by George Demou
Customer experience leaders have one common goal in mind – to provide the best possible experiences for their customers. Of course, the increased revenue, decreased customer churn and improved brand reputation associated with such CX excellence are close secondary goals.
Unfortunately, creating better experiences for customers isn’t always easy. Many CX leaders face challenges in obtaining the funding or support to improve existing customer journeys or create new ones, especially when leadership views the current state as “good enough” or “acceptable”.
The Importance of Creating Better Experiences
The more impactful and effective experiences you deliver to your customers, the more likely your customers are to form a positive emotional attachment to your brand. This attachment leads to loyalty and long-term relationships, which in turn result in increased revenue and positive brand reputation.
The small things can make a big difference to your customers; nailing the small details along the customer journey can help create truly impactful moments for your customers.
Creating Better Experiences is a Cyclical Process
There are a number of steps involved in the process of creating better experiences. Each of these steps is critical to the success of CX improvement efforts and should always be undertaken with the perspective of your customers in mind.
- Map your customer journeys: In order to improve or create a wholly new experience, you must first understand the various paths customers take to interact with your brand. Journey mapping helps to create a visual representation of these pathways, allowing you to research each step in great detail. By mapping your current state experiences and carefully reviewing them, you can begin to identify opportunities for improvement.
- Identify opportunities for improvement: The first step in creating better experiences is to identify opportunities for transformation or improvement. Better CX can result from the improvement of an existing journey, enhancement of a communication channel, new use of technology or even the creation of an entirely new journey. Consider each journey your customers take to interact with your business – can you see ways to make those journeys better? The answer is nearly always YES.
- Define what “Better CX” actually means: After identifying a customer journey or communication channel to improve, you must define what the improvement - or better experience - should look like. Remember to keep the expectations, needs and wants of your customers in mind when defining what a better experience looks like.
- Develop a transformation strategy: After defining what a better experience might look like, it’s time to create a plan for the intended transformation by developing a future state journey map that visually outlines the new experience, and the processes and technology required to support the journey. Create a CX improvement roadmap that assigns responsibilities to individuals and teams and sets timelines for the project. Finally, identify the metrics that will be used to track the impact and overall success of the improvement.
- Orchestrate the improved experiences: Implementing improvement and supporting the transformed journey often requires multiple technology solutions working together. Be sure that your CX strategy - and the staff members executing it - have reliable technological support.
- Track the success and impact of your efforts: In order to track the effectiveness and impact of your experience improvement efforts, you must capture, manage, review and share data. Be sure you have effective tools and processes in place for capturing customer information during interactions. Analyze the success metrics developed earlier in the process and use those data points to plan your next course of action.
Remember, CX improvement is not a linear process, but should be cyclical in nature. Repeat the process as you continue to strive to deliver the best possible experiences to your customers.
Up Next – Identifying Opportunities for CX Transformation
In the coming weeks, we’ll dive deeper into each step in the process of creating better experiences. In the next installment, we’ll explore the art of journey mapping and the various factors you should consider when reviewing your customer journeys for transformation opportunities.