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#68 | DCX - Perspectives and insights on digital customer experience
Decoding the Silent Customer: Hearing What Isn't Said; Is Your CX Strategy Still Relevant?; DCX Poll: CX vs Profit?; Links to Industry news and the DCX Thought Leader Profile of the Week
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Decoding the Silent Customer: Hearing What Isn't Said
As a CX professional, your mission is to understand and enhance the interactions between your company and its customers. But what about those customers who prefer to remain silent, who don't express their opinions or concerns openly?
Silent customers are like hidden gems in the CX landscape. They hold valuable information that can drive innovation and enhance customer satisfaction. However, they often choose to remain in the shadows, creating a puzzle that CX professionals must solve. Deciphering the thoughts of these silent customers is a challenge worth addressing.
Why Silent Customers Stay Quiet
Understanding why customers remain silent is the first step in unlocking their insights. Here are a few reasons:
Fear of Confrontation: Some customers fear that sharing negative feedback might lead to confrontation or undesirable consequences. They'd rather keep their thoughts to themselves.
Perceived Ineffectiveness: Silent customers may believe that their feedback won't make a difference. They might think, "Why bother when nothing will change?"
Lack of Convenient Channels: If your organization lacks easily accessible feedback channels, silent customers may find it too cumbersome to share their thoughts.
The Importance of Hearing Them Out
Understanding the needs and concerns of all customers is vital. Silent customers have valuable insights and unmet expectations that, when addressed, can lead to improved products or services. Not hearing their voices means missing out on opportunities for growth and innovation.
To decipher this silence, here are some detective techniques you can employ:
Pay attention to subtle cues: Actions often speak louder than words. If you notice a decrease in their purchasing frequency or their once-overflowing shopping cart now appears empty, it could be a sign that something is amiss.
Unravel the mystery of abandoned surveys: If customers frequently abandon feedback forms before completing them, it may indicate dissatisfaction or a point where their experience went wrong.
Analyze online behavior: If customers quickly navigate away from your website or spend less time on it than usual, it suggests they might not be finding what they're looking for. It's time to investigate why.
Monitor the rate of ghosting: If an increasing number of customers seem to be fading into the background and not engaging with your business, it's important to keep track of this trend. There may be an underlying cause that needs your attention.
Empowering the Silent
Gathering feedback from every customer is crucial for understanding their needs and improving their experience.
It's natural for some customers to be hesitant about speaking up. They worry about potential repercussions or believe their feedback will fall on deaf ears. Breaking through this barrier is the key to unleashing their valuable insights.
To address the hesitancy of customers to speak up, it is important to create a safe and welcoming environment that encourages open communication. First, demonstrate that you value and appreciate their feedback by actively listening and showing genuine interest in their opinions. Assure them that their input is taken seriously and will be used to make improvements. Make it clear that there will be no negative repercussions for sharing their thoughts.
To improve fostering open communication with your customers, it is important to provide accessible and user-friendly channels for them to express their thoughts and provide feedback. This can be done through various means such as:
Feedback Forms: Create online feedback forms that are easy to access and fill out. Keep the form simple and straightforward, asking for specific feedback and suggestions. Consider providing optional fields for customers to leave their contact information if they wish to be contacted regarding their feedback.
Surveys: Implement surveys to gather more comprehensive feedback from customers on their overall experience with your product or service. Make sure the surveys are concise and avoid asking too many questions. Offer multiple-choice options and open-ended questions to allow customers to express themselves freely.
Dedicated Communication Channels: Establish channels specifically for customer communication, such as a dedicated email address or a customer support hotline. Ensure that these channels are clearly communicated to customers and easily accessible. Promptly respond to customer inquiries and feedback to show their input is valued.
Social Media Listening: Monitor your social media platforms for customer comments, mentions, and direct messages. Respond to these interactions in a timely and respectful manner, addressing any concerns or questions raised. Social media can be a powerful tool for open communication and allow other customers to see how you handle feedback.
Proactive Outreach: Instead of waiting for customers to provide feedback, initiate conversations with them to gather insights and suggestions. This can be done through email newsletters, personalized messages, or even phone calls for high-value customers. Let them know that their feedback is important in driving improvements.
