A shift is underway in the contact center industry as customers derive both power and…
- Business Practices
- Customer Experience
A Focused Approach to Customer Experience
- Christa Heibel
- 28 March 2018
- Customer Experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020. – Walker
- 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. – McKinsey
- 55 percent of consumers would pay more for a better customer experience. – Defaqto Research
- 72 percent of businesses say that improving the customer experience is their top priority. – Forrester
- Only 31 percent of organizations recognize and reward employees across the company for improving the customer experience. – Forrester Research
- Companies that excel at customer experience grow revenues 4-8 percent above the market. – Bain & Co.
- 62 percent of companies view customer experience delivered by the contact centers as a competitive differentiator. – Deloitte
- In the U.S., the estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service is $1.6 Trillion. – Accenture
Based on these stats, as well as your own professional insights, you have no doubt already developed and implemented a customer experience strategy at your own company. If this is the case, kudos to you! CX truly is the next battlefield on which businesses will compete for sales and long-term relevancy and success. The question now is, how do you maintain your efforts to ensure you are reaching your CX goals? The solution, as with many other long-term business solutions, involves establishing best practices and making them a routine part of everyday activities and long-term planning.
Although there’s no one correct way to reach your CX goals, research conducted by Forrester identified some proven tactics and boiled them down into six disciplines for its CX maturity framework. At CHCG, we’ve found this model can help companies improve CX over time, demonstrate cost savings and, with the resulting larger group of happy and loyal customers, realize increased revenue.
- Strategy: It’s not enough to merely say you are going to improve customer experience. You must have a sound CX plan that aligns with your company’s overall strategy, is shared across the organization and serves as a guide for making business-critical decisions.
- Customer Understanding: It’s imperative that you know your customer, and one of the best ways we have found to do this is through customer journey mapping, which includes developing customer personas and stepping into the shoes of your customer.
- Design: Using the journey map as a guide, identify the broad range of customer interactions at every touchpoint, including website, retail locations, customer service, etc.
- Measurement and Improvement: Using common contact center KPIs such as Net Promoter Score, Customer Satisfaction Score, Average Handle Time and Customer Effort Score, you can consistently track progress in order to manage the evolution of CX through the assignment of responsibilities and processes.
- Culture: The best way to reach your customer experience goals is to ensure that the importance of CX is understood and embraced throughout your organization. You can do this by creating shared values and behaviors that support your CX efforts through hiring, socialization and rewards.
Forrester further defined the path to CX maturity by identifying the phases that most companies follow in achieving their goals:
Phase 1: Fix what’s broken in your customer experience by prioritizing improvements and implementing coordinated improvements that measures results.
Phase 2: The newly-determined best practices become the new normal, where employees are rewarded for customer-centric behavior and CX improvements (and challenges) are shared transparently throughout the organization.
Phase 3: The CX strategy is optimized through the use of tools such as modeling the ideal CX experience, tying training programs to customer experience or developing an experience design.
Phase 4: At this point, your customer experience sets you apart from all competition, it’s the differentiator that gives you the advantage.
In an era when most products and services can be commoditized, brands need to continually improve their customer experiences in order to survive. These tactics and best practices can help set your company on the path to long-term survival. For more information on how CHCG can partner with you to design a customer experience strategy and long-term plan for goal attainment, contact me directly.