Getting the Low Down on CX
Folks, I know that we’ve been talking about it a lot – customer experience, that is. But what does it actually mean?
Customer experience – largely referred to in the IT world as simply “CX” – encompasses many things. But we could explain it simply as an amalgamation of the service, feelings and overall usability of your brand; the impression any customer or prospect has with your business, whether such interactions resulted in a sale or not.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising that CX has been shown time and time again to have a direct impact on almost every aspect of a company – most importantly, your bottom line. It affects the way customers new, existing or future view your business; the likelihood that they’re going to do or continue doing business with you. It has a large impact on how you source new customers – think referrals and networking specifically. CX touches upon all areas and, as such, it’s a job for everyone.
So, just who is responsible for customer experience and what are the key roles involved in managing or improving it?
To start with, we need to understand that there are two sides to CX: people and product. Product (or service) refers to what you actually do for customers; the enjoyment/ease of use/fulfilment/usefulness they find in what you bring to market. People means, of course, the individuals that a customer comes into contact with on their journey with your business – the service they receive in terms of customer care and support.
As such, having the right people in the right position to make sure both of the above are operating at their absolute best is crucial to a strong customer experience strategy. Here are some of the key places you should consider investing, if you haven’t already, to improve your own:
Having a strong analyst on board can prove invaluable when it comes to understanding the data you’re currently producing, moreover using it to predict customers’ future needs. What are customers loving? How are they behaving? What areas do we need to improve? Where do we lose people?
There’s no end to the questions such a person could and should be asking about your customer journey; combine this inquisitive nature with the ability to spot trends and patterns in the data, and you’ll soon be exposing the holes. Once you know what you’re up against, it’ll be all the easier to create a strategy which overcomes these challenges.
Okay, I know it’s a little bit of an American term – but the premise stands. Having on board a dedicated expert, one who toes the line between interpersonal skills and technical understanding, is priceless from a customer’s perspective.
As a customer/user, having your issue ‘escalated’ or being passed around multiple individuals to solve a problem simply isn’t ideal. Enter the CX guru: someone who knows their stuff and can, on many occasions, save your prospect multiple steps (and a lot of hassle). They’re not a salesperson, nor are they technical support or customer service; this person is going to be extremely talented, multi-faceted – and a great addition to the team.
CX Product Developers:
With an ineffective or undesirable product or service, no matter how incredible your customer care team is, you can only go so far. No one wants to be known for providing amazing service around a product which doesn’t work, or simply doesn’t match up to its competition; so, having a dedicated product development team who work with both of the roles I’ve just mentioned, to understand where customers are falling out of bed, means they can come up with exciting, innovative ideas and ever-improving developments.
Your CX-specific product developer isn’t a person or team who are simply coming up with the next big idea – they’re working based specifically around what you learn each day about what customers love, don’t love and want to change. A CX-specific product development team uses data and common sense to improve the journey your customers go on with your business, ultimately generating prolonged repeat business and, hopefully, a generally happier customer!
The truth is, we’re seeing CX cited on the financial reports of many clients whom we’re extremely keen to work with in the coming year. Is it on yours?