Developing and maintaining a customer experience (CX) program is challenging, which is why many brands turn to a partner to help see this massive endeavor through. If, like many business leaders, you’re wondering how best to go about this process, what follows is an effective methodology for finding the right CX partner for your business:
- Assess Your Current Program
- Establish Why a Change is Needed
- Incorporate The Needs of Other Stakeholders
- Outline Program Goals
- Develop Short, Middle, and Long-Term Plans
Step #1: Assess Your Current Program
Before searching for a CX partner, it’s important for brands to assess where their program is at. Specifically, organizations should establish which feedback channels they rely on, which stakeholders are involved, and whether their current program is effectively helping them attain meaningful transformation or meet business goals.
Companies that establish the scope, strengths, and weaknesses of their CX program before they begin searching for a vendor can better identify which CX partner can best suit their individual needs. Having this knowledge handy can also hasten any implementation processes once brands select a vendor.
Step #2: Establish Why a Change is Needed
Once brands have had a chance to sit down and evaluate their current CX efforts, they also need to answer a very important question: why bring in a vendor? What program or business need would recruiting a CX partner help meet?
Just as taking stock of a CX program can better prepare companies to seek out a vendor, so too can answering this question. Companies should always try to distill their CX and business shortcomings down as specifically as possible to both help find the right vendor and to be prepared to hit the ground running on improvements.
Step #3: Incorporate The Needs of Other Stakeholders
Considering company stakeholders’ needs is another important part of nailing down an ideal CX vendor. Just as they should consider why a change might be needed on the CX front, businesses also need to carefully consider which stakeholders would stand to gain from a CX partner’s assistance and how.
For example, do frontline teams need help with effectively managing customer feedback? Would Human Resources benefit from a change in how they engage with and solicit feedback from employees? These and other questions are why it’s important to consider what various stakeholders need from a CX program and how finding the right vendor could help their respective efforts.
Step #4: Outline Program Goals
This step can only take place after companies have identified how their current CX efforts are faring, why a change might be needed in those efforts, and which stakeholders need to be involved and how they’d benefit.
To be clear, outlining program goals means establishing specific, meaningful transformations that brands wish to see, not something generic like “general CX improvement.” Much like establishing why a change is needed, outlining specific goals can help a company find the right CX partner for them significantly faster.
Step #5: Establish Short, Middle, and Long-Term Plans
Companies can take outlining program goals a step further by examining what they’d like to see a CX program achieve in the short, middle, and long term. Brands should get as specific as possible with the high water marks they’d like to achieve through customer experience, including customer acquisition, customer retention, upselling to existing customers, and by how much they’d like to lower cost to serve. These are just a few elements companies can incorporate into these plans.
Brands that take the time to put all five of these pieces into place will be excellently positioned to find the right CX vendor for their respective business goals. No matter those goals, though, it’s important to seek out a partner that offers a balance of data-powered solutions and inveterate expertise. Together, brands and their vendors can then establish needed changes, bring benefits to stakeholders, meet business goals, and achieve short, middle, and long-term success.