Companies are dedicating significant resources to analyzing and improving customer experience. And it’s with good reason: customers that have great experiences stick around. Their loyalty and positive word-of-mouth can become a competitive advantage that drives growth and profitability.
Yet research by Customer Think reveals that only a third of customer experience (CX) programs deliver tangible results.
If you have been tasked with developing a customer experience program, that stat is daunting. Fortunately, there are steps that will help ensure your CX program gets the traction it deserves.
5 Steps that Ensure a CX Program Drives Results
- Tie goals to financial outcomes
- Measure & analyze
- Close the loop
- Democratize insights
Tie goals to financial outcomes
As a CX champion, it is essential that you have a passionate C-suite sponsor. It is essential that a senior leader own customer experience and communicate its importance to all employees. Pouring resources into CX software, gathering data, delivering recommendations–none of this will drive change unless the company is invested in CX at the highest level.
Together, agree on the goals for your CX program. Assess your customer’s journey with your product or service. Where are issues already apparent? What outcomes do you want to achieve? How will this impact the bottomline? Tying your efforts to a business outcome–one that is financial–is essential to designing and delivering a customer experience program that has impact.
Measure and analyze CX metrics
Rally the organization around a north star metric. Most organizations are gathering customer feedback of some kind, but it is easy to get overwhelmed by data. Net Promoter Score, CSAT and Customer Effort Score are all examples of established CX metrics that can be your “north star.” Each is easy to track over time, and easy for the entire organization to grasp.
Many companies start with the loyalty metric, Net Promoter Score. With the support of a C-Suite sponsor, spend time educating the organization about the metric means, and the insights that you expect to gain. When it comes to your north star, forgo the long, annual survey. Shift to a modern, continuous pulse approach using microsurveys. Hearing from more customers in real-time will enable you to spot trends quickly and respond.
Go beyond the score. Many companies that track a metric like NPS report on it but fail to take action on the data. To understand what action to take, it is crucial to analyze the verbatim feedback your customers share provide with their score. Use text and sentiment analytics to auto-categorize topics and surface the emotion in customer comments. This will tell you the all-important and actionable “why” behind the score. With modern CX software, you’ll also be able to segment data and explore hypotheses yourself. This will help you to quickly predict and prioritize the actions that will drive business outcomes.
This is just the beginning of course. As your resources grow, point point best actions in increasingly sophisticated ways over time.
Close the loop on feedback
Taking real-time action is key. That means getting CX data into systems that teams use everyday. Send metrics and customer feedback into your CRM, such as Salesforce or Intercom, so front line teams can easily close the loop with customers and keep tabs on customer health. Pipe NPS feedback into a Slack channel where product teams can be prompted to open cases in issue tracking software like Jira. Send data to your CDP (customer data platform) such as Segment so that it can be incorporated in broader business analytics to drive strategic action.
Advocate for company-wide training to develop a CX mindset and how to apply it. Summarize progress of your program and find ways to share it with the entire organization. Displaying real-time NPS feedback on TV monitors for everyone to see is one simple way to keep customer experience front and center.
Chances are your analysis will reveal opportunities for improvement that impact many functional areas. This is where you need to leverage your soft skills. With the support of a C-suite sponsor, meet with stakeholders and understand their goals. Share insights from your analysis that can help these leaders succeed.
As your CX program matures, empower stakeholders to do their own analysis of customer feedback data. This means dashboards that segment metrics and data that are relevant to a functional area such as product, operations, support, and marketing. For example, if you have one product team focused on the Android experience of your software application, the team can create a dashboard and that excludes data from iOS users. Modern software enables this kind of self-service customer feedback analysis, so that over time you and your growing CX team can focus on the big picture.
Successful CX programs take time to mature
Be patient. Be persistent. Engage others in the process. Be flexible as new learning comes in, but always stay focused on tying improvement in customer experience to revenue or cost savings. You got this!
Learn how Wootric can help you measure and improve customer experience. Talk to an expert today.