Three Tips for Building an Award-Winning CX Program

In March, I spoke at InMoment’s XI Forum Sydney, and it shouldn’t surprise you that I chose to talk about building a customer experience (CX) program! In the spirit of sharing insights for those who couldn’t attend or want to revisit my key points, I’m here on the InMoment blog to briefly recap my presentation!

When I started working at InMoment, I knew nothing about CX. I didn’t know what a closed-loop system was and certainly didn’t know the difference between the inner and outer loop.

So at the recommendation of my supervisor, I read two books that you’re probably familiar with: The Ultimate Question 2.0 and Outside In.

I started to understand customer experience. NPS made sense. The case studies in the books made sense. And using customer experience to drive business outcomes felt common sense.

However, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that our leadership team asked me to lead the effort to rethink and revamp our CX program: Elevate. Here’s my story of going from a CX newbie to turning Elevate into an award-winning program in 365 days. And I entirely attribute it to the three tips below!

In the post below, I’ll cover these three practical, simple, and impactful tips to turn your CX efforts into award-winning programs.

Tip #1: Stop Doing Things That Don’t Work

My first tip is “stop doing things that don’t work.” While you likely know what’s not working in your program, here are some red flags: low response rates, high drop-off rates, homogenous responses (i.e., only hearing from one type of customer), or a lack of actionable insights. Sometimes surveys are not the proper listening methodology for a given touchpoint.

Here’s an example:

Previously, we sent a post-sales survey to buyers after our sales team closed a deal. This is a critical touchpoint to understanding the buying process and competitive landscape. However, we received fewer than 20 responses from hundreds of invites yearly.

Everyone knows the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” right? Well, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then in the world of CX, a customer conversation is worth a thousand surveys. As companies move toward more automated, impersonal interactions, I’d argue that live customer interviews are more important than ever.

So, instead of trying to increase survey response rate, we realized we were using the wrong listening method at this key touchpoint. We scraped the after-sales survey completely and doubled down on doing live Buyer Interviews.

We found that many customers would rather spend 30 minutes live on Zoom with us than two minutes completing a survey. We upload our interview transcripts and summaries to our XI platform for tagging and analysis—and the insights are invaluable.

Maybe you can’t conduct customer interviews, but I bet you have existing customer conversations in the form of call and chat transcripts, social reviews, or email support.

If something’s not working, try something new! Although there are best practices in CX, you know your business and your customers best. You need to do what works for you.

Tip #2: Listen With Purpose

No CX leader intends to ignore customer feedback. But too often, we launch surveys—or other customer listening posts—without purpose. Every customer feedback data source should have a clearly defined purpose, owner, and governance (i.e., a way to analyze the data, identify insights, and take action based on the themes).

Otherwise, customer feedback goes into a bottomless pit… and eventually, you’ll stop receiving it.

Sandeep Garg, our Chief Product Officer, is the most customer-centric product leader I have ever worked with. He is committed to ensuring the InMoment solution works for every single customer and that we continue to innovate to meet the emerging needs of our customers. And there’s no better way to achieve that than through customer feedback.

Sandeep and his team receive and review every piece of customer feedback, whether it’s a survey from our current customers, in-platform user feedback, or the Buyer Interviews I mentioned previously. He cares deeply about every nuance of the platform and ensuring it meets customer needs.

Here’s an example:

On February 1st, we received feedback from a customer. They were mostly happy, but the feedback contained a specific qualm about the platform. Sandeep received and triaged the feedback; by the next day, his team had resolved the issue for the customer.

The response from the customer: I wish I had given feedback sooner!

That’s what listening with purpose looks like. And when customers know you’re not only listening but taking immediate action, they’re more likely to give feedback repeatedly!

Tip #3: Always Be Celebrating

I saved my final topic for last: celebrating employees, as I call it, “Always Be Celebrating.”

Our Relationship survey asks, “Has any individual or team at InMoment gone above and beyond to ensure your success?” When we were revamping the Elevate Relationship survey, I knew I wanted to include this question, but I had no idea how much of an impact it would have.

We call this “Above & Beyond,” and it’s become a key metric for account health, customer satisfaction, and employee performance. We know that when an Above & Beyond employee is recognized, NPS is 5x higher. So while we’re primarily a technology company, our customer-centricity drives loyalty and continued value.

Whenever a customer calls out an individual, we pipe that comment into Slack and tag the employee. We also recognize Above & Beyond employees at:

  • Company All-Hands Meetings
  • Weekly Company Emails
  • Moments Boards in Conference Rooms
  • Our Mobile Application

Through this process, we’ve also identified the DNA of Above & Beyond employees, which we use for hiring, coaching, and training. And all of this results in highly effective employees that know how to meet customer needs!

Wrapping Up

Taking your experience program from the early stages to “award-winning” doesn’t have to be complex or require massive investment. Simply reframe your mindset and implement these three practical tips to build a program that customers, employees, and even executives love.

About Author

Josh Marans Director Experience Improvement at InMoment

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