Mastering Customer Experience (CX) in the digital world is complex and difficult, look no further than the 72% of businesses who say that improving their CX program is their top priority. The term Customer Experience is thrown around a lot, and, while definitions and goals vary widely, the end goal of CX often remains the same - optimization of the interactions between your organization and your customers.
Whereas this is all easier said than done, there are certain themes that are common across all successful CX programs. Working with more than 80% of global brands, we’ve seen firsthand how CX programs vary and have helped organizations overcome their unique challenges. No two processes for transforming a CX program into an industry leading, profit generating, ROI machine are the same. However, there are a number of baseline efforts that CX leaders can execute to ensure their program starts off on the right path. In this two-part blog series, we will cover eight key efforts to help any marketer plan a successful CX program.
First and foremost, for your CX program to succeed, fear and resistance to change must be eliminated. CX is all about change, and demands agility and adaptability to be successful. An organization must be willing and able to change quickly, adapting their ways of thinking to be focused on the customer.
The most successful CX programs encourage change and reward failure. Failure should be viewed as a learning process, or something you do in the process of improvement. Every failure takes CX one step forward in learning what works, what doesn’t, and what your customers really want.
Embracing change can be a difficult and frightening thing to do. Fear is a powerful motivator and is often the limiting factor keeping us from evolving, growing, and improving. Because of this, organizations must foster a culture that eliminates fear and encourages change. When you eliminate the fear of failure, you eliminate resistance to improvement. Ultimately, this will keep your organization nimble and able to quickly adapt to new paradigms, ensuring that you’ll be able to keep pace with your customers quickly evolving expectations.
Because CX touches all areas of an organization, it requires organizational support at all levels as well, beginning at the top. Becoming customer-centric is a difficult task that will take time and therefore requires the entire organization to support the transformation and new customer centric way of thinking.
Leadership must change their focus from transactional thinking to transformative-based thinking and foster this mindset throughout the organization. Aristotle summed this concept up perfectly when he said: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” The results from an entire organization working toward the common goal of becoming customer-centric is vastly greater than attempting to achieve the same goal otherwise.
A consensus must be achieved across the organization to drive the type of change needed to become a customer-centric organization. Leadership must be informed and trained to understand the customer-centric mentality and this must be passed onto every person within the organization. Ultimately, the more widely supported your CX program is across the company, the more successful it will be.
CX is about changing the nature and mindset of an organization. This shift in thinking requires a significant amount of effort and ongoing maintenance to achieve. Having the right combination of technology and software helps, but without the right people, all the tools in the world will do you no good.
Many organizations allocate significant financial resources to their analytics tools in search of the elusive secret sauce, with the thinking that the right tool is all they need. While technology and software can help, the true secret sauce lies in the hands of the people running the technology and performing the analysis. People are what allow you to transform your organization into something great, technology is simply the tool that people use to get there.
A good rule of thumb is for every dollar spent on technology and software, an organization should be spending 8-9x on quality resources and analysts. For example, if you are spending 100k on analytics tools per year, you should be spending an additional 800-900k in analytics resources to extract the value from the data being collected.
Collecting terabytes of data and generating thousands of reports is meaningless without the quality analysts producing actionable insights. Actionable insights do not magically present themselves from analytics data, you need smart people who can integrate the diverse sources of analytics data together. The massive amount of analytics data we collect every day IS the problem and having the right resources to make sense of this data IS the solution.
With item 3 still in mind, successful CX programs do not stand on their own. CX involves both technology and people working together to be successful and both pieces must be tightly integrated to drive the maximum value out of your CX program. Technology, management, teams and individuals must all work together to create an organization focused on becoming customer-centric.
Integration of your analytics solutions allows an organization to share and collaborate quickly and efficiently. CX solutions provide a more comprehensive view of the customer experience and this data can enhance and augment the data collected by other analytics solutions. Integrating data from multiple sources provides a more complete view of your customers and leads allowing for more actionable insights, better decisions, and an improved customer experience.
Until the cognitive capabilities of analytics solutions are mastered, people will remain the most important piece of the CX puzzle. However, people must be integrated, walls broken down, and silos eliminated when it comes to succeeding with all analytics programs, particularly CX. Understanding the true feelings, thoughts and actions of your customers helps build an organization that is responsive to the customers’ needs and wants. Integrating both technology and people achieves greater results and efficiencies, which translates into greater customer satisfaction, customer retention, and profitability.
Click here to go to part two of our CX Blog Series where we discuss how you can set clear goals, manage expectations, target quick wins, and measure your CX progress.