In order to thrive today, companies have to focus on delivering an outstanding customer experience. Thanks to technology, we have created an on-demand world that consistently delivers personalized communications and experiences to customers. Customer expectations have been raised as a result — and people now expect to have consistently outstanding experiences across the board when they interact with a brand.
Since a customer’s perception and interaction with a company matters more than ever, companies now feel the pressure to focus on CX — or customer experience. Customer experience isn’t just the interactions a company has with a brand. It’s their perception of the brand and the associations they create after interacting with it. By working hard to deliver excellent CX through every customer touchpoint, businesses can set themselves apart from competition; they can then build their reputation as a company that is easy, pleasant and convenient to work with.
If your company wants to focus on CX this year, take time to learn more about common CX challenges that businesses face. By understand these challenges and ways to overcome them, you can ensure your business appeals to customers, and that your CX design helps you grow your business so you can continue to thrive.
Technology Can Create Silos Within Organizations
It’s easy to feel in line with your specific department, and separate from the rest. We often interact only with the people who also do what we do — and with customers in regards to our purpose at the company — and nothing further. This creates a silo-like atmosphere where technology often only helps to further develop these silos — especially if our tech solutions only allow us access to certain platforms and documents. A recent Forrester study showed that 48 percent of professionals said technology platforms stopped them from integrating important information into multi-channel communications; this means that nearly half of people see their company platforms as hindering company seamlessness, not helping it.
Today, customers expect a seamless experience when they do business with a company, and they want all professionals at that company to have knowledge of their preferences or situation, no matter where that professional works (e.g. working in sales, marketing, customer service, etc). It’s important for companies to ensure they use tech solutions that every department can access and utilize, and that no platform isolates one division from another. Try using cloud-based solutions (or CRMs) to store and manage information, and in turn, improve your CX. That way, customers will get the same level of personalized service no matter who they’re talking to at a company.
Customers Must Come First
When it comes delivering exceptional CX, customers must come first — at every touchpoint in this process. While this is simple in theory, it can be difficult to get every single professional at an organization on board with this process — especially if the company has not always placed consumer happiness at the center of their priorities.
Often, employees are taught to follow rules, and they’re rewarded for maintaining certain guidelines or meeting a specific quota. However, companies that place customers first will need improvisational thinking: allowing employees to step outside of the box or bend the rules to ensure customer satisfaction, not necessarily strictly adhering to rules they’ve been taught.
To face the challenge of teaching employees to put customers first, you must clearly communicate your values to employees — both in a written document and at multiple meetings and get-togethers. Give them examples of companies who consistently put customers at the center of each interaction, and who have in turn thrived — like Zappos or Amazon. Reward employees who earn positive feedback from customers, and show them that thinking creatively to please customers is something to be praised — not punished.
UX Must Facilitate CX
It doesn’t matter if your company has the best branding, the nicest customer service representatives, or the most stellar employee-employer relationships. In today’s world, your CX means nothing if you don’t also deliver a flawless User Experience — or UX. UX is the actual experience a customer has when interacting with your brand, and one of the main drivers of UX is the technology you choose to use. UX will pose a CX challenge in the years to come, since each company will need to consistently keep up to date with the latest technology to ensure they’re offering customers the easiest, most advanced platforms available.
To ensure your UX serves your CX today (and going forward), make sure that all of your tech products are responsive — and that they look good and perform well regardless of the device. You should also deliver a seamless experience no matter where your customer does business with your company; for example, if they put something in their shopping cart on the desktop version of your site, they must also see it in their cart on your mobile app. By focusing on delivering your customers a flawless UX via technology, you can control one of the most important parts of CX — one that ensures your customer has the opportunity to experience and appreciate the rest.