Discover more from DCX - Perspectives and Insights on Digital CX
#63 | DCX - Perspectives and insights on digital customer experience
Back to Basics - A Blueprint for Starting a CX Program; Where Should CX Investment Go First?; Links to Industry news and the DCX Thought Leader Profile of the Week
Thank you to 568 CX professionals from 37 US states and 67 countries for being loyal weekly readers of DCX. I am incredibly grateful for your continuous support and engagement.
Back to Basics - A Blueprint for Starting a CX Program
Let's say you've been tasked with the incredibly important job of starting a new customer experience program for your company. Awesome! But... where do you even begin? Well, don't worry. I've got your back.
Let's break it down step by step.
Getting to Know Your Customers
Before you dive into any strategy or plan, you've got to know who you're doing this for - your customers! So, first things first, get to know them really well. What are their needs, what do they like, what don’t they like, and most importantly, what do they expect from you?
Gathering Feedback: Start by collecting feedback from as many channels as possible. Social media, customer support, online reviews, direct interactions – everything counts. The more feedback, the better!
Mapping the Journey: Next, create a customer journey map. This is a visual representation of every interaction your customers have with your business, from the first point of contact all the way through to making a purchase.
Why is it important to know my customers well?
- Knowing your customers well is the cornerstone of providing a great customer experience. Understanding their needs, preferences, and pain points allows you to tailor your products, services, and interactions to meet their specific needs, ultimately leading to higher satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.
Setting the Goals
Now that you have all this amazing information about your customers, it's time to set some goals for your program.
Be Clear and Specific: Ensure your goals are clear, specific, and measurable. And most importantly, make sure they are aligned with your overall business goals. Because at the end of the day, your customer experience program should not only make your customers happy but also contribute to your business success.
Aligning with Business Goals: Make sure your goals align with your business goals. This way, you'll get the support you need from the top management and the necessary resources for your program.
How do I ensure my goals align with my overall business objectives?
- It's crucial to involve key stakeholders from different departments, including top management, while setting the goals for your customer experience program. This way, you can ensure that the goals you set align with the overall business objectives and have the support of all departments.
Choosing Your Tools
Now, let's talk tools. You’ll need tools to collect and analyze customer feedback, analytical tools to make sense of all the data, and communication tools to stay in touch with your customers.
Feedback Tools: There are tons of tools out there for collecting feedback – online surveys, feedback forms, social media listening tools, and so on. Choose the ones that work best for you and your customers.
Analytical Tools: You’ll also need some tools to analyze all the data you collect. Look for tools that can provide insights into customer behavior, preferences, and areas that need improvement.
Communication Tools: And don’t forget about communication. Whether email marketing software, social media platforms, or a CRM system, ensure you have the tools to effectively communicate with your customers.
Can I implement a customer experience program without any tools?
- While it's technically possible to implement a program without any tools, it's not recommended. Tools help collect and analyze customer feedback, communicate with your customers, and manage the program more effectively.
Assembling Your Dream Team
Next up, assembling your dream team. Your team should have a mix of skills, including data analysis, communication, problem-solving, and empathy.
Skills Required: Make sure your team has the skills needed to execute your plan. Data analysis, communication, problem-solving, and empathy are all important skills for a customer experience team.
Defining Roles: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member. This will help avoid any confusion and ensure everyone knows what is expected of them.
Is it necessary to have a dedicated team for a customer experience program?
- While it's possible to implement a program without a dedicated team, it's not recommended. A dedicated team ensures focused efforts on improving the customer experience and helps manage the program more effectively.
Show your support for the DCX newsletter by signing up:
AI Tool Report
Learn AI in 5 Minutes a Day We'll teach you how to save time and earn more with AI. Join 70,000+ free daily readers for trending tools, productivity-boosting prompts, the latest news, and more.
Crafting Your Plan
Now that you have your dream team, it’s time to craft your plan.
Research and Data: Start by conducting thorough research and collecting data on your customers, competitors, and the market. This will help you formulate a strategy that is based on facts and not just assumptions.
