Providing an award winning customer experience (CX) to consumers goes beyond just being “nice.” Properly training your customer facing associates is certainly important, but as my colleague Bob Moorhead recently stated, “top notch customer service is driven by having the proper data and technology in place to fulfill customer goals.” In other words, it’s not just about being friendly on the phone. It’s about resolving issues quickly and relevantly, which can only be done with the proper supporting technology and data infrastructure, requiring all parts of the organization to be aligned in order to provide utility to customers.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend Forrester’s Forum for Customer Experience Professionals where 1000+ brand marketers joined together to share learnings on how to improve customer experience quality and measurement of the results. Forrester’s Customer Experience Index is a great benchmark to truly understand all components of the customer experience. The index:
- Captures the fundamentals of a great experience: effectiveness, ease and emotion
- Incorporates a detailed understanding of the role emotions play in an experience
- Accounts for the unique loyalty dynamics in specific industries
- Helps CX professionals understand why their brand earned the score that it did
Customer experience is complex, and must go beyond trying to give your best service to all customers all the time. When developing or enhancing your customer experience strategy, you must first identify your high-value customer groups; and anticipate their needs with a distinguished experience that lives up to your brand promise. Doing so requires a sophisticated approach to customer identification, both explicitly demonstrated through behaviors enriched with third-party data, and thoughtful decisions about how to resolve issues quickly and easily, as the Forrester Customer Index posits.
As you’re evaluating your customer experience strategy, meet with your team members to review the following questions to determine the role data can play in your CX:
- Is our organization ready for embracing CX in terms of our operations, culture and executive support?
This requires breaking down organizational silos, and enabling the frontlines of your firm to represent the company’s brand and brand values.
- Do we have the data and systems to provide a unified and consistent experience, across devices?
If not for everybody, at least for your top-tier customers identified as (or before) they arrive. For example, are you recognizing customers across the touchpoints? Are you leveraging the knowledge gleaned from your loyalty program? Having a formalized identity management process will make sure you are set up to provide the best customer experience across all touchpoints.
- What data is available to us?
With CX, you need the ability to make decisions in a ‘split second,’ this data needs to be readily available at your fingertips to enable you to do so.
We encourage our clients to go beyond focusing on ‘what’s broken,’ and instead think about building experiences that add new customer value and are meaningfully different. This is CX Innovation. To do this you need to utilize the proper data and technology to identify and fulfill customer goals.