The field of customer experience management isn’t new, but companies are still evaluating what exactly this functional area means for the future of business. The umbrella of CX is broad, encompassing a range of touch points from early acquisition to post-purchase experiences. You can think of CX as the mechanism that shepherds buyers from problems to solutions, questions to answers, and from indecision to action.
Here are 3 pillars for building a lasting program and strategy in an age where technology is ever-changing.
Thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence, companies have the ability to build comprehensive, in-depth profiles of their customers, and well as respond to customer needs before problems are likely to arise. But there are still data challenges that hold businesses back from building their best possible customer experiences.
To protect the level of trust necessary to build and maintain customer loyalty for the long run, a smarter use of data means balancing the automated with an empathetic human touch.
“Protecting that line between personal and creepy is very important for brands. You definitely do not want to cross that. What I have found is that when customers perceive a value exchange, they are happy with that level of personalization,” said David Mingle, Principal, CXAdvisors Group, LLC in a previous interview with SmarterCX.
To help avoid the creep-factor, Bob Meixner, Senior Product Strategist for Oracle Commerce Cloud advises, “Treat online interactions like in-person interactions as much as you can. Start with being open and upfront about the types of data you may be collecting and how you will use it. Put it in terms of how the customer will benefit.”
As companies grow, so do the number of touch points along buyer journeys. This fragmentation has the potential to dilute an overall brand and hurt your CX strategy—the volume of data that you collect about your customer is irrelevant unless that information serves a clear relationship-building goal. That’s why, according to research from McKinsey, consistent experiences are a top predictor of an effective CX program.
The study states, “Our most recent customer-experience survey of some 27,000 American consumers across 14 different industries found that effective customer journeys are more important: measuring satisfaction on customer journeys is 30% more predictive of overall customer satisfaction than measuring happiness for each individual interaction.”
The basic goal of customer experience management is timeless. Customers want kindness. They want service that is quality. They want a company that will truly listen and respond. The biggest shift, however, is how that experience is delivered.
One way to maintain a consistent experience is to tie every CX interaction back to a mission statement.
“A mission statement is your promise to a customer,” explains Kyle David, an entrepreneur and tech consultant who is writing a book about the future of CX, in an interview for this article. “If you can’t make your business and its practices align with your mission statement, you’re letting your customers down.”
A mission statement is a simple way to turn fragmented interactions into a narrative about your company. What does your data tell you about your company’s ability to keep customers happy?
“Automation is a vehicle for strengthening friendship and trust,” elaborates Woods. “All data and measurement should point to this goal.”