Successful companies that develop an overall customer experience (CX) strategy – and proactively deploy it – do so for two reasons:
• They successfully differentiate themselves in their markets
• Customer experience differentiation pays off
A McKinsey study found revenues grew 10-15% for companies with a 20% customer satisfaction increase. The customer satisfaction increase was attributed to companies that focused on end-to-end customer journeys rather than individual touch points and interactions.
From B2B or B2C companies, associations to non-profit organizations: there is no one industry or business category that should prioritize a customer experience strategy. Rather, business owners, c-suiters and customer service leaders should ask themselves a fundamental question: Can we retain more customers and obtain more referrals if we make our customers’ lives easier?
Those factors should drive answer that answer? Profitability, growth, donations, company value.
A previous post outlined a 7-step foundation to build a customer experience that improves customer engagement and services to increase retention. With a foundation in place, there are four strategic actions a customer-centric organization should take in a mobile-tethered, socially enabled world.
Silos and Lack of CX Ownership
Does anyone in your organization “own” the total customer experience? It’s become more frequent in enterprise businesses like banking, but it’s more likely that when the “customer experience” phrase is uttered, it’s in passing conversation and not with strategic intent.
Silos remain firmly entrenched when it comes to the customer, with a “hand-off and hope” attitude permeating so many organizations.
Customer Experience requires a C-suite cross-functional champion. Those organizations that recognize it are positioned for retention and positive, sustainable growth.
How Leaders Prioritize Customer Experience
Customer experience leaders create an end-to-end journey – from transaction to nurturing to on-going engagement – that is mapped and prioritized internally to delight the customer today and tomorrow … and becomes ingrained in how the company conducts business.
The end game for CX leaders is centered on clarity and common sense: Treat customers better! Make it easy for customers to do business with us! A blend of thoughtful customer engagement with user experience innovation and connected, multi-platform communications will lead to repeat purchase, referral and retention.
4 Actions to Become a CX Leader
1. The Human Touch. Human-based interactions are much more likely to create memorable experiences. According to Harris Interactive, 53% of online shoppers cite a lack of human interaction as a reason for abandoning the shopping cart. Introducing or improving digital experiences, while necessary to reduce costs, can’t always come at the expense of human options.
2. Reduce Customer Effort. A pillar of the mantra to “Make it easy for customers to do business with us.” Having already partnered with the customer to know what they expect in the relationship, a company that reduces customer effort, and resolves issues efficiently, provides better overall customer experience. Actions speak louder than words.
3. Stay Proactive. Be in touch with them before they need you. Proactive communications ensure that customers are engaged and notified during stages of their journeys, and they begin to trust your ability to serve, inform and even delight them. That builds loyalty and referral – the heartbeat of growth.
4. Innovate New Experiences. 74% of consumer use at least three channels when interacting with an organization during their journeys – social plus web, email, chat, SMS, etc. (Ovum: Optimizing Customer Service in a Multi-Channel World). So, put your best cross-functional teams together to create long-term customer engagement initiatives, digital experiences, and methods based on how your customers communicate – not how you think they should!
Marketing Partner as CX Sherpa
Realizing that organizational makeovers happen as fast as artic ice melts, business owners and C-Suite execs need a change champion to spur the effort. Companies are increasingly relying on their marketers’ insights and intelligence to identify revenue or profit opportunities — improving products, identifying new markets, solving breakdowns, creating value.
Maximizing Customer Experience ROI can be the domain of a company’s marketing partners, whether it’s a scoped project or is undertaken as a value add or agency investment,
If marketers don’t provide clients with CX business intel, as well as gut instinct observations, they are not looking at this client and recognizing what they’re preaching – the potential lifetime value of customer relationship!