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There’s no mistaking the impact customer experience (CX) has on business: 86% of consumers worldwide say a company is only as good as its service and 80% will buy more from organizations that provide consistently personalized experiences. Conversely, 77% will leave after five or fewer negative interactions. Last year, one-third of consumers stopped doing business with a company after having a negative interaction.
Customer expectations are high, and meeting those expectations is a challenge. But without customers, you don’t have a business. Here are 5 customer experience priorities to focus on that will keep your customers and employees engaged and loyal — and will drive business success.
1. Give Customers a Voice
Plenty of organizations gather customer feedback, track behaviors and preferences, and conduct research. But too many Voice of the Customer (VoC) insights are stored in the digital version of a three-ring binder — never to see the light of day. Saving data for data’s sake isn’t beneficial.
Instead, customer experience leaders should put processes in place to use all that information to really learn about customers and act on what you’ve learned. When you understand customers beyond a set of data points, you can deliver uniquely personalized experiences that no competitor can copy.
2. Make Each Customer Journey Extraordinary
It’s no longer enough to ensure that each individual interaction meets customer expectations. Consumers today expect relevant, connected experiences across their end-to-end journeys. They want to be remembered and understood.
That means, if their journey starts with a chatbot and escalates to a human agent, the context of the first interaction travels with them so they don’t have to repeat themselves. It also means organizations should be using connected data and systems, as well as AI, to proactively ensure relevance at every touchpoint along the customer journey.
3. Define Career Paths for Frontline Customer Experience Staff
Whether frontline contact center employees are on the phones with customers or responding to them via chat, email, social or video, they’re often the primary face of your organization. Treat them well.
Ensure your team has growth opportunities within and beyond the contact center. Create a culture that makes people want to stay, which should include asking frontline staff for their input into how to solve problems and improve their own experiences. And, ultimately, they’ll provide your customers with great experiences.
4. Measure What Matters
When it comes to customer experience metrics, measure activities and interactions that enable discovery and change. That includes measuring the performance and outcomes of full customer journeys, not just individual channels or interactions.
To fully understand customers, use segmentation that’s meaningful. Demographics won’t tell you why customers behave in a certain way or prefer a specific channel. Tracking and measuring behaviors, psychographics, transactions and values will provide a clearer, more actionable view of customers.
5. View Customer Service as a Business Differentiator
Stop thinking of the contact center as a cost center. Instead, take time to understand the value of each customer interaction, as well as the cost of providing a poor experience. Consistently relevant interactions build loyalty and wallet share; bad experiences lead to dissatisfaction and customer churn.
Customer information gathered through service interactions provides invaluable insight to marketing, product, sales and other teams that they can use to improve offerings. That leads to cost savings and increased business performance.
The need to take care of customers and deliver on their expectations will never change. What will change is how organizations will provide those remarkable experiences.
The customer experience you provide is your company’s most important business asset. The key is to start each day with a plan on how to take care of your customer today — no matter what else is happening at your organization and out in the world. It’s easier to win business when you’re customer centric.
Read this ebook to learn how five companies are taking a customer-first approach and using the innovations of the cloud to build a competitive advantage.
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