How to create a successful customer experience strategy
Let’s take a closer look at 5 ways how to create a successful customer experience strategy capable of driving growth and fostering a culture of excellence.
Engage Frontline Employees
From the customer’s perspective, frontline employees represent one of the most important touchpoints. However, nearly 8 in 10 frontline employees are not motivated by the way they’re managed, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report. When a customer meets a frontline employee who isn’t motivated to do his or her job, the customer often interprets the disinterest of the employee as the disinterest of the entire company, which is a sure-fire way how to ruin what otherwise might have been a positive customer experience.
To engage frontline employees, it’s paramount to establish a clear vision and provide feedback and recognition. Most millennials deeply desire their managers to listen and value their ideas, which might require a change of company culture, but the reward is worth it. Why? Because engaged workers are 17 percent more productive and receive 10 percent higher customer ratings than disengaged teams, according to a 2016 Gallup study entitled The Damage Inflicted by Poor Managers.
Change Mindsets to Sustain at Scale
“Too many companies assume that all they need to do to enact proactive customer service is to buy some new technology. The reality is that making the shift to proactive customer service first requires a change in mindset and strategy,” writes Adrian Swinscoe, a customer experience consultant and author of “How to Wow: 68 Effortless Ways to Make Every Customer Experience Amazing.”
The very same philosophy also applies when it comes to sustaining an exceptional customer experience at scale. Companies must understand that the customer experience has become the main driver of sales numbers, which is why it’s so critical to adopt a customer-centric mindset. The right mindset can then support the adoption of various technological solutions to scale customer experiences as needed.
Improve the End-to-End Customer Experience
Many leaders today consider improving the end-to-end customer experience to be their number one priority, and for a good reason: ensuring that every touchpoint comes with a positive experience is crucial for success.
As the International Data Corporation states in its report, “Customer experience strategies that not only include the direct customer-facing employees but incorporate traditional back-office processes aligned to the customer and business requirements are key to building a comprehensive and seamless experience.”
Every end-to-end customer experience must be supported by a solid customer experience strategy that takes into consideration all points on the customer journey and addresses them in the context of the whole company.
Close the Customer Experience Gap
According to a survey by Harvard Business Review, nearly three-quarters of business leaders said that delivering a relevant and reliable customer experience is critical to their company’s overall business performance. However, the same business leaders often feel chained by legacy systems that are rarely capable of ingesting and analyzing growing volumes of data in various forms, which is essential for delivering a superior customer experience.
To close the customer experience gap, companies must turn to technology and training. “Make use of big data to paint a complete picture of a person’s preferences—and make this information easily accessible to the appropriate employees—so customers feel appreciated and understood the next time they open an email from you, talk to a company representative, or decide to make a purchase,” advices Matthew Lieberman, advisory marketing leader at PwC.
Track Engagement to Clearly See Why Customer Experience Matters
To see why creating a good customer experience matters, it’s necessary to establish a baseline and then measure customer experience improvements. There are many metrics a company can focus on, including churn, average resolution time, average handle time, number of customer replies, percentage of escalations, call wait time, customer effort score, knowledge base views, number of positive votes, and others.
Each customer experience action plan and initiative should be tracked, and notable customer experience improvements should be recognized and rewarded. The good news is that there are many excellent solutions today that make tracking customer experiences effortless and can provide companies with rich data and information they can act upon.