A lot is involved to effectively shorten the time between setting your business goals and meeting customers’ needs. It all depends on how you organize your customer experience (CX) strategy.
Bear in mind CX is more than just customer service. Customer service typically refers to how your salesperson deals with your customers. However, CX concerns all the touch points, and is everyone’s job — from advertising and salespeople to credit-card payment flow to delivery drivers.
Yes, CX has to do with how prospects perceive your business. Customer perceptions result from every interaction they have with your business.
Let’s not neglect mentioning your UX strategy – the approach and plan for digital products to improve the touchpoints in your user experiences.
CX also involves perceptions from not even contacting your business such as feedback from family and friends, and even seeing your trucks on the freeway. (Yes, your delivery drivers will either create positive or negative impressions. Are they speeding, tail-gating or weaving in and out of traffic?)
The bottom-line: You must align your business operations to a common goal of enhancing your overall CX.
Here are the basics in implementing a positive CX program:
No. 1 – Discover how your brand is perceived.
Identify your company values, customer values and how they create opportunities for growth.
Investigate via interviews, surveys, reviews and web analytics of your customers. Next, check your employee attitudes about your business.
The investigative work must include all facets and functions of your company. Leadership is needed from the chief executive officer, chief marketing officer, chief information officer and chief financial officer.
No. 2 – Evaluate your mission, values and processes.
Determine your effectiveness in keeping and attracting customers. Examine your strategies for growth such as launching new services and products.
Determine whether you’re delivering on your brand’s promises. A thorough look at the promises of your brand’s image and messaging and whether you need to make enhancements.
Next, evaluate your business processes to see how they affect your customers path to buying. Sophistication requires developing an ecosystem map of the technology needed to assess and enhance your CX strategy.
No. 3 – Review your competition and the rest of your marketplace.
Understand your competition –their strengths and weaknesses.
Research their success with customers, growth, and other factors.
Determine how this information can help your CX strategies.
No. 4 – Align all your business processes to aid your CX opportunity.
Identify your assets – personnel and otherwise – along with any gaps. Look for problems to solve that are hidden from view. Develop and implement plans to reach your goals.
No. 5 – Develop a complete picture to collect and analyze your customers’ data.
Creating a customer journey map – a diagram of all the touchpoints – will help you determine how to improve in meeting customers’ needs and improving the pain points they encounter with your business.
Your map should include interactions with your employees, processes and technologies.
Again, all of this to give you critical insights for a gap analysis in your new CX strategy.
No. 6 – After creating your vision, develop SMART criteria.
To deal with your competitive threats, create opportunities with the five SMART criteria: Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
You’ll want to obtain a deeper customer understanding, implement meaningful customer interactions, enhance improvements at every touchpoint, improve your marketing, enhance your capabilities in analytics, become more agile and develop a permanent foundation for customer relationships.
No. 7 – Implement your CX strategy.
Your road map to success should include key performance indicators (KPIs) for tactics to achieve your goals.
KPIs are needed to create credibility – empathetic customer experiences and strategies – and to measure your successes.
Don’t forget your brand messaging to create lasting positive impressions.
No. 8 – Gauge effectiveness of your CX strategy.
By using KPIs and three metrics, track your business-value data sources.
Descriptive metrics are needed to understand the when, where, why and how you’re succeeding.
Perceptive metrics will help you understand how your business is perceived.
Outcome metrics enlighten you on how customers react to your company.
No. 9 – Maximize your CX program.
For sustainability, your work isn’t done. Remember you must continue these initiatives.
You’ll always face new marketplace trends, consumer-behavioral changes, unexpected competition and ever-evolving technology.
Continue to monitor your strategies and finetune them as necessary.
From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks:
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“The simple act of saying ‘thank you’ is a demonstration of gratitude in response to an experience that was meaningful to a customer or citizen.”