Don’t let the ghosts of customer experiences past cloud your approach to CX for the present and future.
Your customers have evolved. They are no longer okay with poor self-service or mediocre websites. Their expectations have been set by the personalized online experiences from giants like Google and Amazon, and their patience for generic or disconnected customer experiences is short. From a process perspective, it’s no longer acceptable to take a piecemeal approach to how your customers experience your product and brand, viewing their a call to your contact center as an entirely separate interaction from a download of a mobile app.
It’s time to think in the eyes of the customer, who view every interaction as part of the larger umbrella of their experience with your brand. With the rise of social media, mobile apps, context-aware solutions, diverse customer communities, intelligent assistants and more, it’s tempting to take the short-term and linear view of your customers’ journeys, but this will only lead to a siloed and frustrating experience for customers – and one that leaves you without crucial insights.
Customer experiences are circular, omni-channel and put your customers in the driver’s seat. Your customers perform nearly all of their research before reaching out to a salesperson and they are naturally distrustful of information coming from vendors. In fact, recent research from thinkJar suggests that 84 percent of companies report embracing the customer experience model to become more customer-centric.
10 Facts to Know about CX Transformation
How do you meet your customer expectations for their experience? Get started on transforming your customer experience. Here are the essential facts you need to know about CX:
#1 It’s not just another buzzword. Digital transformation, customer experience – every marketer can name ‘em all. But customer experience represents a fundamental shift in how you structure your business and your mindset around your customers. Instead of thinking about what your business and C-suite requires, this change means reframing everything to center around your customers’ needs.
#2 Customer experience is not customer service. Customer experience encompasses every interaction your customers have with your brand, including their time as a prospective customer. The most customer-obsessed brands go way beyond “serving” their customers; they create an entire experience to keep their customers retained, engaged and happy. Too often, companies view customer service narrowly, as the interactions they have immediately preceding and following a purchase. Customer experience is the “long game,” focusing on the entire journey of your customer, from first hearing about your brand to considering their next purchase.
#3 Customer experience matters… because every interaction with your customers plays a role in customer churn. Esteban Kolsky, customer strategy expert, shared some harrowing statistics with the Huffington Post:
- 67% of customer churn is preventable if the customer issue was resolved at the first engagement.
- Almost 2 out of 3 customers switched brands because of poor service.
- About 55% of consumers reported paying more for a “guaranteed” good experience.
#4 Customer experience transformation is not for everyone. As outlined in a recent Forrester report, not every company needs to invest in transforming their customer experience. For example, budget retailers who differentiate themselves on being the cheapest option don’t need to make major investments in experience; customers know and have chosen to receive a “budget” experience. The value proposition is the price. The issue, however, becomes when other budget competitors enter the market, and then you may end up fighting for your customers.
#5 Your CX transformation strategy is just as much about what you exclude as what you include. You can’t do everything and focus is very important to your customer experience strategy. Don’t get distracted by the “shiny objects” your competitors are rolling out. Focus on your customers and where you need to improve. Not sure where to start? Check out this complimentary report from Forrester, “The Five Essential Steps to Plan Your CX Transformation.”
#6 Customer experience transformation differentiates your brand. Standing out in a crowded marketplace is difficult, but a best-in-class customer experience will cut through the noise. For example, you’re a utilities company. Your kilowatt-hour is the same as your competitor’s; the only difference is price, right? Wrong – it’s also the experience you provide to your customers. Instead of competing on price alone and going into a downward spiral of profits, focus on your customer experience with “sticky” brand experiences that will keep your customers retained and engaged, such as mobile apps to help them manage energy usage or different options to purchase cleaner energy.
#7 Your competitors are probably having this same conversation. Part of this is due to the shift from brands “pushing” out their message to customers constantly with advertisements to customers “pulling” the information they need. Customers are in control, and companies are now realizing they need to hand over the reins. If you’re not, you’re behind – about to pay for it with missed revenue.
Bonus fact: this process truly is transformative for your business, with an impact on process and organization, but also your revenue and customer retention rates – if you follow the right initial steps in the journey. We recommend this report from Forrester, The Five Essential Steps to Plan Your CX Transformation. Access your copy to understand:
- How to get started on re-aligning your business with CX transformation
- Lessons learned and best practices from the customer experience experts at Forrester, as well as real companies
- Common challenges and obstacles to overcome with your CX transformation process.