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Do you even CX?
By Lance Webb, Head of Customer Experience, AsureQuality
The first step to creating a customer experience strategy is to have a clear customer-centric vision that defines what customer experience means to your organization. Don’t think like a customer, be a customer. If your company is to really understand what your customers need, want and desire, you need to connect and empathise with the interactions and situations they go through on a daily basis. There are a few ways to do this; Create customer personas- personas reflect and represent a customer segment or audience detailing demographics, key traits, goals, tasks, pain points and an overall personality. By creating customer personas, marketing teams can create campaigns targeting a specific persona’s and your customer services team can recognize who they are and understand them better. By deeply understanding your customer’s persona, you will be better equipped to manage all that comes with their personality. You can start will creating one persona, but ultimately you should end up with a stack of personas as your customers evolve and grow. They are also a great tool to use internally for training and development and a very important step to truly becoming a customer-centric organization. Customer Journey Mapping- To deliver a unified and memorable experience for your customers you need to understand not only your customers’ expectations, goals and problems, but the steps they need to go through to get there. This will require observation, listing touch points, utilizing your customer personas to make it real and even experiencing the journey for yourself. Focusing on your customers’ journey will create ‘light bulb moments’ and have significant flow-on effects for customer loyalty, satisfaction, retention and the ability to act with urgency and accuracy if something goes wrong. Customer journeys can be broken down into specific products or customer moments so teams can focus on areas that will have the most impact. Act on customer and employee feedback. How do you know you are delivering a great customer experience to your customers? You ask them and while you’re at it, ask your staff too. Both are critical! When aligned, it allows you to see trends and focus on the things that will create the biggest impact in the shortest time. But when not aligned, you run the risk of focussing on the wrong things at the wrong time and feeling like you are fighting fires the entire time. Your frontline employees play a key role in the customer journey, delivering your services and gathering vital customer and process information on what could be improved. At AsureQuality, we deliver an annual employee survey where we capture important feedback on how engaged our people are and what we can do to enable them to deliver better experiences for our customers. To support the action planning process off the back of the employee feedback and to put things into perspective to what your teams go through on a daily basis, I would highly recommend to any senior leader to spend a day in the life of a front line staff member. It can be truly eye-opening. Another way to get feedback is by sending a survey to customers post interaction measuring customer effort and get insights into what processes could be potentially automated. Of course, by making a phone call it would create the ability to gather deeper and insightful feedback. You can also then easily tie back feedback to a customer services agent or equivalent to show the value they bring to an experience. To show the value customer experience brings and to justify investment into technologies, process improvement and customer experience teams, a lot of organizations use the easily implemented NPS (Net Promotor Score) to gather feedback based on one question ’Would you recommend this company to a friend or relative?’. It is a credible way to benchmark the customer experience and be sure to include this metric in your business case to the executive team. A successful customer experience strategy will align and inspire an executive team and it sure does help when you have the executive team on board supporting. Invest in a Customer Relationship Management tool. As good as you may think your memory is, we are all human and our memories are not perfect. CRM is a system for recording and storing all information related to customer interactions and their behaviour. It has become a very important tool for engaging customers, managing relationships and even predicting their behaviour. So do you CX? Embrace the experience. Customer experience is here to stay and customer expectations are louder and higher than ever. The experience you deliver needs constant nurturing and attention. With an increased focus on delivering a customer experience strategy organizations will see the benefits of customer loyalty, higher retention and increased revenues. It’s got to start from somewhere and someone, why not you. See More: Top Travel and Hospitality Solution Companies