How to start your CX program to meet today’s customer expectations

Published October 22, 2020·Written by Mike Ruini

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In its Customers 2020 report, the consulting firm Walker suggests that customer experience (CX) will surpass other brand characteristics like price and product.

Most brands are aware of the importance of CX, however, they fail to make the right improvements, or they lack the necessary knowledge to implement transformative change in their organizations. As a result, this prevents them from creating the best CX.

Due to the fact that customer interactions are happening at every stage of the buyer’s journey, customer expectations are increasing and becoming more complex. To meet these customer expectations, companies need to shift from a “customer-focused” approach to a “customer-committed” one. This transformation requires radical change in how companies think and act. CX professionals in organizations thus need to step up to meet these increasingly complex customer demands.

In this blog, we’ll talk about how to position your company to meet modern customer expectations, suggesting three ways with which companies can start their CX programs:

  1. Think about the individual customer
  2. Provide simplicity
  3. Anticipate future needs

Think about the individual customer 

The average customer does not exist. Consequently, the key to succeed is to identify and fulfill customer needs for a personalized experience. To offer a tailored service, organizations need an integrated view of the customer. This means gathering, analyzing and housing customer data in a way that supports integration and decision-making aimed at personalizing buyers’ experience. To do this companies must:

  • Be transparent with customer-facing employees: It is important for companies to share customer insights with their employees, specifically with the ones who interact with clients on a daily basis. The customer information will empower the employees, enabling them to provide a better and more personalized customer experience.
  • Deliver insights aimed at deepening the relationship with customers: Business leaders can truly make a difference in their organizations by gathering and sharing intelligence that can enable employees to provide a better experience, and consequently, establish positive and long-term relationships with clients. The information that you can share within your company can relate to the trends and perspectives in your industry, in technology, the competitive landscape, the latest insights in market research, and so on. These insights will provide employees with real-life examples of ways to improve companies and their relationships with customers.

Provide simplicity

Simplified experiences are something customers have come to expect. New technologies help make things simple, however, many organizations are narrowly focused on digital experience as the only way to meet customer expectations. These companies risk losing sight of the importance of developing personal relationships with customers.

Consumers are more empowered than ever before having information about competitors one click away. Therefore, companies need to invest in providing a CX that requires minimal or no effort for customers.

Unfortunately, complexity is inevitable in customer experience. The key to succeed is to try to turn complex touchpoints into effortless experiences for both customers and employees. There are several approaches to do this:

  • Identify which type of contact adds the most value to each step of the journey: To establish and maintain prolific relationships with customers, companies need to provide a balance between personal interactions and digital experiences. Listening to clients’ opinions can help companies determine which steps of the journey can be fully automated and which ones require personal contact. Always remember that the final goal is to promote ease and simplicity.
  • Provide consistency: One of the best ways to promote simplicity is to provide consistent customer experience by making sure that customers go through the same CX steps every time. In fact, establishing a routine is famously known to foster ease.
  • Embrace an integrated outside-in approach: Truly understanding and empathizing with customers must become a priority for organizations. Customer data provides the insights that companies need to develop their strategies to improve each customer journey stage.

Anticipate future needs 

Customers want matters solved quickly. They also value companies that have enough insights to anticipate needs before they become problems.

  • Focus on predictive analytics: There is no shortage of data when it comes to customer feedback, however, there is a shortage when it comes to analytical capabilities. This represents an enormous waste as companies can leverage advanced analytics powered by AI very easily. AI-powered analytics tools provide real-time, actionable insights that can be used to provide immediate resolution to customers’ issues, but also predict and proactively take action on future needs.
  • Flatten the organization: Give access to important customer and market information to every employee, empowering them to make the best decisions within their roles. Tools like Wonderflow’s Wonderboard allow employees to access real-time customer insights in a very accessible manner. Successful companies always invest in providing their workforce with information and tools, this is what distinguishes them from their least successful counterparts.

The steps to take to successfully start your CX program

The best way to meet these three customers’ expectations is to apply measurement to your CX strategy. In this case, measurement means gathering, analyzing and taking action on feedback and data from customers.

Organizations often choose to implement measures that are easier to implement over ones that are more difficult but more effectively measure how to improve CX performance. For instance, customer advocacy metrics are easier to implement but they have many flaws. Additionally, many organizations often measure only transactional touchpoints instead of customer journeys.

This makes it hard to effectively measure how to improve the customer’s overall experience with the organization.

The most effective way to measure customer experience and performance is to integrate the voice of the customer into your organizational strategy. To do this, organizations are required to move from a siloed measurement approach to an integrated performance measurement system to drive continuous improvement.

This is where most companies decide to turn to customer feedback analytics tools. These platforms allow companies to measure, report, analyze, and take actions on customer feedback.

How CX Analytics Platforms can help you

A customer experience analytics platform is technology that helps you gather all interaction with customers, both current and potential, into one place. More advanced platforms also enable you to integrate unstructured data. All this information is analyzed and combined using modern technologies such as Natural Language Processing (read: 20 NLP examples for businesses) and Artificial Intelligence.

Companies that are able to integrate these insights into all levels of their business, take more and more market share. If you don’t, there is no feedback loop, which is something that will customers notice (and leave you for). This is why Wonderflow sees ease-of-use of its platform as a highly important aspect of this process, just as delivering high-quality insights. This results in one of the most advanced and user-friendly platforms on the market. Its AI-powered Voice of the Customer Analytics (VoC) allows you to gather and analyze thousands of feedback records with very high accuracy. By mimicking the human ability to understand a text, Wonderflow’s technology generates real-time, actionable insights for the client (read: Wonderflow Recognized as a Market Challenger by Global Research Firm).

The strategic insights offered by Wonderflow’s technology are useful for decision-making within an organization. By using Wonderflow’s dashboard, the Wonderboard, companies can oversee a large amount of customer data in one glance; all put together in one clear overview. To develop and implement new strategies, it is fundamental for managers to have access to the right information and insights to guide decisions. Wonderflow thus makes sure that decision-makers within organizations have access to easy-to-interpret data in real-time.

Use case for enterprises

A clear example of the benefits from such a system can be seen in this case study about a Global 500 Consumer Electronics company. They were facing a huge amount of customer feedback records from e-commerce websites, in several languages. The large number of records made it impossible to generate the required insights at the right speed, which negatively affected their ambition to become fully customer-centric.

Through the Wonderboard, they integrated all customer interactions, public ratings and reviews into a single, easy to use customer experience platform. Wonderflow’s Natural Language Processing technology turned these customer feedback records into simple, actionable insights. Since the dashboard was designed for the business users and not the data science teams, users from over 11 business units got instant access to the right insights to generate a better ROI from product development, marketing, and their overall CX strategy.

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