By Dan Gordon, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Development
Consider this: By 2020, customer experience (CX) will overtake price and product in terms of overall value to brand differentiation. Why? Because in today’s mobile world, solid CX represents real money. More than ever before, customers are turning to the Internet to self-serve and conduct research before ever reaching out to your brand. Now, by the time they pick up the phone and dial your IVR or send a text message, they are operating from a level of understanding that requires you to know more too — specifically about them. And if you don’t, they will take their business elsewhere and find someone who does.
As customers continually evolve and fluidly define the types of customer experiences they expect, even some of the most well planned CX game plans are destined to fail because they lack a coherent investment strategy and the necessary resources it will take to execute.
Listen to this recording of my recent CRM Xchange presentation to learn more about what it takes to stay ahead of the curve. Then, check out these five steps to start immediately optimizing your CX:
- Evaluate where you are today. A major mistake decision-makers commonly make is trying to incorporate the next big technology without any idea where their CX currently stands as it is. Avoid putting the cart before the horse and learn from the data currently at your disposal. Focus on current objectives and position yourself strategically.
- Get to know your customers. They want and expect that you recognize them. Map your customers’ journeys and listen to them on social media to develop an understanding of their attitudes, behaviors and triggers. Then, develop a calculated communication strategy to close gaps.
- Understand how your customers interact with you. Are the interactions within their entire journey with your brand functional, accessible and enjoyable? A customer’s experience with you doesn’t end after a single conversation. Learn their preferred methods of communication and plan to invest in a CX strategy that leverages (and continually builds upon) customer data to optimize interactions across multiple channels.
- Look at your metrics. Are they giving you a full picture of what’s important to your customers? Analyze things such as Average Handle Time, Abandon Rate, Customer Satisfaction Ratings, and descriptive metrics around what happened in an interaction to lay a groundwork for predicting what customers’ next steps will be in the future.
- Get your employees on board. Extraordinary CX is built from the outside in (understanding customers), but implemented from the inside out. To build a customer centric company culture, you must first set consistent CX standards across the organization, hire candidates with a customer-first mentality, reward customer centric behaviors and make employee training a top priority.
Ready to take the next step towards building a truly connected customer experience? Schedule some time with a customer experience specialist to learn how West can help you identify opportunities to make connections smarter, faster and more personal.