No matter how big or small your 2020 Customer Experience budget may be, Aimee Lucas has some advice for you. Why not take advantage of these last few, semi-quiet weeks before the new year to take another look at how your program is functioning right now. Are there some quick and dirty tweaks you could make that cost very little but promise to deliver big results? (Chances are yes, you do.)
Take a look at these 9 smart ways you can bolster next year’s program at minimal incremental cost.
9 Mini-makeovers for Your 2020 CX Program
There’s a reason why the end of a calendar year brings out a slew of posts highlighting trends and predictions that will impact our work as CX professionals in the coming year. Once the hectic, often spreadsheet-intensive cycles of annual planning subside and we wait on budget decisions, it can be a good time to look at the opportunities to make some smaller moves that will complement the “big rocks” of your program. While some of these are bigger undertakings that others, you’ll hopefully notice that most of these require some investment of time but can be done with very little investment of money.
Here are 9 mini-makeovers to consider for your 2020 CX program:
1. Do some item housekeeping.
It’s not unusual for voice of customer surveys to grow bloated over time with outdated, unused, or unnecessary questions. Rather than being locked into a fixed system, it’s important to adjust your monitoring as you learn and your capabilities adapt. Plan some time with your team to review the items you are collecting data on and prioritize what will help drive action. Look to eliminate questions that don’t trigger internal responses or that you already have the answer to thanks to operational or other data.
2. Bring metrics to life with customers’ words.
Lots of CX programs get their initial internal visibility thanks to the metrics they report out to the business. But for those metrics to help the organization improve its CX, they need to be meaningful to employees across the business. One way to do this is to use qualitative data from survey comments and other unstructured sources to illustrate what it really means when your customer is a promoter or a detractor, or is or is not satisfied, or finds it easy or hard to do business with you. Share representative comments and keyword analysis as part of a CX New Year Kick-off and help people see how their decisions and actions create desired experience outcomes with customers.
3. Inject some employee feedback into your CX program. Employees across the company are designing and delivering experiences for customers every day, yet their perceptions about what’s working and not working aren’t always factored into the diagnosis and action-taking to improve CX. This tweak doesn’t require launching a complex, structured listening program. It can start with a simple “lunch and learn” listening tour by the CX executive sponsor or a time-bounded poll or discussion post on a specific CX pain point on your employee social network. And when employee feedback results in changes to CX, make sure to point back to the source of the idea: employees!
4. Give your closed-loop program a refresh.
Even well-running engines can benefit from a tune-up and it’s possible your closed-loop program is no different. Use 2020 to refresh your closed-loop program where it needs it. You might start with the people who are doing the closed-loop follow-up and offer them up-to-date guidance on best practices for a productive conversation and reminders on the resources and escalation paths available to them to resolve a customer issue. If people are on top of their follow-up game, institute a learning loop with them so that you can uncover and share not only what works when closing the loop, but underlying issues and obstacles they uncover during follow-up discussions that offer deeper diagnosis into the pain points customers are experiencing.
5. Bring the field into HQ.
XM Institute research finds that employees who interact with customers as part of their work are more engaged than employees with no contact with customers at all. Yet there are many roles that employees fill which require little connection with customers, particularly roles within headquarter (HQ) functions like information technology, finance and accounting, legal, procurement, training and development, etc. Close that gap in 2020 by looking for simple ways to bring the field into HQ. One architectural and design firm had onsite project managers share videos from construction sites from groundbreaking to building opening to show the company’s work in action. Another technology company used its field technicians to show where and how its products were deployed within companies and on retail store shelves to help illustrate “when, where, and how” customers encounter the company’s products in the real world.
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
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