Businesses that are not born in the digital age find it difficult to turbocharge their Customer Experience (CX) using technology and innovation. However, it’s time they invested in understanding their customer’s needs and expectations from a CX perspective. They also need to start benchmarking against the innovative experiences their customers have – whether or not they compete with the products or services offered by those providing the experience – because that’s what customers compare them to and wish they would be.
Before embarking on a journey to transform the CX, you must study your customers and what they really want, in order to gain some perspective about what your CX should look like.
Here are the first steps you need to follow to lay the groundwork and create the blueprint that will transform your CX:
1. Recognize where CX fits within the overall company offering and basis of competition within your specific industry, and ensure your management is aligned. To truly make CX an important part of your customer experience, you need to align the different management layers, right from the chief of the organization to the head of the different divisions.
2. Focus not just on the experience you want customers to have with your offerings, but also the feeling you wish to create about those offerings. To build a truly lasting bond in this new era, companies must work hard to not only earn a share of their customer’s wallets, but also a share of their hearts – which is why feelings play a larger and more prominent role in the crowded marketplace.
3. Look outside your sector for companies that provide great customer experiences. Inspiration can come from anywhere, especially from outside your industry. Uber disrupted public transportation despite being a technology company. So, look outside your sector to learn and improve what you deliver to your customers.
4. Determine how CX affects key business metrics. Performance indicators such as revenues, customer retention, cost-to-serve, reputation, and other key metrics need to be measured in order to know how effective your CX improvements are, and what is lacking.
5. Manage CX holistically. It is important to understand that your entire portfolio of offerings affects the CX you deliver, and so, you need to make sure that delighting your customers is not the sole mission of your front-end executives but also of your back-end staff.
6. Monitor CX hot spots. Be on the lookout for areas of your business that offer the most positive or negative CX, such as POS terminals at your retail outlets to quickly resolve problems.
7. Maintain a laser-like focus on influencers and other high-profile customers. Track your brand on social media and the conversations surrounding it, and use such data to inform how you react to customer feedback in the digital space.
Organizations seeking to thrive in the new-age marketplace must get cracking on their CX right now. Playing catch-up once the opportunity has passed will be difficult, as will be wooing back unhappy customers. To become a frontrunner in the CX race, you need to wow your customers with smart solutions designed swiftly and implemented quickly – and the first steps listed above will help lay a strong foundation to achieve this. To get on the fast track to improving your CX, read my article Forget Everything You Know About Bricks and Clicks in Perspectives, our management journal.