Whether you're looking to shake things up in 2017, or you just want to explore what lies ahead, we've got the definitive scoop on all of the hot topics that will be dominating customer experience and customer engagement this year.
Culture is the very essence of a company and it essentially defines you internally and externally. Sadly, the truth is that “most companies pay little attention to how employees are, or should be feeling.” What they fail to realise is just “how central emotions are to building the right culture.” Having the right culture, the right environment for your people to thrive, will influence everything from employee satisfaction, to driving innovations and becoming a truly customer-centric business.
The term Customer Experience is typically thrown around in the boardroom and you'll find most modern businesses will have it written into their annual report. However, internal and external perspectives can sit worlds apart, it's not enough to simply say that the customer sits at the heart of your business. You have to make sure you adopt real initiatives where you can action customer feedback, consider taking a 'you said, we did' approach. Show the customer that you're listening and delivering value back to them, bring them into co-creation and let that insight drive your strategy forward.
The power of the 'Why' should never be underestimated. One of the main reasons a business struggles to improve Customer Experience is because they collect insight in an ineffective and inefficient way. Generic questions such as 'How likely are you to recommend us?' posed in surveys where the customer is to score their experience rarely pull out the 'Why'. It leads the customer down a particular path with responses and long surveys that see low engagement rates. If you truly want to know what your customers think, ask them to tell you in their own words, ask them 'How was that experience?' briefly forget the numbers, NPS, Customer Satisfaction and Customer Effort scores won't get you to the 'Why' and the core issues impacting your customers.
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Moving on, we have to recognise that the only thing that is really going to make a difference to your customers is you taking action. This is why a business has to make sure that they've established the right processes as to how they're going to use all of the insight they've collected and then prioritise it. To complicate matters for brands, customers expect problems to be dealt with quickly, and in many cases, in real-time. By utilising leading technology and evolved processes you can make sure this box is checked, allowing you to drive change and ensure your customers are getting what they want.
We see many brands suffering from poor customer engagement levels, but this issue can be linked to more than just one single contributing factor. Firstly, you have to make sure that you're creating a dialogue which the customer finds valuable, secondly, try to reach them on their preferred platform of contact, and finally, don't put them through a long survey. We recommend asking for a single score and letting them give you their comments in their own words, again, informing you on what their experience was and what was important to them.
There are three core elements to a successful Frontline team - strong engagement, customer empathy and efficient operation. Your employees need to be given the knowledge to succeed when handling customer issues and they need to be in an environment where they can focus. Caring about the customer and having the emotional intelligence to handle every scenario is a foundational skill when establishing a customer facing team. Finally, they need technology around them to support them, they need to be able to react quickly, in real-time and be able to close the loop meaning that customers feel as though they've encountered something truly special - a customer service interaction that actually felt good.
If a brand pulls together insight from their customers, it's very easy to spot trends in data, these may be demographic, geographic or psychographic. These trends in behaviour can help to inform you about what a customer might be feeling in particular moments along their journey with you as a brand. So long as we don't get too obsessed with the numbers and statistics we can start to deliver more personal and valuable experiences to them.
The ability to think outside the box will always give you a competitive edge, and it's something that every business and brand crave. The best place to start is to involve customers in your innovation, this method of co-creation means that you're identifying your customers needs early and letting them drive your innovation forward. Involve your most creative employees here, bring the right expertise to the room and you'll see ideas flourish.
If you're like us you'll be making sure 2017 is the year where you become truly obsessed with your customers and the experiences you're giving them. To help you out we've created 8 CX Resolutions for you to action in the new year, to grab your free copy just say 'yes please' (you can thank us later)