Finally, consider setting up forums where customers can freely chat and discuss your products or services. This can provide valuable insights and customers may feel more comfortable sharing things they wouldn't directly tell you. These forums can be a goldmine of information to help improve the customer experience.
Turning Insights into Action
Gathering insights from silent customers is only half the battle. The real value lies in implementing changes based on these insights. Collaborate with cross-functional teams to:
Tailor Products and Services: Use the feedback to make specific improvements that cater to the silent customers' unspoken needs.
Enhance Communication: Develop clear and transparent communication strategies that address their concerns proactively.
Personalize Interactions: Leverage the insights to create personalized experiences, showing silent customers that you're attuned to their preferences.
Unlocking the secrets of the silent customer can be a game-changer for your organization. By creating an environment where they feel safe to share their thoughts and actively listening to what they're not saying, you can transform silent customers into engaged, loyal advocates for your brand. Remember, their silence is a challenge waiting to be decoded into actionable insights that can drive your CX efforts to new heights.
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Is Your CX Strategy Still Relevant?
The Vital Importance of Updating Your Customer Experience Strategy
In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, one thing is abundantly clear: staying relevant is not just a key to success – it's a necessity. The question every business should be asking is: "Is your customer experience strategy still relevant?"
Customer experience has swiftly ascended to the forefront of business priorities, and for good reason. A top-notch CX is the cornerstone of brand loyalty, repeated business, and organic word-of-mouth advertising. In a world where customer preferences are continuously changing, influenced by technological advancements and global market shifts, a static CX strategy is a dangerous game.
Why Your CX Strategy Can't Be Static
Your customers are not static. Their needs, preferences, and expectations are in a constant state of flux. Just think about how the preferences of customers have shifted over the past few years. From increased demands for seamless online experiences to expectations for instant customer support through AI chatbots, the landscape is always morphing.
Moreover, emerging technologies and digital innovations are reshaping the way customers interact with businesses. Virtual reality, augmented reality, AI, blockchain – these are just a few examples of technologies that are transforming customer experiences. If your strategy doesn't consider these advancements, you're bound to fall behind.
Marketplace Dynamics are Shifting
It's not just about technology and customer expectations. The market itself is continually changing. New competitors emerge, regulations evolve, and global events can disrupt entire industries. A static CX strategy can't accommodate these fluid dynamics. As the market shifts, the way you interact with, sell to, and serve your customers must also adapt.
Revamping Your CX: A Call to Action
So, how do you know if your CX strategy needs a facelift? Begin by taking a deep introspective look and ask: "Is my CX strategy current, or is it time for a revamp?" Remember, the customer experience you deliver today will dictate your business outcomes tomorrow. It can be the catalyst for explosive growth or the anchor that sinks your ship.
If you find that your strategy needs rejuvenation, it's essential not to delay. Complacency is the enemy of progress. Don't rest on your laurels, assuming that what worked yesterday will suffice today.
Where to Start?
Explore New Opportunities: Dive into market research. Understand what your competitors are doing, and more importantly, what they're not doing.
Embrace New Technologies: Stay updated with the latest technological trends. Experiment and see which ones resonate with your customers.
Foster Innovation: Create a culture where innovative ideas are encouraged. Sometimes, the best ideas come from the most unexpected places.
Your primary aim should always be to offer an unparalleled customer experience that not only meets but surpasses customer expectations. As the business world continues to transform at breakneck speeds, ensuring your CX strategy remains updated is not just good business practice – it's a survival imperative. Stay relevant, stay ahead, and always prioritize your customers.
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This week, I asked our colleagues in the Customer Experience Professionals Group on Linkedin: Is prioritizing customer experience more beneficial in the long run than focusing on immediate profit gains?
The poll essentially probes the age-old debate: is it more beneficial for organizations to prioritize customer experience (CX) over immediate profit gains in the quest for long-term success?
