How to reshape customer experiences in the new CX era

SOLUTIONS

Craig Shull
September 30, 2021

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly every organization was forced to adapt to unprecedented changes––mandatory lockdowns, remote work, and supply chain obstacles––and for many, that’s transformed the way they operate today. 

Consumer expectations have also radically changed since the beginning of 2020. Everything from how your customers get information to where and what they purchase has evolved immensely.  

This transformation has brought about a new era of customer experience (CX). Today having a robust digital presence is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. And the need to provide a personalized customer experience at scale will determine the success or failure of a business. 

During this transformative time, your organization must refocus its priorities in order to remain successful and thrive. There are four key strategies that CX professionals can use to help their business flourish in the new era of CX. I’ll briefly explain each strategy here, but I also highly recommend you register and attend the CX Impact Summit 2021 virtual event presented by Momentive on November 4 for deeper dives into each strategy. I'll also give tips on which sessions to attend to learn more about each strategy.

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Four keys to flourishing in the new era of CX 

No. 1: Prove the value of your CX program to secure budget and resources

While research shows that businesses with superior customer experience bring in nearly  six times more revenue than their competitors, most executives still want to see a clear forecast of the return on investment (ROI) before approving the program budget. 

According to our research, only 7% of CX leaders claim to have proven the ROI of their customer feedback program. It's clear that showcasing ROI presents its own, unique set of challenges. Often, customer experience professionals lack the necessary combination of technology, data, and resources to properly measure the value of their program.

Though daunting, it is not an impossible endeavor. Start by demonstrating the value of just one metric, like Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and expand over time.

Customer experience ROI data should be available to all employees, not just those in customer-facing roles. Ensuring key stakeholders across the organization have full access to the results will give clear value and visibility into your CX program. 

CX Impact Summit session tip: Leading CX coaches Shep Hyken and Dan Gingiss will host a live session to discuss how you can persuade colleagues and leadership to invest their resources and time into a CX program.

No.2: Remember there is a person behind each CX metric 

A Voice of the Customer (VoC) program gives you up to date insight into your customers’ expectations, likes, and dislikes—empowering teams across your organization to listen, understand, and act on customer feedback in real time. 

As our personal and professional lives have become more intertwined than ever before, it’s vital to remember that behind the most common CX metrics is a person with their own perceptions and expectations of your organization. 

By combining qualitative and quantitative data across all channels, you’ll gain a holistic view of each customer’s experience behind the metrics. In this new era of CX, winning brands are leveraging VoC programs to build long-lasting connections that bring the “heart” back into the business. 

CX Impact Summit session tip: Annette Franz, founder and CEO, of CX Journey Inc., and Nate Brown, chief experience officer at Officium Labs and co-founder of CX Accelerator, will share the virtual stage to discuss how you can bring the heart back into your VoC program. 

No.3: Leverage technology to provide personalized customer experiences at scale 

To build personalized experiences at scale, the entire organization needs full visibility into each customer’s experience and journey, easily and fast. This is possible through the use of agile CX technology and integrations that enable teams across your organization to receive real-time customer insights in the platforms they’re already working in.   

Start by integrating CX data into your customer relationship management (CRM) solution, like Salesforce, for a holistic view of the customer journey. By integrating customer data with operational data, you can establish automatic triggers that notify team members in real-time when swift action is necessary. For example, let’s say a customer scores as a detractor on an NPS® survey. The employee responsible for the account can be notified immediately in the systems they already work in––for instance, Slack––and can address the customer’s concerns immediately.  

Integrations between CX data and your CRM will also improve customer survey response rates, allowing your team to create automatic survey triggers after key moments in the customer journey: renewals, cross-sells, upsells, and more.

Personalized experiences at scale are possible when organizations make CX insights part of every customer interaction.

CX Impact Summit session tip: The session designed with Salesforce, titled "How to scale personalized customer experiences,” dives more into this topic. 

No. 4: Identify opportunities to uplevel your customer experience maturity 

Customer experience professionals need a clear roadmap for success. By consistently measuring where your organization’s CX maturity stands, you’ll be able to identify the weak areas in your program, pinpoint the core areas to prioritize first, and advance in your maturity over time.

Improving your customer experience begins with understanding where you are now. There are nine key elements that contribute to the maturity of your CX program, including culture, leadership buy-in, technology and tools, and more.

For instance, the most mature CX programs integrate all business insights tools and technology—customer experience management, customer relationship management, human resources management, etc.—to provide a truly holistic view of the business. On the other end of the spectrum, most beginner programs have no CX-specific tools or technology in place to enable significant improvements. Instead, customer feedback is collected, sorted, and evaluated manually.

We partnered with Jeannie Walters, CEO of Experience Investigators by 360Connext to create a CX maturity assessment that will empower you to take action immediately by revealing the exact points where your CX program needs improvements.

CX Impact Summit session tip: Jeannie will discuss the maturity model in greater detail at her session.

Navigate the new era of CX with confidence 

It's been a rough couple of years. And for customer experience professionals, who often work in teams of one or two, the pandemic has made an already difficult job harder with unexpected and rapidly changing customer needs. I hope you’ll join me at CX Impact Summit for a day of best practices, expert insights, and tangible takeaways that will get you prepared and excited to take on the future of customer experience with confidence.

Craig Shull is general manager of GetFeedback at Momentive.

Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.

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