Common CX mistakes and how to avoid them

Improving the customer experience (CX) is on the priority list of just about every organisation globally these days. However approx. 80% of enterprises across all industries are struggling to make headway with their customer experience initiatives. So what is going wrong?

Departmental silos, poor data quality, an inability to surface relevant data and apply real-time analysis, and a lack of understanding of the current art of the possible from a technology standpoint have all contributed to this lack of progress.

Trying to solve the challenge one department at a time or by integrating point solutions is a recipe for delay, hidden costs, and, above all, disappointment for customers.

If you're a business leader looking to deliver a more seamless customer experience, here are the most common CX transformation mistakes you should avoid.

Mistake 1: Attempting to deliver CX without a vision

According to McKinsey, CX transformations require employees to change their mind-sets and behaviours. The organisation must make cultural changes and rewire itself across functions to put the voice of the customer top of mind. Unfortunately, managers embark on CX transformation with no real vision and end up with vague targets because there’s an underlying fear of failure.

If you want to inspire your teams to create a better experience, you need a vision with priorities that guide teams toward the right outcomes. Do you want customers to feel that you’re the easiest company to work with? Do you want them to feel you’re the most trustworthy, or flexible, or efficient? These are great – but you can’t be all things to all people. You need to choose.

Developing your CX vision is a process. You don’t just decide that this is your vision because you say so. You need to understand the current state of the experience, as well as the customers needs and expectation, in order to define the future intended state.

Mistake 2: Ignoring the role of Employee Experience in the process

Today, most companies understand the need to focus on customer experience (CX). But in their efforts to offer the best CX, some fail to take into account the importance of employee experience (EX). Bad CX is a culture problem, not a technology problem, so ignoring the role of your Employee Experience is a big mistake.

To bring your CX vision & strategy to life you need to skill your people in your CX values & visions - those things that truly differentiate your offer. Your people need to know what to do differently, want to behave in that way and have the skills to do so. Every role in an organisation, no matter how many times removed from dealing with customers, has an impact on CX. Whether they’re customer-facing representatives, office managers, designers, or developers - a better employee experience will result in more engaged workers. And, when people are engaged with their job, they put more care and effort into everything they do.

As Richard Branson famously said, “I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers...”

Mistake 3: Organisations are not customer aligned.

While customer experience was always included as part of the marketing strategy, it usually remains ‘stuck’ there. That is, marketers believe that customer-centricity is the way forward, but the rest of the organisation remains unconvinced. In order to move toward a customer-focused organisation, CX change management needs to come from the top.

Then, once they have the support of management, marketers should start by fixing the basics of the customer journey and looking for quick wins to show the rest of the company the benefits of improving CX.

Ensure that everyone in the organisation understands the customer experience KPIs. This helps to get everyone working toward a common goal of serving the customer first and worrying about departmental responsibility, second.

Mistake 4: Improving analytics is a priority, but not a top priority

Evolving analytics is one of the top three CX priorities for organisations surveyed, after technology used (#1) and internal processes (#2), but the changes that need to be made are dire. Many of the techniques organisations are currently using within their analytics practice won’t be enough to keep them afloat or separate them from look-alike competitors.

Data and analytics are still siloed in most organisations. The implications of this are that marketers cannot use behaviour and sales data to take action at relevant points in the customer journey.

Suggestions for solving this issue included encouraging management to step in and coming up with a strategy to combine data across the organisation. This approach, should focus on how marketers will obtain data instead of just buying new tools.

CX management processes, need to be fixed before even thinking of the technology.

Mistake 5: Focusing on too many things

As with any endeavour, boiling the ocean by trying to transform everything at once is not the hallmark of a viable CX strategy. Successful transformations tend to start with a rigorous attempt to identify those things that matter most to customers. Such efforts establish a clear understanding of where improvements in the customer experience can create value across the organisation—financial returns, operational efficiencies, and improved employee engagement and outcomes.

Mistake 6: Mistaking process automation as CX

Throwing technology at a problem rarely works. Often technology is deployed without answering key questions, such as what kind of experience the organisation wants to deliver to customers. Tech for tech’s sake will deliver friction rather remove it from the customers experience. Similarly, process automation only works if it drives down costs for the customer or eases their lives. If they don’t see it as valuable and it doesn’t change their experience, they’ll take their business elsewhere.

Mistake 7: Taking out the “human” out of the equation

Ai and machine learning have the potential to improve CX but can easily end up in the category of throwing technology at the problem. Often, these technologies are mistaken for being a good substitute for human interaction. Gartner VP Michael Maoz says companies looking to automate their CX with AI or machine learning are unlikely to deliver the seamless, post-channel CX experiences customers want. Instead of replacing people, organisations should use bots and Ai to facilitate the human delivery of better CX. These could include helping with non-complex tasks to free up human agents to build relationships.

Mistake 8: Being reactive about churn rates

When asked what stage of the customer life cycle is most important, retention and renewal rank high, second only to resolving any customer issues or concerns. But despite the importance of customer experience and retention, the majority of businesses do not yet analyse or model customer churn risk.

The reason for this is retention tends to be a reactive process vs. a proactive one. Rather than analyse churn risk ahead of time, recognising the warning signs and prepping retention offers, many businesses only start the retention process after someone is likely to leave.

This is a missed opportunity, especially considering the technology available to analyse churn risk and automatically provide the right action or offer. A proactive, data-based approach would likely lead to a sharp increase in retention, something every business is after.

Businesses are 4x more likely than consumers to rate an experience as “excellent.” They score themselves higher in Net Promoter Scores (NPS) than consumers in every channel and 90% state that their company provides a better CX than competitors. This is consistent even when there is massive evidence to the contrary, like terrible Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and negative NPS, or above average levels of customer churn.

But organisations already know they need to change their approach to CX. It’s evident when despite glowing praise, 58% of organisations surveyed believe their CX will be outdated in just two years’ time.

They know they need to compete on experience, they know they need to build longer-term, more sustainable relationships with customers. The problem isn’t that they’re unsure of what needs to happen, it’s that they don’t know where to start.

7 key aspects of CX businesses

· They have a clear & living Customer Experience Vision

· Understand who their customers are

· Create an emotional connection with their customers

· Capture customer feedback in real time

· Use a quality framework for the development of their team

· Act upon regular employee feedback

· Measure the ROI from delivering great customer experience

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