"Creating the perfect customer experience program takes a lot of effort from a lot of stakeholders across an organization. Even with these elements in place, many organizations still struggle to design, operationalize and implement an effective CX program. Why is this?"
Customer experience (CX programs) are typically considered strategic, but they quickly deviate from corporate objectives and become just about monitoring CX metrics. Any organization can announce a CX program. The challenge lies in continually designing and improving experiences across the customer journey - experiences that delight your customers and drive loyalty.
A successful customer experience program involves a systematic approach to improving the way your business interacts with and provides value to, its customers. It involves listening to what your customers are saying about you and acting on the insights you gain. It's an ongoing, iterative process; it's not an event.
Even with these elements in place, many organizations still struggle to design, operationalize and implement an effective CX program. Why is this?
One reason is that managers still think of a customer experience program as a tool they can use in a one-off way by checking off boxes on a list. Customers don't think in terms of "the" customer experience - because each interaction is different, they experience each interaction that comes their way.
A successful CX program requires omnichannel support to maintain a unified brand experience. Modern customers use multiple channels to communicate, ask questions, and share feedback. When they reach out to you, how do they feel about the way you respond?
Managing these channels separately and not offering consistent customer service via multiple channels is a reason why many CX programs fail. Companies must make it easy for customers to use the channel they want, when they want it.
Another reason why many companies struggle with effective CX is that they lack flexibility when it comes to collecting feedback. They are still using outdated methodologies that don't work when managing today's modern customers.
For example, some companies hold annual surveys to obtain customer opinion. But how can you obtain accurate and honest information in a time frame so far removed from the issue? If they have experienced an issue five or six months ago, how do they even remember the details? Or maybe they're not in a position to share their experience (because of possible legal reasons or company policies), and therefore lack the opportunity to provide feedback.
If you want to better understand your customers and improve your CX program, consider collecting feedback in real-time; either through social media channels, on your website, or via instant messaging. The healthiest and fastest way to improve your CX program is to get feedback from customers as soon as possible after they've experienced an issue.
Many of the technology systems used by businesses are meant to be independent of one another - they generally don't communicate with each other unless their company has an extensive IT department (and even this is rare).
And even if there is some integration, it's very likely that these systems are not connected to your customer experience management platform. Without this connection, you lack the ability to better understand your customers and use this information for making decisions about improving service levels across channels.
It's essential that technology is seamlessly integrated, providing all the tools you need in one place. This includes real-time feedback, sentiment analysis, and the ability to monitor social media conversations.
The modern customer is connected 24/7 - they're using multiple channels, providing feedback in a real-time way, and expecting responses from companies that are equally fast. If your CX program doesn't have omnichannel support or flexibility when it comes to collecting feedback, it's time to reevaluate what you're doing.
If you can do this, turn customer feedback into real-time actions, and have technology that works together seamlessly, then your CX program will be able to better manage customer expectations across all channels - leading to improved brand image and greater client satisfaction.