Customer Experience (CX) is a key priority for businesses in 2020. Customers are no longer basing their loyalty solely on price or products. CX has now become a competitive differentiator for companies wanting to win new business and retain existing customers.
Here are some ways your organization can improve CX to win more business this year:
Map the Customer Journey
One of the first steps in creating a great experience for your customers is understanding the key touchpoints your customers have with your company and mapping their “customer journey.” The customer journey starts with their initial discovery of your company, then proceeds through presale evaluation, decision/selection, purchase/implementation, and post-sales/customer support activities.
According to Gartner, 82% of organizations have created a customer journey map, but only 47% are using those maps effectively. Why? It’s easy to fall into the trap of adopting a general approach to all segments. If your company provides multiple solutions with distinct customer segments, you will need to create multiple customer journey maps. The journeys will vary based on the customer segment, personas, pain points, and needs. You can use these journey maps to improve the current customer experience, envision your future customer experience, and to drive organizational change.
Capture Voice of the Customer
Once you understand the customer journey, you can begin to collect feedback at the key touchpoints your customers have with your business. There are various ways to manage and measure customer experience. Many companies use batch surveys, but they tend to be generalized and only help to uncover areas for improvement after problems have already occurred. That’s why it’s essential also to capture real-time customer feedback based on customer interaction. You can do this by sending out short questionnaires immediately following the major touchpoints with your customers. These short surveys can help you gain timely insight into the customer experience that will help you react more quickly to problems and opportunities as they arise. Feedback can be gathered through post-interaction surveys, live chat tools, conversations, and follow-up emails.
Create a Knowledge Repository
Creating a knowledge repository is an efficient and effective way to accumulate, store, manage, and provide access to the information your customers and staff need. The knowledge repository should capture the data your staff collects in their daily interactions with customers. It should also organize institutional knowledge around categories based on customer needs so that frontline staff can quickly find answers to common questions customers may have. Ideally, a knowledge repository should include information in various formats and be easy to share.
By ensuring that the knowledge repository is kept up-to-date and closely aligned with customer needs, companies will find they save time and money, addressing a large percentage of their customer needs.
Enable Self-Service Capabilities
With a rich knowledge repository in place, the next step is to enable customers to be self-sufficient and find the information they need in the repository without assistance via the web or voice. With self-service, customers don’t have to wait for someone to pick up the phone or respond to email and can find solutions to their problems 24/7. A self-service application can also be massively scalable, helping to serve the needs of hundreds, even thousands of customers. As customers rely more on self-service, many companies notice that their internal call center and email support workloads begin to decline – resulting in substantial cost reductions.
Online tracking of self-service customer activity also helps companies learn more about customer needs and solution areas to focus on—providing insight into potential improvements to products and support materials, and FAQs to address common questions.
Read Part Two in this CX Series
Stay tuned for part two in this series on Customer Experience (CX) a key priority and competitive differentiator for businesses in 2020. Check back next week.
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