It’s a commonly held belief among many brands—and the customer experience (CX) vendors that partner with them—that all it takes to solve your business challenges and meet CX goals is to turn on as many listening posts as possible. The idea behind this approach is to gather a mountain of ‘big data’ and thus be armed with every possible piece of information about your customers, your employees, other audience segments, and all their preferences.
The truth, though, is that there’s a gap between data and business challenges that just having data isn’t enough to bridge. A lot of CX vendors and programs fail to account for this gap, and thus many of these initiatives fail to make a difference. The secret to making a difference? A principle called designing with the end in mind, and connecting your CX program to quantifiable goals before any listening posts are even activated. I’m going to take you through three such goals that will help your CX program be the best it can be. Those goals are:
- CX Goal #1: Customer Retention
- CX Goal #2: Cross-Selling/Upselling
- CX Goal #3: Customer Acquisition
CX Goal #1: Customer Retention
Given how much more expensive it is to onboard new customers than to keep existing ones, customer retention is a goal that permeates most every department of most every organization. A lot of brands want to use their CX program to retain customers, but they usually end up gathering a mountain of data and then trying to manually carve insights about their existing audience out of it.
It turns out that using this approach means that you’re working backwards. Rather than try to gather actionable insights only after accruing data, it’s far better for brands to dedicate at least part of their program design phase to figuring out which goals they need to achieve for their customer base. Which audience segments do you need to listen to? What channels do they use? Building your program around these questions will end up saving not ‘just’ customers, but a great deal of time and effort on your part.
CX Goal #2: Cross-Selling/Upselling
Once you’ve established which audience segments and channels suit your business goals, you can dive a bit deeper by identifying cross-selling and upselling opportunities within your customer base. This work requires nuance, but you can use the same design-with-the-end-in-mind approach here as with retaining your customers to unveil new revenue sources without having to onboard new customers.
This goal ends up being something that a lot of brands overlook, but it should be a core driving ethos of your CX program. You should also make room within this goal for cross-shoppers and customers who transacted with you in the past but aren’t currently. With a well-designed CX program, the sky here is the limit.
CX Goal #3: Customer Acquisition
Acquiring new customers can be expensive, but everyone knows it’s a necessary goal to shoot for to sustain growth and market share. You can use the same audience segment and channel identification ethos here as with customer retention; the result will be the ability to find where new business lives and be there for it when your competitors can’t or won’t. In fact, researched properly, you can arm yourself with an idea of what these new customers will want before they themselves know!
Bridging The Gap
These three goals form a solid foundation for any customer experience program, and designing your program around them before activating your listening posts will enable you to actually bridge the gap between your big data and achieving Experience Improvement (XI). Knowing your audience and your marketplace landscape are integral parts of market experience (MX).
To learn more about how market experience shapes CX program goals and how best to get the lay of your marketplace landscape, click here to read my full-length PoV on using a combination of tech and market research to find and grow audience segments. Achieving an MX perspective takes time and effort, but the brands that master it are the masters of their verticals far more often than not.