If we understand our customers, how do we then improve customer experience?
More often than not, an organization will analyze customer feedback, pick the most common denominator and seek to fix the problem quickly. If this is you, unfortunately, you are doing it wrong. Implementing the insight from research into your Customer Experience strategy and acting accordingly is a different story. Just because your NPS score has fallen may not be due to a faulty product as first predicted – you might need to look a bit deeper to discover that actually, the customer service hasn’t been satisfactory or the website is too confusing when purchasing items.
Whatever it may be, the common denominator doesn’t always mean it’s right.
First, there are concepts you need to get right internally:
Your Customer Experience strategy
One of the key components to improving customer experience, and to making a success of any CX program, are the actions you take in response to customer insight and information, and this is aided by a well-designed strategy. Many organizations have difficulty driving and tracking actionable next steps, and often struggle to mobilize action across complex businesses.
Fewer still make actions visible and are able to learn from them.
And those organizations that do, often manage the process of getting staff to manage customer related issues manually. It goes without saying that if your organization has multiple offices in various geographies, or if you have a complex business, this manual process can be particularly arduous and often very problematic.
Good workflow — which automates processes around driving customer related actions — is a key component of a positive customer experience strategy. Being able to drive prompt action and operationalize insight is integral to customer retention and to achieving business results.
It creates an urgency at the customer interface and also facilitates ownership and accountability for the company’s response to feedback in key areas.
By creating a condition alert, fast, tactical follow-up actions can be achieved and target-setting encourages employees to become more engaged and in turn, increase productivity. Also, plainly stated, you are handing employees less busy work. That will increase engagement as well.
Employee engagement and customer obsession across all departments
Engaged employees are the fundamental building block of great customer experience. The Temkin Group reported last year that “companies that outpace their competitors in customer experience have 50% more engaged employees than those with a customer experience that lags their peers.” Unfortunately, very few organizations are actually able to engage and empower their staff by giving them control of their own customer experience outcomes. Employees who feel they are in control of their own customer experience outcomes are more likely to feel engaged with overall objectives and improve performance.
For example, a call center agent may have a bonus structure in place based on customer feedback automated after a call. While their team leader may have access to an overall view of feedback, each individual agent would be more committed to delivering a positive customer experience if they could see their own results in real-time. Highly engaged, enabled and informed customer-centric employees are integral to both collecting customer feedback and secondly improving the customer experience by acting on insight.
Next up is ensuring you have a structure in the era of big data:
Go the extra mile
When an organization injects analytic insight into every decision it makes by using data, statistical and quantitative analysis, and visualization tools and techniques, organizations become empowered to use insights to change the way they do business. Be clever with your data and with the way you gain customer feedback by going the extra mile. You are always striving to find out the why behind the what — and many CX metrics can help to achieve this.
For example, after a respondent chooses their rating, you may want to also ask why they chose the number they did. You may also want to ask how your product or service could be improved for next time. A surprising number of respondents will be happy to expand on the reasons behind the number they chose. This allows for more insight and a deeper analysis of what and how to improve.
Take advantage of industry software to gain insight
Most companies now have some form of capability to survey customers, but what is next in creating real value and exhibiting this back to their organizations? Different data types are often created and held in different systems. There are also different data types, some numeric and some unstructured or text-based, all of which we need to combine and make sense of to arrive at one holistic view of the customer. The correct software can translate valuable feedback across multi-channels and provide rich insight into customers transactional and emotional patterns to help predict future trends.
Understanding your customers only happens when you can achieve a full 360 view of customers. Applying the strategies discussed here will ensure your organization is delivering a winning, lasting, customer experience and the insights gained go toward driving profitable action.
Maru/Syngro is a world-leading customer intelligence platform with a passion for enabling businesses to put customers at the center of everything they do. The companies omnichannel platform, Syngro Eye, offers a range of customer experience specific analytics, performance management and self-service reporting functions that can be overlaid with your businesses financial, operational or other data to identify crucial relationships. With the ability to create, configure and share powerful insights across your entire company in a matter of minutes, you can be confident in ensuring that you are delivering winning customer experiences.