How to win the Customer Experience race
With technology facilitating rapid innovation, it becomes much harder to develop and execute a customer experience strategy that’s effective. Companies that leverage technology to offer a top-notch customer experience as one of their core products to gain an edge over the competition have the most to benefit.
According to a recent study published by Gartner, leaders in the app sector that support CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and CX (Customer Experience) are facing a new challenge – the development of a wider portfolio capable of facilitating a customer-centric business landscape.
More than just convenience
As digital initiatives become common, a better customer experience is something that will come to be expected as default. So, a dependence on “up and coming” technologies such as machine learning or AI (Artificial Intelligence) isn’t going to cut it.
There needs to be an inclusion of qualities such as customer empathy within technology-driven processes.
In the Gartner study, it was found that fragmentation with regard to CX was a problem affecting most organizations. Most of these organizations had processes that were disorganized, disconnected, or functioned on an ad hoc basis. The existing deficiency in an effective company-wide CX strategy is a problem that will see around 30% of digital business initiatives going down the drain.
The best CX
According to Olive Huang, VP of Research at Gartner, there are a few common traits that set apart organizations known to provide outstanding CX. This includes a culture consisting of engaged employees (achieved through cultivation), an ability to hear the customer out, a goal to consistently improve CX, and the practice of analyzing feedback and responding to customers.
Huang believes that, for a company to win the CX race, it must have a well-defined CX vision that is also customer-centric. Also, the vision needs to be communicated across the organizational spectrum.
Ideally, there must be a Chief Customer Officer (CCO) to execute the vision and manage the flow of information between operations and marketing. The company must focus on a CX that also highlights their commitment.
The current CX being delivered must be measured against the new CX vision.
There must be a move towards experience management, which involves measuring loyalty, satisfaction, and emotional connection. Attentiveness to the customer is a core aspect of effective experience management and it is achieved through analyzing feedback (inferred, direct, and indirect). This helps businesses meet customer needs in real-time.
The next step is to cultivate a culture of engaged employees, as there is a correlation between customer satisfaction and increased engagement among employees. For instance, Gartner’s study found that the more engaged an employee is, the likelier he/she is to offer good customer service and cooperate within a team setting.