The customer experience (CX) touches every part of a modern business. Investing in the right people, processes, and technology for superior omnichannel CX is critical to keeping your customers happy and loyal.
But how can companies ensure their organization has the right systems, and processes, in place to make a meaningful impact and meet the needs of their customers?
CDP.com asked leading experts, practitioners, and consultants in the customer experience industry to share their best practices for delivering great customer experiences today.
1. Great CX Starts By Understanding the Customer
“Bring the customer voice into all you do. Customer understanding is the cornerstone of customer centricity. Do the work. Take the time to understand customers and their needs, expectations, pain points, and problems to solve.”
2. Listen to the Voice of The Consumer
“When we get down to it, the work of CX is making customer’s lives better and easier. As brands do this, they are rewarded with loyalty and the ability to acquire new customers. This will always start with voice of the customer. If we don’t know how customers truly feel about us, what are we going to change? How do we know what aspects of the client journey to improve, and how would we measure the impact of the change?
There is no finish line to CX work, but there is a starting line. And it’s VoC. Once you established this listening “engine” to use a Jeanne Bliss term, you are ready to identify the biggest opportunities for CX improvement and make something happen!”
3. Great Customer Experiences Are Convenient
“Create a convenient experience. Customers want an easy, no-hassle, convenient experience. The research in our “2022 Achieving Customer Amazement Study” found that 63 percent of U.S. consumers prefer a convenient experience over a friendly experience. Sixty-eight percent say convenience alone will make them come back to a brand or company, and 75 percent would switch to a competitor if they found out they were more convenient to do business with.”
4. Get Executive Buy-In on CX Strategy
“Get leadership commitment and alignment for the work that lies ahead. You need that commitment in order to get the resources – time, human, financial, capital, etc. – to improve the experience. And, you need alignment across the executive team to ensure that the experience is consistent from department to department, or business unit to business unit.”
5. Create a CX Change Coalition (aka, a Center of Excellence)
“At this point, the best practice is unifying leaders into a CX Change Coalition (see John Kotter, Leading Change) – a cross-functional group who is committed to and capable of driving an agreed upon CX strategy. Without this coalition, it will be nearly impossible to drive improvements wide enough or deep enough to make a difference.
Most CX initiatives fizzle out within a year. The VoC Engine and the CX Change Coalition are laying the right foundation to prevent this from happening to you.”
6. The Employee Experience Matters
“Customer experience is no longer focused just on customers. You have to look inside the organization at the employee experience (EX). What’s happening on the inside of the organization is being felt on the outside by the customer. So, focus on the culture. Leadership must define it and push it to everyone in the organization.” – Shep Hyken, Hyken.com
“Keeping employees and their experience at the top of the priority list. Employee experience drives customer experience. Without employees, you have no one to design, build, sell, install, or service your products.”
7. Keep Up With Evolving CX Technology
“There have been huge advances in CX technology. There are major shifts in customer behaviors and expectations. There are CX innovators like Chewy.com and Lego who are raising the bar for everyone. CX Leaders have to stay fresh and stay educated to continue to evolve the CX strategy.”
8. Integrate CX Into Company Culture
“Focus on the culture. The customer experience begins when leadership creates their CX vision. Then, it must be communicated, and everyone must be trained to understand their role in the customer’s experience.”
Creating Great Customer Experiences with a CDP
The customer experience isn’t just about improving customers’ opinions about your brand. Great CX is proven to improve KPIs like retention and churn, as well as inducing consumers to spend more. According to SquareTalk customers spend 140 percent more with companies with great customer experiences compared to those who had unsatisfactory ones.
These CX benefits will not come without the right people, processes, and technologies in place. Understanding your customers also means understanding your customers.
A customer data platform can help deliver data-driven customer insights in real time. Supplement that CDP with a VoC program, and you will have a deeper and more cohesive understanding of your customers than ever before. This will allow you to serve up the right customer experience, on the right channel, at the right time.