How to become CX oriented

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

Customer experience leaders are documented to have greater top- and bottom-line growth than those who haven’t made customer experience transformation a priority.

According to McKinsey, understanding your customer experience has an impact on your bottom line by, “achieving revenue gains of 5% - 10% and reducing costs by 15% - 25% within two or three years”

PWC state, 86% of buyers will pay more for a great customer experience. ( 2018)

Companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies enjoy a 10% Y-O-Y growth, a 10% increase in average order value and a 25% increase in close rates. ((Adobe & E-Consultancy, Total Economic Impact Study 2020)

There is a correlation between a company’s CX quality and its stock performance

Financial performance has been shown by Forrester and others to be the ultimate trailing indicator of CX. A company delivering great CX simply outperforms others in the market.

The top 20% of brands in Forrester’s Customer Experience Index have higher stock price growth and higher total returns than a similar portfolio of companies drawn from the bottom 20%.

Companies looking to win the CX game need to be willing to play the long game: adapt, invest, and commit to an approach that will build lasting customer relationships instead of eroding them for short-term gains.

Those organisations successfully engaged in customer transformation are focused on doing so in three core parts of their business: their customer experiences, operational processes and business models. To succeed CX must be removed from its attachment to customer service and marketing. To be successful CX needs to be a business strategy and a priority in all departments. CX is not a marketing tactic.

Here are some of the many things you can learn from customer experience transformation leaders:

1. Never loose focus on the customer. It’s far too easy and common to take your eye off the customer and focus on digital transformation, tech for tech sake or prioritising impressions over connections. So consider this a reminder: It’s crucial to ensure that your decision making is informed by relevant data about your customer, including operational, perceptual, behavioural and business value insights.

2. Get comfortable with change. A major component of success is driven by culture. CX is never standing still, it is never completed. it is ever evolving and changing. To succeed you need to create a culture that embraces change and enables adaptation.

3. Gain and maintain internal alignment. Key stakeholders across the organisation must align around where you’re going and why. Your CX vision must be communicated, shared, and reinforced. Every employee must understand how they can use it as a guide in their day-to-day actions. buy-in. Be clear about objectives. Communicate progress. Ensure expectations are set and met.

4. Eliminate silos across your business. Customer experience is the job of all these departments and more. Every role in an organisation, no matter how many times removed from dealing with customers, has an impact on CX. It’s everything that a company does that touches the customer or causes the customer to think about anything related to the company. Customers expect to interact seamlessly across channels, departments and groups. But most companies aren't built this way. Now's the time to radically improve performance, simplify internal processes, integrate insights and data sources and change how you deploy initiatives across your entire business.

5. Accelerate your 'speed to insights.’ Data is the fuel of CX but it requires you to connect data, experiences and analytics to develop clear and actionable insights. Customer-centric businesses thrive on customer-centric insights. They require fast, informative insights in near-real time, across multiple areas to help drive decision-making. While traditional marketing research remains important to understanding customers, adding behavioural data into the mix lets businesses get closer to their customers, faster.

6. Understand the customers journey and pain-points. Through journeys we are attempting to understand where the organisation is delivering an exceptional experience, building loyalty and advocacy. And where they’re delivering a poor experience, driving customers to competitors. By leveraging customer thinking and agile methodologies, you can prioritise the most important journeys, bridging gaps between expectations and experience to smooth the journey and maximise the value exchange.

7. Enable seamless, omni-channel customer experiences. You need to stop thinking offline and online, shopper, consumer and user. People (as in your potential customers) don’t think in the way that we have segmented marketing. They think about themselves and what they want to achieve and how they are going to achieve this. Customers increasingly expect to start a transaction in one channel and seamlessly continue in others. These omni-channel experiences give customers the ability to transact on a website, move to a call center or chat function, switch from a desktop to a mobile device, and even walk into a store without having to start over.

8. Personalise your customers’ experiences. Not only do personalised experiences boost revenue and loyalty, but customers also increasingly expect them. “Intelligent personalisation” increases relevance and engagement, thus delivering better experiences in the process. Through a deep understanding of each customer, rather than just all customers, personalisation provides unique benefits most competitors won’t match.

9. Let customers interact on their preferred device. Customers have the choice of using multiple devices to engage with your organisation today. Recognising that any given customer may choose desktop, voice, mobile or others at any given time. You need to plan for customers changing preferences and expectations.

10. Align KPI's to business objectives. In the end, customer experience is part of your business strategy, and therefore should be business results oriented. To make CX relevant in the business world, we must align the more emotional and experiential metrics with business metrics, so that we can answer the question that every senior leader (especially the CFO) is going to ask: "How much more profit will we make if we raise our CX score by one point?” If we cannot answer that question and correlate CX to profits, it makes for a difficult board meeting. This means tracking and analysing impact on your process, financial, customer and workforce-related measures, and leveraging a defensible and extensible metrics framework to manage everything.

11. Integrate and digitise processes. Organisations have been digitising manual processes for decades. To deliver interconnected experiences and seamless interactions across platforms, devices and channels, standardise, simplify and enable integrated process flows aligned to customer wants and needs.

12. Improve your operating model. Put the customer at the forefront of your transformation by optimising people, processes, technology and data across your customer journeys. You’ll help ensure a future-proof, innovation-driven, customer-centric (and perpetually improving) customer experience operating model.

13. Think by design. Customer experience design and innovation are core disciplines of CX leaders. Design thinking is customer thinking, an "outside-in" approach to understanding what customers want and need, and how these align to the ways you design and deliver products, services and experiences. The problems you choose to solve and how you solve them will be driven by their desirability to customers.

In summary

Customer experience is the job of all these departments and more. It’s everything that a company does that touches the customer or causes the customer to think about anything related to the company. There is a “secret” that CX leaders have figured out. They recognise the importance of a consistent, integrated framework for understanding and managing customer experience. By following the frameworks, they consistently drive better results, including greater value for employees, customers and shareholders.

Start small, stay focused and move quickly. Learn from your successes and failures, and take the next step. While systematically delivering great customer experiences is a never-ending journey, the rewards are significant and measurable.

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” Steve Jobs
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