Strategy Formulation: Next, based on your research, formulate a strategy for your customer experience program. This should include your goals, objectives, tactics, and the resources required.
Implementation Plan: Finally, create a detailed implementation plan. This should include all the tasks that need to be completed, who is responsible for each task, the deadlines, and the resources required.
What should be the key components of my strategy formulation?
- The key components of your strategy formulation should include a clear definition of your goals and objectives, a thorough analysis of your research and data, identification of key customer touchpoints, tactics you plan to employ, and the resources required (both human and financial). You should also consider any potential challenges you might face and develop contingency plans to address them.
Putting Your Plan into Action
Alright, it's go-time! Time to put your plan into action.
Launching the Program: Start by launching the program and informing your team and other stakeholders about it. Make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them.
Monitoring Progress: Regularly monitor the progress of the program. Keep an eye on the key performance indicators (KPIs) and make sure everything is on track to achieve its objectives.
Making Adjustments: Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to the plan if needed. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and that’s okay. Be flexible and make the necessary adjustments to keep the program on track.
What if my customer experience program is not working as expected?
It's essential to be flexible and make necessary adjustments if your program is not working as expected. Regularly monitor the progress of the program, identify areas for improvement, and make the necessary changes to get the program back on track.
Evaluating the Results
Once the program is up and running, it's important to evaluate its performance regularly.
Assessing Performance: Did the program achieve its objectives? Were there any unexpected outcomes? What worked well and what didn't?
Identifying Improvement Areas: Identify the areas where the program can be improved. This could be in the tools used, the processes followed, or even the objectives set.
Celebrating Success: Don’t forget to celebrate your success! Acknowledge your team's hard work and share your success with all stakeholders.
How do I measure the success of my customer experience program?
- You can measure the success of your program by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) like customer satisfaction score (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), and customer lifetime value (CLV). Additionally, you can analyze the feedback received, monitor changes in customer behavior, and assess the impact on business metrics like revenue, customer acquisition, and retention rates.
Iterating the Process
Remember, customer experience is not a one-and-done thing. It’s a continuous process that needs regular updates and refinements.
Continuous Improvement: Make the necessary changes and iterate the process based on your evaluation. Remember, the key to a successful customer experience program is continuous improvement.
Regular Updates: Regularly update and refine your program to ensure it stays relevant and effective.
How often should I iterate the customer experience process?
- The frequency of iteration depends on various factors such as the nature of your business, the feedback you receive, and the changes in customer behavior or market trends. However, it is essential to have a regular review process, whether monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. Regular reviews help you identify any areas for improvement and make the necessary changes to ensure the program remains relevant and effective.
Wrapping it up
And there you have it! Starting a new customer experience program may seem daunting, but the right approach can bring significant benefits to your business.
The key to a successful customer experience program is continuous improvement, keeping the customer at the center of all your efforts, and continuously improving your program. Your customers will thank you! Good luck!
Show your support for the DCX newsletter by signing up:
Get smarter in 5 minutes with Morning Brew (it's free)
There's a reason over 4 million people start their day with Morning Brew - the daily email that delivers the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Business news doesn't have to be boring...make your mornings more enjoyable, for free.
This week I asked our colleagues in the Customer Experience Professionals Group on Linkedin, with numerous avenues to explore, how do we decide where our investment should land first?
And here are the results. Thank you to all who participated!
Training & Development (36%): Garnering the majority of votes, this shows a strong consensus among participants that the starting point of investment should be the training and development of employees. This emphasis underscores the pivotal role that well-trained and skilled employees play in shaping a customer's experience, as they are often the first point of contact.
Customer Research (34%): Closely following, this category emphasizes the importance participants place on understanding the needs, preferences, and pain points of customers. This reflects the belief that a deep comprehension of customers is almost as critical as employee training and development for designing and delivering experiences that not only meet but exceed customer expectations.
