Today, there are a lot of customer feedback management (CFM) companies talking about integrated CX. Integrated CX isn’t a new concept by any means, and InMoment is not so bold as to say we invented the concept. But, we are confident in saying that the strategies we are developing that view the customer experience as the sum of integrated feedback, insights, and actions are going to distinguish us from our competitors in a significant way.
What is Integrated CX?
Before we dive in, I feel that a quick definition of integrated CX—from our perspective—is a good place to start. We think of integrated CX as the process of creating an omnichannel customer experience through three key steps: capturing integrated signals, creating integrated insights, and taking integrated actions.
The idea behind integrated CX is to improve customer experience by combining large amounts of data with technology and services to create more complete customer insights and, as a result, more focused and measurable actions.
Now that we have done a bit of definition, how can you take this integrated CX approach and put it into action at your company? And, even more importantly, how can you do it so that you get financial proof points, such as proving the ROI of customer experience, from the efforts?
Moving from “What” to “Why”
I still have far too many discussions with clients and prospects who ask me what their net promoter score (NPS) goal should be or what does a blip in their customer satisfaction score (CSAT) mean to their business. I have to put on my best poker face (which I do not have!) and thoughtfully help them think differently. When businesses solely focus on the ‘what’ of customer experience data—such as numerical ratings and surface-level feedback—it sets them up for many unproductive discussions and mathematical scrambling to appease an analytical audience. Don’t get me wrong, metrics matter, but solely focusing on score management can lead to program stagnation. CX programs centered solely on the ‘what’ will struggle to drive tangible financial value.
I like to be like the newspaper reporter who continually asks ‘why.” Shifting to why will drive your team to delve deeper into customer feedback. It will also lead to you looking at multiple data sets—the first pillar of integrated CX—to better inform your customer behavior and sentiment.
It’s in this quest for the ‘why’ that businesses uncover hidden connections between CX improvements and financial business outcomes like customer acquisition, retention, and cost savings. In essence, the shift from ‘what’ to ‘why’ is the catalyst that propels CX programs toward achieving not only customer satisfaction but also a robust bottom line.
Using Data to Capture Insights
Another theme I hear from clients and prospects is that they have more data than they know what to do with or how to get insights from it (pillar #2 from integrated CX). I suggest taking a methodical approach with a dash of curiosity. The numbers can point you in the right direction. Integrating multiple data sources—qualitatively—can be harnessed to craft compelling narratives that reveal the deeper truths. You have to get beyond generic summaries and really dig into the specifics—understanding not just what happened, but why it matters.
While advanced CX platforms can provide valuable tools to get you started – or even most of the way to your answer – relying solely on automated solutions to ‘spit out’ answers is a shortcut to missed opportunities or superficial learnings. Human insight, analysis, and creativity remain indispensable. It’s the human touch that can weave data points into meaningful stories, connecting the dots between customer feedback and actionable strategies.
By being methodical, specific, and human-centric in your data analysis, you can create stories and action plans that are prescriptive and that can rally your organization to truly drive transformational changes to your customer experience.
Taking Actions That Can Be Owned and Measured
Gathering data and creating stories and specific plans to drive change can, unfortunately, be the easy part of driving integrated CX. Successful programs get measured by the actions taken and the business value realized – it is a harsh truth of the CX landscape.
To do this, organizations must foster buy-in and ownership at all levels of the company, starting with C-Suite endorsement and support and all the way down to the front line teams that deliver for customers and all the support staff in between.
If you’re looking for a starting point, check out this resource on how to speak the C-Suite’s language when it comes to experience programs!
The cliche is true – everyone owns CX. Once you have gathered data and created insights, the actions you take should not be arbitrary. Programs and initiatives should be tied to a well-defined hypothesis or a specific business driver.
It’s essential to recognize that not every action taken as a result of your program needs to be a grand slam; incremental wins are valuable steps in the right direction. CX is a game of momentum and continuous transformation. Another true cliche is that CX program success is a marathon and not a sprint.(For those of you who know me, you know I can’t resist a running analogy.) However, your initiatives should all be measured with a financial lens to enable you to track your return on investment. And – spoiler alert – all these successful actions will make customers happier and raise your scores. This is the validation from your customers that you have achieved integrated CX!
Building Your Integrated CX Program
Ready to transform your business with integrated CX? Take the first step towards boosting profitability and customer satisfaction by downloading our FREE ‘101-level’ guide today! You can access the guide here.