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Some industry experts believe that customer experience (CX) is evolving to another level. Companies continue to struggle to make CX a priority in their business strategy and apply the appropriate metrics to understand the value back to revenue. Delivering new and delightful customer experiences—and setting the right expectations for executives and employees—requires a plan.
Here are some top customer experience actions you can implement in 2019 to show its value as a practice and to help you grow further in your customer experience maturity in 2019.
Defining Customer Experience
Customer experience was once considered a buzzword, but it has proven to be an important battleground for companies looking to not only beat their competition but also gain recognition as leaders in their respective industries. In 2019, it will be necessary for companies to clearly define what customer experience means for them.
Annette Franz, a customer experience expert, perfectly described it as, “Customer experience is the sum of all the interactions that a customer has with an organization over the life of the ‘relationship’ with that company… and, especially, the feelings, emotions and perceptions the customer has about those interactions.” CX extends within the business; it’s culture-based, enterprise-wide and strategic—bringing all parts of an organization together toward a common design and goal. Think of customer experience as the umbrella—it builds a bridge across various parts of your business so everyone has a clear understanding of what they’re working toward.
With advances in the internet of things (IoT) in smart devices and artificial intelligence (AI), consumers expect businesses to know them. Beyond just knowing them, consumers also want and expect a personalized journey. Marketing, service and sales professionals look to data analytics to strategically design products and experiences to help customers achieve their desired outcomes.
Scaling Your Practice
As you move forward in your maturity model, you most likely struggle between delighting your customers and meeting their needs. We aren’t going to delight all customers; that’s okay. But you should know which of your customers are high-touch—expecting delightful experiences—and which of them only require you to meet their needs. It’s critical to properly define your customer segments by industry, revenue or behavior. This is where a solid customer relationship program plays a significant role to improve brand loyalty; you can focus on the account level one-to-one relationship.
Defining and planning is great, but it means absolutely nothing if you don’t deliver on it. You also must emphasize its execution. Every employee has good intentions when they’re working to deliver a feature. However, they shouldn’t just check off an internal box for delivery; they need to ensure it matches a customer’s expectation of delivery.
In the rapid pace of technology, we often forget to take an outside-in view. In tactical delivery, various parts of the organization provide an additional gut check to ensure the final product is still customer-focused. At the end of the day, focus on the customer. Get the experience right for them by being authentic, building trust and by empowering your frontline employees. Good customer experience is about looking at what you do through a customer lens.
For more information, check out the on-demand webinar “5 Customer Experience Requirements For Business Growth,” to get the essential elements for any business to realize a successful customer experience transformation.
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