Absolutely! - 60%: The fact that over half of the respondents resoundingly said "Absolutely!" suggests that there's a strong belief, perhaps based on personal experiences or industry trends, that companies investing heavily in CX see it pay off down the line. This could be rooted in the idea that happy customers equate to repeat business, referrals, and positive word-of-mouth - all of which are invaluable in the long run.
I think so - 20%: This group, while still optimistic about the benefits of prioritizing CX, might have some reservations. Maybe they've seen instances where initial investments in CX didn’t immediately translate to increased profits, or perhaps they're considering industries where the correlation between CX and long-term success isn't as clear-cut.
Unsure - 8%: The unsure group is small but significant. Their uncertainty might stem from a lack of exposure to clear data on this topic, or perhaps they've observed that the relationship between CX and long-term success varies depending on the industry, market conditions, or company size.
Definitely not! - 12%: The dissenters! Their strong disagreement suggests they might have seen or been part of organizations where a heavy focus on CX didn't lead to the expected long-term benefits. Alternatively, they might belong to industries where immediate profitability trumps long-term customer loyalty.
Key Insight: The combined 80% (from the "Absolutely!" and "I think so" categories) indicates a dominant belief in the industry that there's tangible value in prioritizing CX. This might reflect a shift in modern business thinking, where intangibles like brand loyalty, customer advocacy, and organic growth through positive experiences are being valued more and more.
However, the 12% naysayers remind us that no strategy is one-size-fits-all. Depending on the nature of the business, market demographics, and competitive landscape, immediate profitability might sometimes be the smarter strategy.
All in all, this poll paints a picture of an evolving business landscape where CX is increasingly seen as a critical pillar of sustainable growth. But it also serves as a reminder that strategy must be tailored to specific circumstances, and what works wonders for one might not necessarily work for all.
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Pro-customer rule-breaking by frontline employees can be beneficial for both customers and employees. It helps build a genuine relationship between the customer and service provider and can lead to increased customer loyalty. Research has shown that customers recognize and appreciate when employees break or deviate from rules to better serve them, and employees themselves feel more autonomous, competent, and connected to customers.
This article outlines ten of the best certifications available and the benefits of each, such as increasing customer experience skills, and providing accreditation for employers. The courses range from free to $200 and are all delivered online.
HubSpot has a customer-centric culture based on the acronym HEART: humble, empathetic, adaptable, remarkable, and transparent. They measure and sustain their culture through founder-led content, measurement, and activation events such as customer interviews, HEART Week, and Week of Rest. They prioritize connecting hybrid employees with Connect4 and develop managers with Leadership Foundations, self-service leadership courses, peer coaching, and Hub Talks. The most valued skill at HubSpot is Radical Candor.
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Every week, I get excited to introduce you to another inspiring professional from LinkedIn who has the potential to make a significant difference in your life and career.
Aileen's professional saga began 26 years ago in customer experience, rapidly climbing the echelons to become the Customer Insights Manager for Australia and New Zealand at Bunning Warehouse, later spearheading the Customer Service team at Officeworks. The year 2015 saw her entrepreneurial debut with Meraki Business Solutions, embodying her zeal to enhance business acumen in PR, communications, and service.
Amidst the 2020 pandemic, Aileen conceived Value Driven Brand, a venture aimed at coaching businesses to epitomize value. Through her podcast and collaborative efforts with business mavens, she championed a holistic approach to customer experience, underscoring the indispensable synergy of PR, communication, and service.
In 2021, she globalized her ideology of a value-driven brand, encapsulated in three pillars: Customer, Employee, and Human eXperience (CEHX), which she eloquently calls 'The Joy of CEHX'. The synthesis of these pillars, she professes, engenders intrinsic joy within and for organizations.
Now a distinguished certified CX Professional (CCXP) through CXPA, Aileen’s name resonates across Australia and beyond. Her 2022 academic endeavors in Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy now augment her consultancy, addressing not just organizational but personal value-driven transformation for business leaders amid tumultuous times. Aileen's unique blend of candidness, expertise in customer experience, and human-centered design methodologies earmarks her as an invaluable asset for organizations aspiring for a legacy rooted in enriched customer, employee, and human experiences.
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