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How to Build a World-Class Customer Experience Program

Though every organization needs a customer experience (CX) solution tailored to its own industry, challenges, and strengths, there are several fundamental traits that all successful CX programs share. 

In our latest webinar, Now is the Time to Assess and Reinvent Your CX Program” with Forrester Senior Analyst Faith Adams, Eric Smuda described five elements that together define world-class CX initiatives and can enable organizations to achieve transformational success:

  • CX-Centric Data
  • Economic Framework
  • Aligned/Empowered Employees
  • Data Accessibility
  • Organized for Success

Key #1: CX-Centric Data

If an organization hopes to reap success and meaningful learnings from its CX program, it needs to ensure that every bit of data gathered through that program is relevant to the experience it seeks to provide.

Companies can help ensure CX centricity in their data in a number of ways. First, it always helps to design feedback channels in such a way that customers can share what they think is most important about an experience, not just what a brand considers most prudent. For example, open-ended survey questions and media upload opportunities are just a few ways to help make this happen.

Brands can also make their data more CX-centric by desiloing it. Departments should never work in a bubble when it comes to soliciting feedback—rather, they need to ensure that their feedback methods aren’t running over each other and are working in concert toward a holistic understanding of the customer experience. These methods are key to ensuring more CX-centric data.

Key#2: Economic Framework

The best CX programs both help brands identify opportunities for meaningful improvement and serve as cornerstones of a companies’ economic aspirations. Thus, it pays for organizations to be mindful not only of how to provide a better experience, but also how that improved experience can help brands climb to the top of their vertical and provide new opportunities for growth.

Organizations can help their CX programs stay rooted in an economic framework by anchoring it in four economic pillars. First, companies need to ask how CX programs can help them acquire new customers. They also need to consider how those same programs can improve customer retention, identify opportunities to cross-sell/upsell within existing pools of customers, and, finally, lower cost to serve. This paradigm can help keep customer experience within an economic framework and, ultimately, improve an organization’s standing in its marketplace and with customers.

Key #3: Aligned/Empowered Employees

Employees are an integral part of any successful CX effort. Thus, brands that want to be customer experience leaders need to empower their employees to take part in that endeavor. 

How exactly can companies accomplish this? For starters, it pays to recognize the employees who are part of the feedback process. This means incentivizing and rewarding customer-facing employees who go above and beyond to listen to customer concerns and reassure those individuals that their feedback is being heard.

Additionally, once companies implement meaningful improvement(s) based on customer feedback, they need to circle back to the employees who helped collect that info to let them know what took place as a result of their dedication. This can help employees find greater meaning in their work and become more impassioned about their brand. After all, employee passion is a key component of any world-class CX program.

Key #4: Data Accessibility

The more accessible a company’s CX data is, the easier it becomes for CX practitioners and stakeholders to understand where their company’s experience effort is and where it needs to go to achieve meaningful improvement.

Again, it’s also important for companies to desilo their data. When departments and stakeholders collect CX data by themselves, they risk creating skewed views of their company’s CX efforts and may even trample over each other’s attempts to gather meaningful information. The companies with the best CX programs recognize the importance of having departments and practitioners work together toward a single understanding of the experience they provide. They can then make that understanding available for all stakeholders.

Key #5: Organized for Success

When companies strive to ensure CX centricity in their data, work to keep that data rooted in a framework of economic success, empower employees to take part in and drive that success, and make CX information united and accessible to all relevant stakeholders, they’ll be ready to build a world-class CX program and, thus, be organized to attain transformational success.

Though none of these tasks is a small endeavor, companies that work toward achieving them will not only see an improved CX program, but also get the most out of that effort. Doing so can help any company reach the top of its vertical and continuously achieve meaningful improvement for itself and its customers.

Interested in learning more about how to build a world-class CX program? Check out our webinar, “Now Is the Time to Assess and Reinvent Your CX Program” here.

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