Often, we see businesses and leaders thriving to deliver great Customer Experience (CX). Over the last few years, many businesses have made significant investments in numerous channels to enhance customer satisfaction levels and customer retention, thereby improving what these businesses consider performance. These investments we have found block into two groups including “good CX” and “CX transformation”. So how does good or transformational CX fit in a CX strategy?
Rightly industries are using positive CX as a differentiator or required for survival, key to efficiently attracting and retaining customers. While this is critical, most organisations will get huge immediate benefits from going back to the fundamentals of simply ‘doing the basics right’. The good news is that this approach builds capacity, capability, a platform and the funding necessary for future CX transformation.
Delivering a good experience does not necessarily mean that you need to exceed customer expectations every time, it is rather practically no more than offering expected timeline, consistent and accurate service to your customers. At the same time finding a path to better cost to serve or organisational benefits.
So, how do I define good CX?
- Back to basics – maintain delivery timelines, provide a branded experience and be able to rapidly answer customer enquiries. We utilise COPC, CSIA and ITIL frameworks as good starting points to benchmark & validate you have a strong cross section of service delivery.
- Meet your promises – High quality is fundamental to what you do, measured in your eyes as well as your customers and turned into actionable continuous improvement. We utilise lean six sigma practices to turn Voice of the Customer (VoC) data into insights and action that gets a measurable result.
- Processes – Standardise and simplify with knowledge easily accessible. Documenting knowledge and managing it is a fundamental first step to service optimisation and transformation.
- Enable – Equip your team with effective use of technology and providing customer experience skills. This is typically provided in an end to end cycle of employee competency where staff are skill verified and not just able to find answers to questions but apply the answers efficiently.
- Continuous Improvement – Delivering great CX is both ‘an art’ and ‘science’, this complementary relationship of using data, experience and collaborative blue sky thinking complement each other to get the greatest results. Bringing experts together who understand CX service design, Digital transformation, CX technology and CX resourcing in complement with the VoC information is a core part of this process.
- Technology – pragmatic roadmap technology configuration, enhancements and investments to enable your service promise. There is a standard set of technologies that work in the service industry and when configured correctly provide more efficient and satisfying services.
It is not uncommon to hear of customer retention rates climbing to 30%, google star ratings of 1 or 2 damaging brands or a government agency not able to provide assistance in a timely way resulting in community distress. Of course there are some great companies too like Service NSW that was invented with the sole intent to redesign service for Government in NSW. Another example is Department of Justice where victims of crime now get psychiatric care in days instead of weeks which helps to break the crime cycle and return people to work. These examples may seem transformational, and for some of us they are, but in reality this is optimising services.
Building and nourishing a customer-centric culture takes time as it integrates measurement and culture that differ depending on the unique service offering and the customer community that you serve, so take the time to deliver pragmatic action and measure the benefits as you go.
Customer Science offer a range of technology and functional solutions to help businesses achieve their CX goals. Some of our recent CX technology transformation and process automation programs have delivered the following benefits:
- Reduction in AHT by 35%
- Offered >30% capacity when triggered, thereby reducing cost to serve
- Automation solution to reduce staff workload
- Delivered a sustainable platform that could be engaged and disengaged based on the business requirement
Due to an increasing focus on customer service, businesses have inevitably started to look out for ideas, technologies, expertise, tips, and tricks to manage and improve CX. Thankfully there are numerous enablers available like modern technology, process optimisation techniques and service redesign methodologies just to mention a few that help organisations improving their service offerings. It is wise that you only choose what works for you from the sea of best practices and technologies. It is equally important to avoid selecting what will not work to avoid years of unnecessary effort and pain.
Note that improving CX involves a degree of change across processes, practices, people and potentially technology. As such the change needs to be managed carefully. While you are working towards becoming more customer-centric, you might discover bigger issues and harsh business realities that you may have to address first, hence it is important to have commitment at all levels to make this change.
Businesses initiate customer surveys that measure and collect data. Unfortunately, today many organisations calculate the number but don’t truly listen to what the customers expect and very few work on those expectations in a scientific way guaranteeing action that benefits the customer. There are some notable exceptions such as iCare, who won the CSIA project award for the customer-centric transformation that saved lives.
In this CX journey, where would you start as you embark on a long run of transformation?
- Keep it simple
- Clearly articulate your business objectives, brand and service offerings to focus on what is strong and core
- Think of yourself as your customer, complement this thinking with customer and quality data insights and external specialists to define improvements that are grounded in reality. Avoid designing services based on just a few people’s points of view as small data sets typically design services incorrectly and with biases.
- Compare what competition and other industries are doing. Ideally benchmark to identify opportunities to go past your competition.
- Make actionable decisions that are easy to implement in delivering what your customers expect
- Seek advice of experts to provide independent analysis, capability and competencies required to realise your business objectives and brand.
To sum it all up, delivering great CX is typically not a big bang transformation. It is a logical first step to CX transformation.