For many companies, the truthful answer is no. Many companies still need to focus on customer experience management and have yet to fully map out every step of their customer’s journey. This blind spot is going to be a major issue for companies moving forward as customer expectations for their experiences with brands only get higher.
It’s time to transform your customer experience strategy and make every experience completely effortless, from the customer community to the contact center. When every interaction is uniquely tailored to customers’ intent and context, you’re delighting your customers – and growing revenue, decreasing operations costs and so much more.
How do you improve the customer experience?
Step 1: Build a culture of obsessing over every aspect of customer experience (CX).
It starts with your culture.
When you use a good customer experience for every single customer as your North Star, this goal will weave through every fabric of your business, from how individual performance metrics are calculated to even how you speak about your business and its goals.
Everyone should obsess over the metrics that speak to customers’ needs: customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and more. If you know your customers need fast interactions, like a coffee shop chain, operations metrics should focus on the efficiency of customer transactions, HR should reward employees who make it happen. Everything shifts to the eyes of the customer – and the results have lasting implications.
F5 Networks’ transition to a SaaS model meant that they needed to focus more on the customer experience of their customers – and make sure that every interaction counted.
For many companies, this means providing a robust program for support – and not just in your store or call center. In fact, 53% of customers reported that they will abandon an online purchase if they can’t find quick answers online. Make sure your website community and other online properties is able to anticipate your customers’ needs and predict what they will need next.
This is where the real work of CX strategies begin. Many companies traditionally break apart the customer experience and customer relationship between marketing, merchandising, operations, supply chain, store operations, digital, etc. But for customers, it’s all one continuous impression your brand leaves on them and it needs to be one journey.
For example, don’t keep your customer support siloed into one department when customers will try to find answers on all channels. Instead of focusing on your call center as your one-stop shop for getting customers answered, think about how your operations will change if you built a robust online support community and measured the case deflection rate.
It’s not enough to just tell employees and invest in the community; you also have to communicate and get them on board with the larger goal of delivering on the customer experience. This is supposed to be a radical shift in your thinking; don’t discount it by only making surface-level changes, yet letting the old thinking and philosophies remain in place. Your customers’ perceptions will change radically as well.
Step #2: Build a single, unified view of the customer journey.
How many systems do you have for measuring your customer KPIs?
If you work at the average organization, the answer is somewhere around 36, according to a study from Forbes Insights and Sitecore. And how exactly are you supposed to construct a single view when data is spread between so many different silos is poisoning your ability to build a foundation for understanding your customers’ needs at each moment and interaction with your brand.
Start by breaking apart the silos and unifying your data to gain a more detailed understanding of your users. Build a customer journey map (based on their real data) from first hearing about your product to signing the contract. Don’t leave any stone unturned.
Once you build this, start looking into their motivations at each step of the process and really start understanding their mindset and job to be done. Start creating these customer journey maps for each of your key buyers and then start to optimize every part of their experience.
Step #3 Measure and then optimize every aspect of your customer experience.
The goal of your customer experience transformation is to focus on every moment of your customer’s journey – and the ROI has definitely been proven for undertaking this effort. When done correctly, you’re able to deliver a truly personalized experience to every customer and use all of your data. The results are real:
- Personalized emails generate six times higher transaction rates. Just imagine what you could do when you spread that increase to your website, product pages, and more.
- 86 percent of customers will pay more for better customer support and customers spend more based on past experiences. A study from Harvard Business Review found that customers who rated their previous experiences the highest spent 140 percent more than their counterparts who reported the worst previous experiences.
- Delivering a poor experience is hurting your brand – and you may not even realize it without angry customers’ feedback. Angry customers generate anti-referrals via word of mouth that you may not even realize.
When your customers are used to having everything tailored and catered to their needs, they won’t expect anything less from your brand, no matter how much they like your products. Once you become a customer centric company, you’re better able to delight them with every interaction and turn them into loyal customers.
While considering your customer experience strategy, it’s important to consider how relevant you are to your customers. Download our white paper, “From Relevance Laggard to Leader: Becoming more relevant to your customers, communities and staff” to gauge how relevant you are, and learn what the next steps are for relevance maturity.