The start of a New Year offers a chance for companies to reflect and also to stake their claim upon which they see as the most important trends that will shape the landscape in years and the months ahead. If it comes to customer experience (CX), sadly the temptation to live on crises which happened during the previous 12 months — where there were many in 2016 — can prove too strong.
Learning in yesteryear
I think we can agree that we’ve had quite enough of this terrible news out of 2016, while it can be useful to learn from those CX slip-ups and use lessons learned to move forward as a business. I’d love to have this opportunity to highlight some of the positive measures being taken in light of CX mistakes, and utilize them as a basis.
As an example, there is BT. BT, the market leading service supplier in the united kingdom, announced it is to invest #6 billion in 4G fibre, and client experience. BT’s investment in customer experience is going to be made mostly in the infrastructure necessary to satisfy with new commitments such as call handling technology and case management, but also in service quality and reliability. BT revealed it understands that technology isn’t a silver bullet. It is of course a vital component to any successful CX improvements, but without designing and implementing services and processes around the tools platforms are destined to fail — or create situations.
CX as a differentiator
At the beginning of 2016 Gartner prediction that 89% of companies will aim to distinguish themselves on the grounds of customer experience mostly from their competitors. We have seen a greater organisational commitment to CX from the companies that we’ve spoken to.
However commitment means more than placing data technology that is big or staff in place and simply implementing a customer feedback process. If your CX attempts are not connected and you do not have involvement and the support of your organization, then those initiatives risk failure. It is no surprise that in 2016 we discovered that almost three out of each CX programmes do not deliver the results companies expect or want. Feedback systems are implemented in isolation as a stand-alone activity. They are also implemented without the involvement of internal or external stakeholders to interpret the CX strategy.
Talking to a number of CX leaders as part of MaritzCX’s CXEvolution assessment we discovered that in order to get a CX strategy to be successful it requires three things: a strategic approach to CX improvement and establishing clear objectives; a success roadmap that’s more apparent and much more actionable; and organisational and leadership engagement/buy in.
The element that will have the largest impact on an organisation’s CX success will be the leadership group; whether the leadership team sets exactly the ideal tone, expectations and leads by example in regards to CX’s behavior. When embarking on your CX travel it is crucial to have the leadership team as early in the planning stage. Commitment to CX from the very best instils the culture and hence behaviours across your business.
This is something we have seen bear significant fruit . Low-cost airline Ryanair has introduced a number of initiatives to be able to improve the consumer experience of its passengers, including a ‘My Ryanair Club’ reward strategy, and also a ‘Rate my Flight’ mobile attribute, which prompts passengers to rate their Ryanair flight as soon as they land, giving the airline instant feedback on weak customer service places. The initiative was spearheaded by CEO Michael O’Leary, who was quoted as saying “If I had only known being nice to clients was so great for our business, I would have done it years ago.” The new focus on customer expertise has caused an increase in profits, revenue and customer numbers for Ryanair because it established its ‘Always Getting Better’ (AGB) programme three decades back, aimed at fixing things Ryanair’s customers dislike to improve its offering.
Predicting the future — and the last
Customers already expect organisations to understand what they need — without having to ask. Looking forward, they will expect organisations to anticipate their needs and to solve issues before they arise or escalate. Therefore something that’s going to gain momentum will probably probably be analytics.
Many companies have a case management system in place that allow them to reactively respond to customer problems. Whilst you can not address your business issues responding to clients one at time, you can mine your collective customer insight to identify and clarify problems and patterns. This is where modern analytics comes in to play. Based on the feedback given by the percentage of your customer population who finish your CX surveys models may be connected to forecast the likelihood of customers behaving in similar ways.
The ability to forecast the behavior will be transformational. It enables firms to supercharge their closed loop programmes. It will help you to pin point obstacles on your own systems and processes that altered, can be addressed and solved. It will let you identify areas for instruction and training to upskill your own frontline teams.
Analytics will let you be proactive on your management of CX. That is not to state loop programmes have had their day. However, the contrary closed loop remains a key ingredient to engage your frontline teams in CX. This indicates is that you will begin to make your loop information work harder for you.
Culture of CX
Your organisation is required by developing a culture of CX in 2017. It takes a connection between your understanding of your customer, your processes, your structure, your sources of advice and your visitors. If just one of these key CX measurements lag behind others, you risk creating an civilization that possibly hinders your roadmap.
As a result your strategy in 2017 should seek to evaluate your orientation to the successful delivery of a balanced CX strategy. The company is best placed to manage CX through prediction when all this is aligned. Then a challenge is to stay consistent with the CX efforts – every day with every customer.