Customer experience (CX) maturity is a phrase we seem to be discussing a lot lately at InMoment. As a CX technology vendor, we often talk about it in terms of how our platform can power CX programs from beginners to seasoned veterans. We had the opportunity to explore the broader picture at the recent Forrester’s CX NYC conference.
June 19-20, a few InMoment teammates and I got to experience two days of customer experience centric conversations, many of which revolved around the maturity of the practice of CX itself.
Forrester described the next stage of the industry’s development perfectly with the conference theme: “Your New CX Mandate: Be an Engine of Growth.”
“Mandate” is a strong word. And in this case, not an overstatement. The call from the analysts and other speakers at the event was for all business leaders to literally grow-up their CX efforts; to become better organized, deliberate and strategic.
Following are a few of my favorite takeaways that can help turn your customer experience management programs into full-blown business initiatives with definitive impact:
Bring Real Business Discipline to CX
The opening keynote by Greg Marion, VP and Enterprise Senior Strategy Officer for USAA, set the stage for the entire event. USAA is a regular leader on several Forrester CX Indexes—and now I know why. Marion talked about need for organizations to treat CX strategy as seriously and methodically as business strategy. While this may seem obvious, it’s not what we’ve seen in most organizations.
CX may be suffering from its inherent “no-duh” value proposition: be nice to your customers and they’ll be nice to you. It made so much common sense that many companies haven’t treated customer experience as a true business discipline. Adopting a customer-centric and even customer-obsessed mantra or mission isn’t enough.
Understanding how to design and execute customer experiences that are differentiated in ways that are uniquely valuable to customers AND achieve the right business outcomes requires specific work. Unfortunately, most brands haven’t connected and the right data or done the right (or any) data science to identify specific levers and prioritize efforts. So when or if they take action to fix or elevate their customer experience, it tends to be either completely uninformed, or in better cases, under informed.
Another imperative Marion highlighted is tying CX to larger business initiatives. When companies design customer experience initiatives to support what the CEO and board care about (while at the same time delighting customers), not only does CX get a lot more of that mythical “buy-in from the top,” it also genuinely improves the bottom line.
“Good” isn’t Good Enough for Growth
My second takeaway has to do with the difference between meeting customer expectations and going beyond. I want to be clear: providing “good” experiences deliver real value back to the brand. In fact, Forrester found that for customers who report having good experiences, 74% will stay, 66% will spend more, and 83% will recommend.
Not too shabby… until you look at this next set of numbers. Customers who say they had not just “good,” but “excellent” experiences, 83% will stay, 83% will spend more, and 94% will recommend. What does a 9 point reduction in churn translate to in savings at you organization? How about a 17 percent increase in spend? And how many marketing dollars would you have to spend in order to equal that that 9 point increase in authentic customer recommendations?
Window Dressings Won’t Do
I have had the pleasure of working with Maxie Schmidt (Principal Analyst at Forrester) on multiple occasions—from webinars to our own CX Elevated event — and she always brings incredibly valuable insights to the table. Forrester CX NYC was no exception; she delivered a powerful mainstage presentation on the importance of shifting CX efforts from superficial changes to the deeper transformations that net real business value.
She used the example of redecorating a home versus renovating it. When redecorating, you change furniture and maybe hang some new paintings. When you renovate, you get down to the foundation, pipe and frame level, The latter is the approach you need to take with your customer experience. You have to get down to the bones of your business and make substantive changes to everything from how contracts are written and your supply chain runs, to who you hire and how they are incentivized.
Forrester CX NYC 2018 was an incredible experience and I know that we at InMoment take this mandate and its meaning to heart. Thank you to Forrester for a great event!
To find out more about how InMoment can be a real engine of growth for your company, schedule a demo with one of our CX strategists.