In our previous post we went in detail around what cx metrics are available and which would be right for your business. This week we wanted to look more at what makes a good cx strategy. So once you have decided which metric or metrics you are going to use, how should you go about it and what are the key elements of a successful strategy?
Remind me again, what is Customer Experience?
Ok let’s take a quick step back and briefly explain what Customer Experience (or CX) actually is. CX can be defined by interactions between a customer and an organization throughout their business relationship. It is hugely important, as a customer who has a positive experience is more likely to remain loyal and recommend your company.
So you’re talking about Customer Service right?
Although it may sound like Customer Experience and Customer Service are similar they should actually be treated differently. One way to look at it is that customer service is reactive whereas customer experience is pro-active. You are actively trying to make dealing with your business as easy as possible and removing barriers to the customer journey before the customer is even aware they exist.
Ok, I get it now – so what were you going to say about what makes a good CX strategy?
Let’s count down our top 10 tips on ways that you can create a great customer experience strategy. These tips will help you improve customer satisfaction, increase revenues and reduce customer churn. To help keep you interested we even have a song to represent each point.
The Top Ten
1. Have a vision
In order to have a truly successful strategy you need a companywide customer-focused vision. If it helps why not create a set of statements to act as a guiding principle. Once you have your principles in place, they can be used to help drive the behaviour within your organization.
2. Get Emotional
Try to create an emotional connection with your customer. Emotions shape the attitudes that drive decisions and emotionally attached customers become loyal as they remember how they feel when they use a service or a product. Emotionally engaged customers are more likely to recommend you, more likely to repurchase and less price sensitive. The woman in the video certainly seems to appreciate this aspect of the customer experience.
3. Understand your customer
Understanding who your customer is and what drives the decisions they make is a great step towards your teams connecting and empathizing with the situations that customers may face. Try creating customer personas. Give them a name and personality and place those customers in different stages of their journey. How would they be feeling at this point? What would help them?
4. Measure Return
So you are putting all this effort into improving customer experience but what exactly has it achieved? Well, you will find the answer in your business results. It may appear tricky at times to directly associate a return and that is why a lot of companies look to metrics like Net Promoter Score. This means you have a clear metric to track and can see the results of any changes you make reflected in your improved metrics scores. There have been lots of studies to prove the link between increased NPS ratings and increased revenue but you need to look at a number of business results and get a true picture of the overall improvements across the company.
You are certainly hoping for more than a ‘slight return’.
5. Capture Feedback in real-time
Actually asking your customers how they feel is a hugely important (and strangely often overlooked) aspect of customer experience. When is the best time to ask a customer how they feel? How about right now. We often become too focused on the post-sale feedback request but that is only measuring one moment of time. Give the customer the opportunity to let you know how they feel when they want.
This was the best I could find – let me know if you have a better choice!
6. follow the Customer Journey
Following on from the point above – it is important to try and measure how the customer feels throughout the customer journey and not just a week after they have completed a sale. They might forget specifics of what happened but they will not forget how it made them feel and you might be missing out on hugely valuable insight. Allow your customer to feedback at a time that suits them. Set triggers at key points in your customer journey to ensure you are improving every aspect of the process.
7. Act on employee feedback
Engaged employees lead to satisfied customers and satisfied customers lead to engaged employees. It is the circle of life (no that is not a weak link to the song below). Don’t just survey your employees once a year and do nothing from the results. Engage them in your customer experience strategy. They probably already know some pain points for the customers and have some great ideas for improvements. Try to introduce an environment where they can leave continuous feedback all year round.
You might even get feedback as creative as this:
8. BIG Boss Buy In
Leaders within an organization need to demonstrate through their actions that they believe in CX. They also need to continue to demonstrate this every single day. If the powers that be don’t buy in to the importance of customer experience, then what chance does the organization as a whole stand?
9. Get Personal
Forget big data and start worrying about the little people. Customers just want to feel like they actually matter to you and one great way to achieve that is to interact with them in a truly personalized way. Where possible add customization to your interactions such as the customer name, order number, product etc and tailor the experience to the customer. Don’t go overboard and freak them out by revealing every little detail you know about them. Use just enough data to show them that you are trying to treat them as an individual and that you care about them specifically.
10. Take Action
Collecting feedback is great but if you don’t do anything with it then it is just a massive waste of time. Your strategy should create actionable insight with ownership. Also let your customers know that their feedback has been passed on. Even better, let them know if a change has actually come from it. How great would that be for the customer to actually get acknowledgment that not only were you listening but that you actually did something about it?
As the customers’ expectations continue to grow it is vital your customer experience strategy is agile and responsive. Today’s excellent service may well be tomorrows ‘ok’. You need to constantly be talking to your customers, measuring satisfaction and implementing change. Ensure you get buy in from your whole organization and put the customer’s emotion at the heart of your approach.
Be consistent in your approach. If companies don’t use the same core set of cx metrics across the organization then they will never be able to have a strong, common dialogue around CX.
Remember CX metrics are meaningless unless organizations use them to make decisions. You must also integrate your CX metrics into trade-offs during business discussions.
Implement a continuous strategy. Reviewing CX metrics only on a quarterly basis turns data into a backwards-looking scorecard. This isn’t a one time and your done kind of approach, you must continue to monitor, measure and improve.
Final Sales Spiel
If you are looking for tools to help you measure and improve customer experience, then Wizu can help. Wizu offers a refreshingly engaging way to collect customer feedback by inviting your customers to a conversation with a customized chatbot. You can still measure metrics like NPS, CSAT and CES but Wizu also helps you get deeper and understand customer’s emotions. Conversations can be had throughout the customer journey and feedback can easily be turned into actions.
Wizu can use any customer data you have within the conversation to offer a truly personalized experience and has a range of dashboards to help you understand and react in real-time. Feel free to get in touch with us to find out more about Wizu and good luck on your journey to customer experience enlightenment.