Author: Stephanie Caravajal
I’ve seen it many times: When a medium size company starts thinking about customer experience (CX) projects, it begins to compare itself to the elites – Google, Apple, Netflix, and Amazon.
Their massive budgets let them give their customers what they want before they realize they even wanted it.
And that’s okay. There’s no reason to be intimidated. Why? Because you have your own customers, and if you work to ensure they have great experiences with your company, then you’re good. Let Amazon play on its field, and you play on yours.
Besides, consider this: Today, more and more customers rank mid-size companies by their ability to offer real-time, accurate, and intuitive information on their products – the basics – that’s what they expect.
The important thing is to focus on your turf and work within your resources.
Understand Your Customers and What They Value
A solid CX program starts by understanding your customers and what they value. Some early information to gather includes:
- Determining who your best customers are.
- Learning why your customers do business with you – what it is they value.
- Reexamining how your employees are serving your customers.
- Capturing customer and employee feedback to understand customer journey pain-points and unmet needs. Remember, customer and employee feedback is all around you, you just have to listen.
Use this data to decide what can most improve the customer experience and yield a better ROI. How? Determine where your company has the most opportunity for improvement in your customers’ journey and work solely on those areas.
For example, suppose your call center is spending four minutes per call, and you want it at three minutes. But, if there’s a problem and customers aren’t getting the information they need, five-minute calls may be the answer.
So know your company’s top value drivers then prioritize CX initiatives that can give you quick wins. Then you can move on to longer-term projects.
Build a Customer-Centric Culture
We see how companies use customer-centric technology every day. Some examples:
- Using data for personalized ads
- Leveraging analytics to “intuitively” suggest next options
- Enabling one-button buying
- Hosting online chat
How do you use technology to enhance CX? Put technology where the customer wants it. That might mean a simple payment portal. Or, it could mean intuitive sales options. Perhaps it’s adding mobile services.
The key is taking a customer-centric approach. From annual goal setting, to attitude and behaviors, adding focus on customer and employee experiences will help you build that customer-centric culture.
CX Is a Top-Down Approach
Creating effective CX initiatives starts at the top: by listening to employees and customers; rewarding behaviors; and enabling your employees and customers to be successful.
When you include CX in the company’s goals, it’s embraced by all employees and it becomes a common goal. Front-line workers then feel empowered to share feedback that’s often vital in understanding where to focus CX opportunities. And when they share that feedback, there’s buy-in that’s critical for a company’s CX transformation.
Measure Your Progress
Finally, no good program can be effective without measuring performance. And the same goes for CX efforts. After you implement your CX programs, consider these key questions:
- Are your improvements having the desired impacts?
- What have you learned?
- How can you leverage these measures to reinforce your commitment to customers and employees and strengthen your culture?
The investment on CX is clearly worthwhile and it doesn’t have to be a difficult endeavor. In fact, when you approach CX with the right steps, it can transform your customers’ views and relationship with the company and boost your employees’ satisfaction.
Stephanie Caravajal is a senior consultant at RevGen. She helps organizations understand how to increase customer value by understanding the customer needs and align digital enhancements by applying an overall digital architecture.