Developing a customer experience (CX) plan that fits your organization is easier said than done. Navigating this new experience-based marketplace can be quite difficult, or even intimidating, but with the development of a purposeful CX plan it is very possible.
In InMoment’s white paper, How to Transform Your CX Program: The Art of Possible, I cover some basic concepts that help business leaders make that happen. If you lump those concepts together, they really boil down to these two things:
1. Get the Right People Involved
The first step to developing a CX strategy is to have universal buy-in from internal and external stakeholders. This means that everyone is on the bus, and is in agreement with where the bus is going. If people don’t understand where they are going, or why they are going there, it becomes very difficult to implement a strategy.
CX leaders of the most successful companies find ways to inspire the decision makers within their organizations to incorporate customer experience as a part of the corporate culture. Not only does this top-down approach allow for a more unified front, it also allows for a more effective implementation.
As you implement this executive-sponsored plan, it’s important that you bring together influential stakeholders from different teams, and that the customer experience doesn’t fall into the lap of just one person or department. At InMoment, we often advise our clients to create a CX “Special Forces” team with a variety of representatives, including dedicated leaders within the organization (not just figureheads) that are dedicated to making CX a way of life. It’s usually helpful to have representatives from operations, marketing, finance, HR, product, technology, and any other critical departments within your organization.
Successful CX strategy implementation also requires getting your hands dirty. Take the time to consider and experience first-hand what it is like to use your product or service, contact your customer support, search for your product, and use your website or mobile app. Encouraging others in your organization to do the same helps create a unique understanding and empathy for the customer—and a culture of customer experience stems from empathy. As you take the time to understand your business as your customers experience it, you can gather more information, which can be used to strategically drive major decisions and create positive impacts that lead to meaningful changes.
2. Get the Right Intelligence
CX leaders leverage many tools to gather information about the customer experience. The required tools and metrics vary based on the strategy, but the first thing to determine is what your organization wants to achieve. This end goal will be the north star that guides all other CX-related decisions and will help you know how to measure success.
Once you’ve identified what you want to accomplish, and how you will measure success, you’ll need a partner who can help you effectively execute on gathering CX intelligence. There are many Voice of Customer (VoC) vendors with various strengths and specialties, but few of them get the basics right. A good VoC vendor will always offer these five things as they help you gather the right intelligence:
- Multichannel Listening. Your customers want to share feedback, but they want to do it their way. A good CX partner will facilitate multiple types of surveys and feedback channels to allow for customers to share their opinions through mediums like voice, web, and video.
- Advanced analytics. Good analytics allow you to understand what’s driving customer behavior. Most vendors facilitate basic number crunching and scoring capabilities, allowing organizations to understand the “structured” data. However, much information is left on the table with “unstructured” data—comments, stories, etc. that aren’t easily categorized. Look for vendors with analytics advanced enough to allow you to capitalize on all of the information customers give you, instead of leaving something on the table for the competition to find.
- Flexibility. Strategic CX deployment is not one-size-fits-all. Each organization is different, with different clients and needs, which requires different approaches. When selecting a vendor, it’s critical to evaluate their ability to provide the flexibility to create the right solution while still allowing for advanced analytical capabilities that drive speed to insight. Vendors must have flexible platforms that are capable of accommodating your multi-client architecture and keeping the right people informed with accurate organizational reporting, regardless of complexity, while still handling changes in feedback mechanisms, channels, and methods—all without incurring high additional costs.
- Data integration. Rarely do CX strategies operate from one single program, so the ability to integrate across multiple systems—including multiple CRMs, social, transactional, financial, competitive, etc.—is important because it allows for deeper analysis and the surfacing of better insights.
- Ongoing Support and Professional Services. CX strategies require ongoing maintenance. To accomplish your goals, you’ll need a team of knowledgeable, dedicated, strategically-minded consultants to help guide you to the best outcome. A VoC vendor who sells you and then disappears won’t give you long-term success.
To learn more about how to transform your CX program, take a look at the full white paper here.