Ready to jump in and get started with your own CX strategy? Here are the 6 most impactful tips to help prepare your customer experience strategy for 2020!
1. Measure, prioritize, scale
Whether it is a post-service customer effort score (CES) survey, an NPS survey auto-deployed across customer points of interaction, a quarterly CSAT questionnaire, product experience feedback – you need to measure the impact of your customer experience strategy, not just to measure your ROI at an organizational level, but to understand which strategy is contributing most to elevate CX.
Today there are many ways to understand customer intent, churn potential and level of satisfaction. From the tried and tested NPS Survey methodology, ML powered predictive analytics and AI powered technology platforms that pick up behavioural signals and predict negative (or detractor) behavior before it happens even from unstructured data (for example, from social media conversations).
No matter which method you deploy, the bottom line is you need to know customer satisfaction levels and have a systematic way to identify potential detractors or customers displaying churn intent.
A successful business knows how to prioritize, because every business has limited resources to invest. The good news is, today, there are more than enough tools – from surveys to AI-powered insights and analytics – to measure every aspect of your CX – which means, the data collection tools are there.
The goal for you in 2020 is to identify what works for you, deploy the right tools, and , make data-driven decisions to identify and scale up highest impact CX strategies as efficiently and effectively as possible.
2. Build a customer-centric culture
Customer experience is the sum-total impact of all interactions during a customer lifecycle.
In the B2B context, this means – brand discovery (marketing and UX), sales experience (sales and accounting team), onboarding and product experience (account management / customer success and entire product design and development) and post-sales servicing (customer success / account management team).
In the B2C context as well, it applies to every interaction from the ads and social media interactions, from the content experience to online or instore buying experience and everything that comes before or after.
Whether B2B or B2C, when it comes to CX, every function, every customer facing employee, every representative on every channel and platform, has a role to play in delivering a good experience. Hence, the (slightly modified) saying – ‘It takes a whole village to deliver good CX’
While you can have one team to manage and report on your CX effort, the real delivery comes from each and every moving part in the organization, that need to work together to create and deliver great customer experiences. In other words, you need to build a customer centric culture to deliver on your CX strategy, and its got to start at the top.
3. Refocus on the UX to deliver ‘human’ experience
In the everything-as-a-service ‘experience economy’, just about any company needs to pay attention to user experience, especially when there is self-service involved.
Even back in 2017, an American Express survey found that 60% of surveyed Americans prefer to use self-service options to address day-to-day needs. Today that number is expected to be at least 75%.
But let’s be clear: self-service is not the challenge. In fact, more and more users, especially millennials prefer self-service, as long as it is simple, instinctive and requires the least effort to ‘figure out’. This means, understanding user instincts when it comes to websites and software engagement, and delivering a UX that leverages these ‘human instincts’. In fact, with all the AI and ML tools available today, the irony is that customers expect more authentic and human experiences than ever before!
For example, ever wonder why most app menus are on the left? Because users collectively chose it. When the first wave of apps were being released for iTunes and Google Play Store, they went through enormous user-A/B testing to understand what drives most engagement. No one knew what the best position for the menu is – or even that fact that it should be a “hamburger” (3 horizontal lines) icon menu. Both practices have now become established standard best practices for app UX design.
Moreover, a UX that increases/encourages more users to opt for self-service – is great for your business’s bottom line, as you save significantly on recurring human resource costs.
4. Find every possible source of CX intelligence
To be customer-centric – means to listen to your customers and incorporate their needs into your product and service offering. This means finding and tapping into rich sources of real-time intel that goes beyond predictive insights or NPS surveys.
For example, your customer facing employees can turn out to be the biggest sources of untapped and direct customer experience intelligence.
Similarly, conversations on social media too can reveal where customers are finding friction in your ‘carefully set up’ customer experience.
There is a very real strategic value in finding every possible source of customer feedback to track satisfaction and eliminate friction from your CX
5. Get 5G experience ready – mobile multimedia, AR, VR etc. is the future of experience
Yes I know, mobile multimedia has always been around since smartphones rose to prominence. However, the most critical infrastructure to enable mass consumption of multimedia on mobile devices has been lacking – fast, undisrupted and affordable mobile internet. We went from no Gs to 4G in the last 12 years, and speed went from 2 KBps to about 10000 Kbps in 5 incremental upgrades and even that couldn’t break the ceiling for mobile-internet based multimedia (when there is no wifi!). But 5G is not’ an incremental upgrade to mobile-internet, it is ground-shifting. Initial test estimates tell us that 5G will operate at over 30 GBPS. To put this in perspective, its 30,000,000 KBps, 3000 times faster than 4G.
In other words, you need to prepare your CX strategy to utilize this disruptive wave of tech-infra headed your way, without waiting for competitors to lead the way. With 5G, AR and VR will become table stakes. Are your teams ready?
6. Deliver smarter CX surveys
Yes, your customers like to provide feedback, whether they are really happy or plain unhappy. While that is a given – the quality of their responses depends on the question and ‘how’ it is asked. This means when it comes to designing your surveys, which is the primary source of customer feedback data:
- Be completely neutral in your line of questioning
- Have a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for asking ‘leading’ questions
For instance, “How good was your experience?” is a leading question. The neutral version is – “How was your experience?”
- Avoid long/complex wording in questions. no customer has the patience to spend brain-power in giving feedback, keep them short and simple to understand and answer.A skewed survey leads to skewed data – which leads to an ineffective/detrimental strategy.
Also, don’t expect your marketing or even customer success team to write survey questions – invest in tools that provide templates or better yet – invest in a real researcher who is an expert in designing effective and unbiased questionnaires.