The journey to improve customer experience (CX) begins with identifying your business objectives, and recognizing the need to listen to your customers and analyze what they’re telling you. The steps forward from that starting point vary, but many organizations jump into comparing customer experience vendors right away.
Though researching is a critical step toward that ultimate goal, it should not be the first step you take. Let me explain why: By browsing the sites of various vendors, you get a great idea of what they have to offer you, but how do you know if they can fulfill your company’s needs?
The answer is you don’t!
This is why I am going to suggest an alternate first step for you. Before looking at vendors, it is pivotal to first plan your objectives. What does your company hope to gain with CX technology? What needs should be fulfilled? What areas of strength or weakness are you already aware of in your customer experience?
These questions should help to get you thinking, but I have also outlined three specific things you should do while planning your objectives.
Think Short and Long Term
Your ideal customer experience platform should be able to address all points on your business timeline, from the current state of your company and its immediate needs to your long-term goals. Outlining your big picture goals will help you to have your vision in mind when you look critically at potential CX technologies. This will also help you to determine which vendor best fits your company both now and down the line.
Include All Company Stakeholders
We are all familiar with the “it takes a village” saying, and more than likely, this is true of your company. When you are outlining your goals, be sure to include any decision makers, stakeholders, and influencers in the process. This will help you to gain a more comprehensive view of needs and requirements. Understanding expectations from all your company’s angles will help you to set clear requirements and guidelines for any CX vendor you choose.
Write It Up
Once you have brainstormed, discussed, and specified your goals with your stakeholders, it’s time to put it all together. Consider creating a 1-2 page executive summary of your findings to use as a guide. This gives you something concrete to provide potential vendors as you research their solutions. From this document, they can more clearly communicate to you the areas of their program that will address your specific needs. Their response to this document will also give you a clear idea as to how the vendor will be to work with. If they respond with thoughtful questions and solutions, it is more than likely that they will prove to be an invested asset for your company in the future.
The CX journey is different for every organization, but planning objectives is a crucial step that will make selecting a customer experience platform that much easier.
So what are your next steps? If you would like more advice on where to go from here, check out our new resource, Customer Experience Buyer’s Guide: What to Know Before You Buy Software Promising to Improve the Customer Experience.
Download the full guide here.