Customer experience strategy might seem similar to customer experience, but the two are parts of a whole. Hubspot defines the concept like so: if customer experience (CX) refers to the sum of every interaction a customer has with a business, both pre- and post-sale, the customer experience strategy defines the actionable plans in place to deliver a positive, meaningful experience across those interactions. So, for a customer experience strategy to be successful, strategists should take a number of factors into account, including competitive insight, consumer research, marketplace data, and mission and value.
In order to define your customer experience strategy, make sure you don’t just include people in customer-facing roles, but also members from all departments. To improve customer experience strategy and relationships with your clients, incorporate feedback and insight from across the company. This will make it simpler to align your organization on its shared goals. McKinsey notes that knowing your organization is primarily in the customer service business is not enough to achieve organizational change. To develop a unique customer experience and build internal momentum for initiatives, a company should know how CX helps it perform distinctively in the market. Innovation, energy, and a human face can be brought to the company’s strategy once members understand the customer experience an organization wants to deliver, which can inspire, align and guide its CX strategy.
We’ve previously written about customer experience management (CEM or CXM). As a reminder, CXM is the collection of processes a company uses to track, oversee and organize every interaction it has with a customer. It can be wielded to provide an overview as to how a company’s customer experience management strategy is working and whether or not it is successful.
According to Customer Strategist Journal, there are six key areas of the digital customer experience:
Engagement is important. And if you’re not meeting customers where they are, you are missing out on a chance to engage them where they are most interested or in need of help. Make sure you understand what your customers’ preferred digital communications channels are and that those channels are reliable. Further, work to build those channels and any other features to attract and retain customers to use those channels.
Customer Strategist Journal asks the important question, “How frictionless is the digital service experience?” In order to maintain a seamless digital experience, several factors need to be taken into account. For instance, ensure that information on your site is clear and up-to-date. FAQs and self-service knowledgebases should be present, informative, and easy to access. If answers can’t be found in these types of databases, then quick and live support should be available to customers via live chat or co-browsing. Finally, service convenience assesses whether digital channels can provide end-to-end service and customer engagement.
To manage whether or not the purchase experience is frictionless, a company should consider several factors. For instance, what are its e-commerce features like? Product and price information should be kept clear and up-to-date, including reviews and recommendations. Purchase convenience also assesses whether or not customers can conduct an entire transaction in digital channels. Further, it can check if there are live support features available to help customers throughout the purchase process.
Each of your customers wants to digitally be recognized as an individual. They desire to have their preferences automatically and proactively met by providing the right consultation based on individual needs. Make sure you’re providing as personalized an experience to each and every one of your customers as possible.
Is the look and feel of your website intuitive to each user? Simplicity and ease of use examines how understandable your mobile and online navigation is, such as the structure of menus and pages. Consider the customer journey. How timely are customer interactions? These questions and more should be at the forefront of your mind when strategizing for simplicity.
This area of the digital customer experience tracks the consistency of information across all channels, and whether or not the customer can be helped in real time with the proper treatment. Areas to look at include whether or not customers can seamlessly switch channels without losing context. On the other side of CX, firms should look at customer interaction history from any channel, making sure they can capture and access this data. Only then can companies be sure the channels they are providing are both adaptable and responsive.
Your customers are very aware of how central they are to your success as a company. So, in this customer-driven era, it is vital to gain insights into their motivations to buy and engage post-sale as a part of your CXM strategy.
What are some of the best ways to update your CXM strategy? Read on for more customer experience tips.
Learn from those employees who have a solid knowledge about customers that they have gained from direct contact. eConsultancy recommends running a stakeholder workshop in which empathy mapping is used. This tool encourages your stakeholders to empathize with customers and capture what they feel their goals, needs, actions, influences, feelings, and pain points are. In a workshop like this, you can also plot out typical user journeys in order to understand what stakeholders think common CX actions and touchpoints are.
Obviously, you need to understand first-hand what experiences are like for your customers. You can collect customer feedback a variety of ways, including interviews conducted face-to-face, over the phone, and via Skype. You can also run focus groups, which allow you the opportunity to collect several viewpoints at once. Bizibl Marketing reinforces this idea, adding that to reduce the gap between what you know and what you don’t, your insights strategy must include as much data from as many sources as possible, inside and outside the company’s firewall. Collecting surveys in this day and age isn’t enough, however. Broaden your strategy by including feedback about your company and products made in places like online forums to get comments that haven’t been elicited by carefully crafted surveys. Considering new data sources in your strategy allows you to gain customer insights in which you can achieve deeper knowledge that lets you deliver better products and experiences for your patrons.
Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary data, put it to good use. Plot all the information you’ve gathered about the customer journey into a customer experience journey map. This will allow you to visually see elements such as goals, needs, actions, experience, and touchpoints. In addition to creating these types of maps, observe customers’ behaviors on a typical CX journey.
Bizibl advises that while your customer may interact with many faces from your company, your CXM strategy needs to focus on delivering a consistent experience by delivering one face to the customer. There are several ways you can align your organization, such as unifying your content, people, processes, and technology to allow you to orchestrate communication from your teams to customers across channels, languages, and markets. An important reminder is that though the buying cycle is important, customers don’t care where they place in that cycle – they merely are concerned with the good or service they are purchasing. To ensure they have an enjoyable interaction with your brand, shift the perspective away from what each department is delivering and focus on enhancing the experiences your customers receive. One way to support this objective is to make sure that every employee is on deck with your message and strategy, so be sure to incorporate this into your training as well.
Customers expect compelling, personalized experiences each time they interact with your brand on every device and channel. If you can accomplish this, you’ll build trust, loyalty, acquisition and retention. Customers interact with your channels expecting to find the information they want on the channels they check. Therefore, your CXM needs to consider where your customers are on their journeys and the type of information they need in every situation. You can predict what channels and information will drive loyalty, revenue and retention by leveraging the data available from your investment in customer insights.
Assess how customers react to new products, services or campaigns. Your marketing processes should have a continual feedback loop built into them so you can spot points where you may need to refresh or pause activity, plus identify potential new opportunities. To optimize the experience customers have with your company, every department must measure uptake and/or customer engagement to determine what drives sharing behaviors, how customers perceive their experiences, and how content and communications are being utilized.
Stefanini offers human-centered solutions when it comes to customer experience. By analyzing user behavior on the overarching customer journey, we establish the knowledge base we need to build and evolve platforms, products, and services from the initial planning up to the business conversion. To learn how our CX artificial intelligence assistant Sophie can help make your clients’ experiences even more personal, contact us today. For more information about what Stefanini can offer your CX strategy, click here.
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