After the year we’ve all experienced, many American brands are taking a long, hard look at their current CX performance.
In the wake of COVID many organizations are still sorting through the data to understand where their customers are today. For most, this will lead to some serious decisions about what it will take to win back lost customers, win over new ones, and retain them all.
If that’s where you are, “think customer centric, not customer led…” That, according to Qualtrics’ Sanjay Monga in a recent article for Forbes, is the first of 5 critical principles that should guide your re-strategizing efforts and help you step back and re-asking the basic, foundational questions you’ll need to answer if you’re serious about creating truly satisfying customer experience across your brand.
Throughout the piece, Monga repeatedly connects the dots between CX vision and the mission-critical role of the customer contact center. You can read his 5 principles here. If you would like to hear how, with the right contact center, you can deliver the kinds of customer experiences that drive greater growth and profitability, please reach out. We would love to talk with you!
5 Guiding Principles To Rethink Your Approach To CX Innovation
By Sanjay Monga, Principal Consultant, CustomerXM, Qualtrics. This is the second in a two-part series that explores customer experience innovation. The first part can be found here.
Innovation is a popular buzzword of the Digital Age. And since the rise of the experience economy in the last decade or so, there has been a strong connection between innovation and customer experience.
But harnessing innovation to fuel experience-led business growth is more than developing new products and services. Innovation is a mindset — and can even become a habit — if you embrace creative thinking as a skill that can be learned and improved with rigorous practice.
In the first part of this series, we explored three ways to innovate the customer experience. Now, here are five guiding principles to help you broaden your perspective of customer experience innovation and turn it into a mindset:
1) Think customer-centric, not customer-led
Customer-led companies are reactive, and often end up giving customers what they want — not necessarily what they need. When customers complain about a broken process, a customer-led company’s first instinct is to fix the process, not change it altogether. Addressing customer feedback is important, but acting on that data alone will create, and perpetuate, a company that is focused mainly on repairs — not one that will truly “innovate” the customer experience.
Customer-centric companies think outside the box and decide whether it’s worth investing time and money to fix a broken process or whether it’s better to create a new (and improved) experience for their customers. These companies proactively anticipate and adapt to evolving customer needs and are market-oriented.
Tesla is a great example — partly because of its product innovation, but also because of its service experience. Instead of “fixing” customer satisfaction issues that plague many auto dealership service departments, Tesla changed the experience altogether.
Eighty percent of Tesla’s auto repairs happen outside a service center, and mobile service repairs are complimentary. The company also runs software updates overnight and claims its repairs are four times faster than the conventional repair shop. Tesla’s customer-centric approach engenders brand loyalty, and Tesla owners are more satisfied than any other auto brand’s, according to Consumer Reports.
2) Engage cross-functional teams to design and deliver the customer-centric vision
A company cannot become customer-centric if different parts of the organization operate separately from one another. CX is not just one department. Customers can see right through the cracks and often know when a lack of coordination and communication is impacting their experience.
Mature customer experience teams involve cross-functional, interdisciplinary teams early on in the customer experience design process and draw on expertise across business units. They also forge connections that break down operational silos and foster better engagement and buy-in on customer experience from teams across the company.
When software corporation Autodesk decided to focus on improving a few key moments in its customers’ journey, they created working teams for each focus area and grouped people with different expertise together from across the company. This approach helped the teams step back and question things “out of their swim lane” and proactively address experience gaps that occurred in customer handoffs from one department to another.
3) Use experience innovation to fuel growth, not just operational efficiency
Too often, companies think of customer experience innovation as a means to reduce cost and drive operational efficiencies by streamlining processes. If a company can maintain or improve a customer’s call center experience through automation, for example, it won’t need to staff as many representatives. But, while reducing operational overhead is certainly one way customer experience can create value, it’s not the only way.
Don’t forget that loyal customers spend more, churn less, refer more business over time, and generally, are more profitable. Innovating the customer experience can help companies accelerate the pace of growth by improving loyalty among higher-value customers. The goal of improving customer experience metrics shouldn’t just be to improve operational efficiency but to fuel that growth.
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