I have been in the CX industry as a practitioner, vendor, independent consultant, and on the board for Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) for a number of years now. When it comes to CX, I have “been there, done that” and have the scars to prove it! Throughout the years I have come to the conclusion that Customer Experience is simple but extremely difficult to achieve.
Years ago, there was confusion around the definitions of Customer Experience. It was very often confused with Customer Service centers only, while others thought it was focused solely on the digital experience. Both Bruce Temkin and Forrester keep it simple and have very clear and concise definitions that I can stand behind:
- Forrester – How customers perceive interactions with your company
- Bruce Temkin - The perception that customers have of their interactions with an organization
Pretty simple, right? We may all agree on what CX is, but the CX space itself can be confusing as you delve into CX, EX, XM, CEM, VoC, Journey Mapping, Experience Design, and Customer Success. The difficulty with CX is when we try to consistently provide predictable, positive, and effortless experiences.
I am often asked what the secret is to best-in-class CX. In my opinion, there is no secret. CX involves a ton of hard work to keep things simple. That said, anyone who wants to up their game or get started providing incredible CX needs to keep the following things in mind:
Acknowledgment: Acknowledge where your organization is today. So many companies want to be the penultimate at CX without really looking in the mirror. If you have a complicated business and add complicated policies and procedures on top of that, there is no way you can provide consistent, predictable, positive, and effortless experiences. In other words, recognize your obstacles and focus on simplifying your customers’ experience.
Listening: Actually listen to your customers. Especially when there are many ways that customers “tell” you what they perceive. Customers talk to you directly by calling contact centers, speaking to sales representatives, Sending emails, or private messages. Customers talk about you in ratings & reviews, blogs, and social media. Or, customers can show you what they are perceiving through their browsing and buying patterns. In order to provide excellent CX, we need to tune into these conversations to ensure we focus on the best interactions to simplify.
Commitment: Executive buy-in can really make a difference in doing the hard work across your entire organization and holding people accountable. Aim to make real changes to your organization’s policies & procedures with the customer’s perception in mind. Stay committed, it’s hard work and takes time.
Consistency: Do customers know what to expect when interacting with your company? Sporadic “Wow” moments are not nearly as valuable to your customer, or your bottom line, as a predictable experience. Get back to basics and make those interactions easy and predictable.
Customer experience can be simple if you put in the hard work as a company. Check out Forrester’s 2020 CX Index for some of the top companies to emulate in the CX space. Know that CX is a long-term commitment and there are enough experts in the field to help you. Consider finding a consulting firm to help you get started or take advantage of the network of CX professionals at CXPA.
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, but if you work hard to keep CX simple, you will be rewarded.
Farlinium is happy to help you determine your CX / VoC Maturity level and how you compare to the overall industry. If you would like to find out more about where you sit on the maturity scale, please click the link below to complete a quick self-assessment and review your free results with one of Farlinium’s expert CX consultants.