Tech Infrastructure (17%): While this category garnered a moderate percentage of votes, it indicates that participants do understand the importance of technology infrastructure in enhancing CX. However, they believe it shouldn't be the primary focus of investment. This belief suggests that participants consider well-trained employees and a deep understanding of customers as more foundational and should be prioritized before optimizing technology infrastructure.
Analytics Tools (13%): This category, receiving the fewest votes, suggests that participants view analytics tools as the least important area for initial CX investment. It is perceived that investments in analytics tools will be most beneficial once foundational aspects such as employee training, customer understanding, and technology infrastructure are firmly established.
Insightful Takeaways for CX Professionals:
Prioritize Employee Training: The first interaction between a customer and an organization often involves its employees. As such, many consider investing in employee training and development as the most crucial starting point for enhancing CX.
Understand Your Customers Thoroughly: A deep and comprehensive understanding of customer needs, preferences, and pain points is almost as critical as employee training and development. Investing in customer research to acquire these insights is fundamental for crafting experiences that resonate with customers.
Technology and Analytics Are Crucial, But Secondary: While technology infrastructure and analytics tools are key components of the CX ecosystem, they are not seen as the most crucial areas for initial investment. These areas are believed to yield the most benefits once the foundational aspects, such as employee training and customer understanding, are well addressed.
In a nutshell, the poll suggests that a well-rounded approach to CX investment is crucial. While the initial focus should be on foundational aspects like employee training and customer research, investing in technology infrastructure and analytics tools is vital as part of a comprehensive strategy to enhance CX over time.
Unlock your Full Potential
Dedicated to supporting you on your journey to success.
Tools for a better life. Learn More.
Free Download: The Accountability Exercise - "The Accountability Exercise really helped me through a very tough time. I think I would’ve been lost without it.” - Bill S.
Jay Schneider, chief product innovation officer at Royal Caribbean, discusses the design process behind their Icon of the Seas cruise ship, which has become the most successful launch ever. The design is rooted in what their guests wanted, focusing on family vacations. They incorporated a theme park called Thrill Island, featuring adrenaline-pumping activities and a water park. They went through an iterative process to design the features, making trade-offs to ensure feasibility.
Many companies make mistakes with their customer service that lead to a bad experience. Examples include Walmart not honoring their price matching policy, Comcast changing a customer's name to a bad word, Walgreens not responding to a serious health issue, and Whirlpool not offering a refund or exchange. To prevent similar mistakes, businesses should prioritize customer needs and show empathy to clients.
According to McKinsey research, generative AI (gen AI) has the potential to contribute $4.4 trillion to the global economy annually. McKinsey has put together 15 charts that answer questions regarding the speed of technology development, its impact on jobs, the industries that will benefit the most, and how workers will perceive it.
By the end of the decade, gen AI is expected to achieve a level of task performance on par with humans, with the most significant impact anticipated in knowledge work. Businesses are currently working on applications to address various use cases, and identifying the use cases with the highest value is crucial. Despite its potential, most organizations have not yet embraced gen AI.
Thanks for reading DCX - Perspectives and Insights on Digital CX! Subscribe for free to receive new posts every Tuesday.
Each week, I share a profile of a person from LinkedIn whom I believe can positively impact your life and career.
A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Alex's captivating content in my feed, and I've been hooked ever since! With his wealth of experience in the marketing industry, he focuses on Strategy, providing valuable insights that are truly eye-opening. His newsletter, The Hidden Path, acts as a guiding light, empowering you to uncover hidden opportunities and take bold actions that others simply overlook.
Here are six insightful lessons I've gained from Alex over the past few weeks, ones that have completely reshaped my outlook:
Strategy is not what you think is
Strategy is about giving
Strategy isn’t about being smart
Strategy isn’t about winning
Strategy is about what you do, not what you say.
And, Strategy should be fun.
Get a free copy of his 5 Strategy Laws Great Brands Understand (and everyone else is clueless about).
Thank you for reading this week.
Please share with others you think would benefit.