Trying to Improve Your CX Program? Three Questions You Need for a New Perspective

Sometimes all we need is a shift in perspective. You can sit all day racking your brains for the answer to how to improve your CX program, but more often than not, creative answers require asking the right questions first. If this is you, our very own Ashley Goode (SVP) recently gave the keynote presentation at our August Experience Forum, a monthly event for our InMoment community members across all industries to help them rethink their approaches and gain new inspiration.

And here are the three vital questions to start that brainstorming session:

  1. Who do Your Customers Want to be?
  2. What are Customers Really Buying?
  3. How do Customers Want to buy?

Who Do Your Customers Want to Be?

Instead of asking who your customers are, start by asking who they want to be. What this question points out is the aspirational mindset of the modern consumer: how will this purchase measure up to who your customer wants to be? Due to changes in values and culture, customers today are more interested in buying things to fulfill a specific lifestyle rather than a need.

For instance, a customer who is keen on helping the environment would likely not want to buy clothes made through unethical practices. But they would want clothes from companies that abide by sustainable business models. So when understanding your customers, it’s important to think about your products and services as changes that shape their life.

What Are Customers Really Buying?

Let’s take a step back. In a time where corporate movements mirror societal ones, not only are customers buying a product itself, but they’re also buying into an experience that fits into a larger social context. Your product satisfies a practical function—like restaurants serving food because people are hungry—as well as a cultural one, because the food isn’t just food. It’s Mediterranean, Mexican, or Malaysian food.

For example, if you think about McDonald’s recent branding collaborations with celebrities such as Korean Pop band BTS, the food itself didn’t change much, but the logos and theme of the bags, sauces, and containers did. And that sent fans of BTS flying to McDonald’s—even though the food offering was nothing new. As you can see, your products are intertwined with our evolving culture, making them cultural products—that’s what customers are really buying.

How Do Customers Want to Buy?

Our culture today is heavily influenced by technology, and that can teach you how customers want to buy your products. With a growing population that would much rather text than call to contact businesses, it’s a no-brainer that customers now want more digital experiences—whether that’s a virtual store, online ordering, etc. 

With the aid of digital experiences, your business can help customers find and define their lifestyles. Incorporating digital elements into each part of your customer journey map will show customers that your brand cares about how they want to purchase products. After all, how customers buy is just as important as what they’re buying.

Find these questions interesting? Our InMoment clients attend exclusive events like these monthly, featuring internal thought leaders, industry experts, and other experience rock stars. Want to learn more about the brands in the InMoment community? Check out our Customer Stories page!!

How Cost Reduction Factors into Experience Improvement Strategy

I recently put together a Point of View article about the importance of cost reduction, and how going about it a certain way enables brands to reduce costs, lower friction, and build better relationships by improving customer experiences. These are goals that brands can accomplish with a single motion, and the organizations that say otherwise are not, unfortunately, utilizing their experience platforms and data as much as they could be.

As important as cost reduction is, however, it’s one piece of a larger picture that brands should draw inspiration from as they try building better experiences. That picture is what I call the four economic pillars, and we’ll briefly run through them now.

Four Economic Pillars for Your Experience Improvement Strategy

  1. Customer Acquisition
  2. Customer Retention
  3. Cross-Sell/Upsell
  4. Cost Reduction

Pillar #1: Customer Acquisition

Brands should always try to acquire new customers as a matter of course, but a lot of organizations don’t tune their experience platforms & programs to that objective as much as they can and should. A versatile Experience Improvement (XI) program can help brands identify where prospective customers live in the feedback universe, then digest their sentiments to create an experience and product offering that those individuals will find attractive. One reason why more brands don’t succeed here is because they don’t decide where it might be best to look for new audiences before turning their programs on. Be sure to discuss and agree on your program design  before proceeding!

Pillar #2: Customer Retention

We can all agree that it is more efficient for brands to retain current customers than to rely too much on new ones for revenue. That’s why you should use your experience programs and feedback tools to not only seek out new customers, but also ensure you’re keeping tabs on conversations within your existing customer base. The best way to do this is to bring all relevant teams to the table, construct a profile of your existing customer against a backdrop of operational and financial data, then use that info to continuously refine your products and services, as well as reduce friction in the experience you deliver. Customers appreciate a brand that does more than react to problems as they arise.

Pillar #3: Cross-Sell/Upsell

Creating a profile of your existing customers is useful for more than ‘just’ building a better experience for them; it also reveals new opportunities to cross-sell and upsell that group of clientele. Seeking out new sources of revenue is all well and good, but most brands would probably be surprised at what opportunities are just waiting in their own backyards. For that reason, organizations should build a customer profile with both better experiences and cross-selling opportunities in mind. Try to resist the urge to consider this pure sales; rather look at it as helping your customers get the most value from all that you have to offer. 

Pillar #4: Cost Reduction

Cost reduction is very important on its own, but it takes on added meaning when viewed through the lens of these other three pillars. What makes cost reduction exciting  is that brands can achieve cost reduction goals via a lot of the same processes that underlie these other pillars; reducing friction, streamlining processes like customer claims, and the like. Again, brands should not view cost reduction as something that’s mutually exclusive with a better experience. Rather, with the right experience platform, organizations can achieve both goals with one approach.

Click here to read my full Point of View on cost reduction, in which I take a much deeper dive on this subject, and stay tuned for additional material we’ve got coming down the pike on the importance of this and other economic pillars!

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