I am very much a ‘people person’ and I truly believe that everything in business must start and end with the customer. I’ve carved my entire career to focus on customer service and have been fortunate to work in and with several great brands to date. In this blog, I want to reflect on the key lessons learned and share them with you to help enhance your CX strategy.
You may have developed the BEST product/service in the world with superior quality and sold at the optimum price, but it’s not enough to get people to buy – 4 in 5 customers value the experience as much as the products and services they buy.
The good news is that as well as get people to buy, customer experience (CX) presents you with a wealth of opportunities:
- 79% of marketers say it improves customer retention.
- 58% of marketers believe it increases value/reliability to users.
- 30% of marketers can increase data-driven personalisation.
Focus your strategy on CX to leave your customers feeling like they want to come back time and time again. It’s also good for staff because they feel their work has a purpose and they can see the impact they have. And with satisfied customers and engaged staff, it’s going to boost your bottom line – efforts to improve CX can decrease customer care costs by up to 33%.
“Customers are people, people enable relationships,
and relationships are a gift.”
Customers are people, people enable relationships, and relationships are a gift. We all like to feel good, be treated well and to continuously grow and feel inspired. Customers are important as they represent a community of hearts and minds that deserve to be nurtured and looked after – like the friends and family we hold close. Customers give organisations purpose and those who truly know their customers and wrap business change around them, get rewarded with loyalty and a tribe that will follow and fight for them forever.
Lesson 1: link CX strategy to the overall corporate strategy
The customer should always be at the heart of the business because when you really understand their needs and desires, you know how to ensure they have a seamless experience across every channel.
To begin your customer segmentation, think about purchasing market data (unless you own some already) and enrich it with other metrics and analytics. The goal is to go beyond the usual demographic data, and start to get to know your customers attitudinally and behaviorally. Don’t look to over complicate your segmentation. Instead, only focus on what differentiates your customers.
A good output from this exercise is to create a ‘coffee table book’, which can be used for existing employees, as well as become part of the onboarding process for new employees. It should contain essential information about:
- Who the actual customer is.
- How the competition speaks to them.
- What you can do to offer a personalised service.
- How different segments evolve over time.
Lesson 2: make ”brilliant basics’ part of the rhythm of the business
One of the most common mistakes I see organisations make when they embark on change is to focus on doing something revolutionary. They hope to ‘Wow!’ people with a ‘big bang’ approach. But to make meaningful change, which is widely accepted across the business, it’s smarter to simply focus on enhancing what you already do.
I’ve always instilled a mantra into my teams of ‘brilliant basics’, where our job is to do the core things that really matter to the customers – but do them really well. Once you have built solid foundations that are intentional, repeatable and culturally embedded within the organisation, you can move on to focus on innovation.
To make ‘brilliant basics’ part of the rhythm of the business, set customer goals for every department in the business – even if they’re not customer-facing. And then be sure to reward and recognise behaviours and values that relate back to CX.
Make brilliant basics a part of the rhythm of the business
Lesson 3: articulate your CX strategy
To drive a customer first culture, it is essential to secure cross-functional support across the business. Appoint a customer champion per function – several if the area is customer facing. These champions can sit in any role within their function. Your goal is to map the customer journeys to identify components that are really important for a successful plan. These become the key moments that you proactively manage to ensure they continually meet your customers’ expectations.
It’s critical to agree on a guiding principle for your CX strategy – for example, know the customer or deliver great CX. As well as articulate how it feels to do business with you from a customer’s perspective – for example, to feel happy or like the process was super simple. All this helps you to create a ‘north star’ so people understand what they are aiming for, why, and the individual contribution they can make.
Lesson 4: communicate change driven by your CX strategy
It is essential that your CX strategy is created in partnership with the company’s senior leaders and directors. You need them to be on board to avoid silos, because their support is instrumental to how well the change is rolled out and implemented within their functions.
Assign actions that make people responsible for taking the information back to their team, disseminating it and setting individual goals to make it happen. From a business perspective, it means insights are used to drive action, and sales secured without the cost of a great service experience.
Need some help?
Get CX strategy right and it has the potential to transform your business – at S&S we see it every day with our customers. But the first step has to be to strengthen your foundations for change.
Talk to us. Our specialist CX consultants can work with you to develop a CX strategy that’s right for your business.