Top 10 Practices of Customer Experience Leaders


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I recently had the pleasure of keynoting two Contact Center Day conferences in Santiago, Chile and Lima, Perú. The events, attended by about 300 delegates, were organized by E-Contact, a contact center service provider that integrates Genesys and Interactive Intelligence technologies, among others.

Juan Carlos Bavestrello, Founder and Gerente General of E-Contact
Juan Carlos Bavestrello, Founder and Gerente General of E-Contact
Customer Experience (CX) thinking and investment is on the rise, based on speaking with E-Contact’s founder Juan Carlos Bavestrello (pictured right), conference sponsors, and delegates. As you might expect, for these events everyone was focused on customer service, but you can be sure I pointed out that this is not the only part of the complete customer experience.

While there is plenty of talk about improving the customer experience, and general head nodding that “someday” it can pay off in customer satisfaction, revenue growth and shareholder value, privately people told me that managing cost is still critical. I think the low-hanging fruit in Chile and Perú is fixing customer service issues that add extra effort to the customer (decreasing customer sat) and the agent (increasing cost). Using FCR seems to be growing in popularity and was promoted by some of the other presenters.

The bulk of my presentation was devoted to the CX practices that differentiate better-performing companies. To prepare, I pulled data from my recent customer-centric benchmark study, which studied 25 different practices across five broad themes of customer listening, analytics, employee empowerment, innovation and customer delight.

Here are the top 9 most relevant and (statistically) significant CX practices linked to better business performance, grouped into three broad categories:

1. Understand Customer Loyalty Drivers
2. Get Feedback From Multiple Sources
3. Close Loop from Feedback to Action
4. Hire “Customer Friendly” People
5. Support with Tools, Info & Resources
6. Train to Deliver at “Moment of Truth”
7. Identify High Impact Interactions
8. Understand Role of People vs. Systems
9. Proactively Plan to Surprise Customers

And the 10th? Managers setting a good example!

(Note: the order of these practices does not indicate relative importance, nor the order in which they should be implemented. All were found to be statistically significant.)

As I said to these groups, what’s interesting about this list is that there are no “silver bullets.” CX leaders don’t have some magical practice that no one else has thought of. Furthermore, leaders aren’t doing a perfect job of executing on these practices, either.

What’s different about leaders vs. laggards is the completeness of executing against these practices. Leaders listen to customers, empower employees, and delight customers better. They do a better job of creating the organization “habits” which I discuss in my book Hooked On Customers.

Number 10 was a bit of a surprise in my study. I was expecting that measurement and reward programs would be key differentiators. Instead, respondents from the “leader” segment scored significantly higher on managers “walking the talk.”

I’ll be writing more about these practices in other posts. For now I’ll just say, for business leaders who want to turn CX good intentions into a real competitive advantage, they’ll need to hone these 10 practices, including showing they’re serious through personal behavior. Buena suerte!

Disclosure: E-Contact hired me to speak at the two conferences mentioned. No endorsement implied of companies mentioned in this post.


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