You know that focusing your company’s efforts on customer experience (CX) is the right thing to do, but that kind of transformation can be a big undertaking. With the right strategy and tools, big doesn’t have to be overwhelming. And soon, your brand could be connecting with your customers in ways you never imagined.
Forrester’s Customer Experience Index makes the case for CX transformation: Data shows that improving CX increases profitability and that great CX impacts both top- and bottom-line growth. When customers are more engaged and love the experience you provide, they’re much more willing to pay a price premium for what you’re offering.
And that matters in today’s world where consumers are flooded with choices everywhere — online and offline. Exponential numbers of products and services compete for their attention, but what can set yours apart is the connection your brand forges with your customers.
If you’re new to CX, your company is just developing its CX strategy, or you’re looking for ways to reach and engage more customers, these five tips can help you set up for success.
Make it a group effort
Shifting your approach to CX so that it’s customer-centric is an effort that requires the buy-in and collaboration of people at all levels of your company, from executives to customer-facing employees. But it takes more than just communicating expectations and aligning around outcomes. From the top down, teams in all areas of the organization need to be empowered to take action and change the way they make decisions to put the customer at the forefront.
Recognize it’s a marathon, not a sprint
Your company may be undertaking a cultural and behavioral change by implementing a new CX strategy. That takes time and involves researching, understanding, planning and implementing; even after making improvements to the experience, you may not see a return right away. This is a long-term investment in the company’s livelihood — and key people need to know this and be prepared for it.
Don’t rush your research
Research provides the best value when it’s customized to the needs of the business. To truly understand a customer’s journey and uncover nuanced motivations and needs that can set you apart from competitors, it’s worth it to invest the time in a multi-dimensional, more immersive approach. This will provide deeper insights into your customers, help you understand the why and how in addition to the what and arm your organization with information that is far more meaningful — and actionable — than summarized or anecdotal feedback.
Take into account multiple metrics
To fully understand what’s happening during a customer’s experience, businesses need to examine several pieces of data — not just one. For example, if rethinking a retail return policy, look to multiple sources and consider all customer touchpoints:
- How many returns are you processing?
- What are call center tracks telling you?
- Has any feedback about the process been shared on the company’s social media channels?
Thinking holistically and looking across all of the information will provide a more complete picture of the situation and better guide the team in understanding the source of the problem.
Leverage both positive and negative feedback
Customers are often prompted to share feedback after a positive experience, and at times, negative feedback is attributed to external factors or rewritten to tell a more positive story. By prioritizing positive results, your view into the customer experience is limited and can result in missed opportunity.
Invite and embrace all types of feedback — both positive and negative — to help identify and understand customer wants, needs, expectations and ideals. Don’t shy away from negative feedback – dig deeper to identify the root cause and leverage your collection of metrics to better understand the whole story. Doing so will provide teams with actionable insights and drive more customer-centric decision-making.
Your CX strategy can set you apart
Understanding the ideal customer experience and bringing it to life is an exciting undertaking for any business. It’s also an opportunity for your brand to shine. If you can offer an experience that resonates with your customers’ needs in a way that others can’t, you will stand out from your competitors and earn your customers’ loyalty.