by Brian Lannan
Most organizations are aware that delivering excellent customer experiences is non-negotiable in today’s economy. Not only is it a crucial element of successful business strategy today, but it’s only going to become increasingly important as time goes on.
Still, even if you’re aware of the importance of exceptional CX and have built a future-proof strategy, you might not have the business operations required to drive your organization to your North Star future state.
Businesses require a strong, agile infrastructure to adapt to the needs of their internal and external audiences. Every interaction a customer has with your brand, at every stage of the sales funnel, needs to be seamless and consistent which means every arm of your business operations has an impact on the kinds of experiences you deliver for your clients, customers, and employees. Hiring decisions or investments in tech can make or break your experience delivery.
For this reason, your operational customer experience management needs to take people, technology, and processes into account.
Any organization is only as good as its people. From the C-suite to entry-level new hires, every employee shares responsibility for the customer experience your business delivers.
Here are some of the operations you should assess to make sure they’re contributing to a differentiating customer experience strategy:
The first step to building a customer-centric organization is making sure you’re growing thoughtfully, acquiring the right talent and training them to align their focus with your company’s overall goals.
Don’t stop at hiring the best people. Once you’ve onboarded new hires it’s essential to make sure you retain and develop them. This means devoting energy and resources to employee happiness and satisfaction, including providing strong benefits, motivational incentives, and a good work-life balance.
A positive employee experience will do more than lower turnover; it will ripple out into the interactions your customers have with your brand, making them better and more memorable.
The people at the top of your organization set the tone for the rest of your employees, leading by example when it comes to everything from company culture to work ethic. Customer experience is no exception, so make sure you’re hiring and promoting the best and brightest leaders, people who believe in and champion customer experience transformation.
The partnerships you choose to make in your industry should add value not only to your business but also to your customers. If you can hit that sweet spot where the two interests intersect, you’ll likely see a boost to your bottom line as well as your customer experience.
What all of these business operations have in common is buy-in. In order to deliver powerful customer experiences, you need to make sure that everyone in your organization understands the importance of and is invested in your customer experience strategy.
Once you have the right people on board, ready to pursue your customer experience goals, the next step is to make sure your technology is streamlined and integrated to simplify operations across your entire enterprise.
Below are some of the tools that can help support your strategy:
Rather than siloed customer data, a unified CRM will enable your employees to share a holistic view of each customer, so that every engagement that customer has with your brand picks up seamlessly where the last one left off.
Customer data management and personalization
Having a centralized dashboard for customer data management and segmenting will allow you to deliver highly personalized interactions, which is key to creating memorable customer experiences.
If personalization is key to delivering exceptional experiences, analytics are key to personalization. The right tech can pull automatic insights from the customer data you gather, which enables your marketing team to create more effective reports that lead to actionable analysis.
Customer enablement tools
Tech that enhances and simplifies your customers’ engagements with your organization, like chatbots, user-friendly websites, and self-service portals, makes your customers’ lives easier and leaves them with a positive impression of your brand.
Tech that streamlines and improves your employees’ experiences on the job not only minimizes turnover and increases efficiency, but also filters through to better interactions with customers. Happy, enabled employees create memorable, positive experiences. Powerful employee experiences are inextricably linked with powerful customer experiences.
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Lastly, great people and powerful technology are dependent on efficient, standardized processes to make sure they’re utilized to the best of their ability.
Using analytics dashboards and implementing scheduled processes like regular feedback loops, clear Voice of the Customer programs, and consistent measurement of metrics like NPS will help keep your customer experience transformation on track.
The benefit of a roadmap can’t be overstated: it’s worth the time to create a document that includes a clear timeline, detailed logistics, and delegation of resources and roles to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
An excellent data program will help enable your marketing team to plan and orchestrate effective omnichannel campaigns that target specific customer segments with hyper-personalized content.
It’s more important than ever for organizations to invest in customer experience, and to go beyond strategy and put business operations in place to deliver exceptional experiences to your customers.
All your stakeholders need the tools, resources, and technology to support their needs and amplify their experiences, and Avtex can help you provide them. We fuel exceptional customer experiences, and our expertise reaches all areas of business operations, from people and processes to technology and integration.