The Customer
Every team member must be a customer of the product or service they deliver. All sales and contact center agents should go through the normal channels to purchase the product or sign up for service. They should examine the packaging and read the instructions. Does it make sense? Is the font too small? Then use the product. Call support and ask questions. And most importantly, write down every possible area of improvement to share with the rest of the company departments that contribute to the product or service life-cycle. This list must be reviewed with the full team to decide which findings will result in actions. While individual team members often undervalue their observations, the reality is that countless customers will feel the same way, so the learnings gained from internal resources are invaluable and can avoid costly mistakes.
See The Customer
Surprisingly, a large number of employees have never witnessed a customer use the product or service they support. This exercise is one of the most important – and least used – opportunities in business. Online surveys have their place, but there is no substitute for feet on the street. Provide free product to local customers who will let your employees observe the customer experience firsthand for a few hours. Again, team members must deliver a list of potential improvements based on their observations.
Hear The Customer
Customer phone calls with service centers contain a wealth of information for improving overall customer experience. Many calls represent information that was difficult to find, a product feature that is confusing, or a manufacturing process which has caused a problem.
Forrester reports that 42% of service agents are unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces, and multiple applications. And, another report shares that just 7% of consumers say that customer service experiences they have with companies typically exceed their expectations.
Recent advances in speech analytics solutions allows companies to quickly and automatically index calls for trend analysis, script compliance, quality assurance and more. The data contained in phone conversations with customers can be invaluable to building or improving the customer experience.
With a small investment in cloud-based technology, rather than on-premise solutions, business can capture insights on the customer experience and turn that data into actionable results by making process changes, training and empowering employees to deliver excellent customer service, build lasting relationships, which ultimately will have a positive impact on the ROI and bottom line revenue.
Access resources and information about improving the customer experience using audio mining technologies.