Today’s customer expects more than they ever have before. Being constantly online and having access to information they didn’t have in the past, they expect brands to keep up with them. Companies often have the capabilities necessary for providing good quality customer experience, but they are unable to bring them together and use them efficiently. What are the main principles of managing customer experience?
A company without a strategy and a definition of target customer experience is facing the risk of not being attractive for target segments and slipping through the cracks as a generic brand. Where there is no vision, deviations and inconsistencies in brand perception inevitably occur.
Listen to the customer. How do they talk to others about the company? Do they recommend it? What kind of emotional impact does the company have on them? The best companies are able to implement the customer‘s voice in their process models and make a purposeful effort to influence how employees perceive the customer and how they think about them. The customer is present at every work meeting on a proverbial “empty chair”.
What makes companies with good quality customer experience stand out is their attitude to new technologies: instead of just using them to simplify their everyday operations, they introduce every technological change with a clear end-result in mind: to fulfil customers‘ needs that have not yet been fulfilled.
Collect information about customers from all available sources and gather it in one place. All external and internal information, big data, social networks and other input should be translated into a unified approach towards the customer.
Design your customers‘ experience as a smooth customer journey across all channels. Make sure to present a clear division of tasks and competencies between individual departments (marketing, sales, customer service, IT). Link up individual processes in the system including IT infrastructure. Surprise and delight your customer on every possible occasion.
There is often a substantial difference between customers‘ expectations raised by the company and the company‘s ability to meet said expectations. Setting expectations correctly is key. The quality of customer experience is best assessed by the customer.
Therefore, it is important to collect continuous feedback. It is the only way to distinguish the real level of your customers’ experience from your wishful thinking. Use your customers‘ reactions as the best tool for improving the system.
Customer experience is very often derived from an employee’s face-to-face encounter with the customer. In certain cases, a brand’s CX rating may depend entirely on the impression that a single employee makes on the customer during their meeting in person. Does this make you uneasy? Apply a simple rule: think of your employees as much as you think of your customers.
Employee experience must be set so as to support good customer experience to the maximum possible extent, and vice versa. Sharing positive stories both internally and externally, managing performance, remuneration and other factors create a culture that provides autonomy for the staff and fosters an environment they like to come back to. That is the only way to naturally prompt them to do more than just the bare minimum and leave the best impression when in contact with a customer.
The quality of customer experience has to be adapted to your target segment. A good understanding of how much value individual customers bring in is important. This allows you to optimize customer experience according to the company’s expenditure profile and prioritize investments.
Investment evaluation must be carried out with proper metrics. The efficiency of investments in customer experience is well reflected by the CSAT and NPS indicators.
Evaluating investments alone is not enough, however. Successful companies are able to link these indicators to the company‘s overall financial results. Qualified decision-making is conditioned by a good understanding of the relationship between the improvement of these indicators and the total financial benefit thereof. This will enable you to both make a comprehensive assessment of current investments and predict the return on future investments.