Have you noticed how many companies tout themselves as CX leaders? Marketing agencies and data warehouse firms claim CX supremacy through their data and digital prowess. Communication and feedback companies use CX measurement and customer satisfaction to frame CX strategy discussions. Loyalty firms and contact centers have planted their flags on Mount CX, and nearly every major consulting firm is getting into the act.
If you are an organization looking to improve the overall experience to drive revenue and customer loyalty, which do you choose? Your agency may be fantastic converting leads and providing a seamless digital experience, but what if customer service is your biggest pain point? You could make a significant CX investment, but still lose customers in droves if your advisor is only examining one symptom of a larger issue. Demand gen tools may be disconnected from loyalty programs, which are then even further disconnected from customer service operations. The end-to-end customer experience is not sufficiently represented with point solutions.
Most companies think of these as separate CX disciplines, each with different technology stacks, customer bases, and subject matter experts. I have always questioned why this is the case. Each sector uses data (structured/unstructured), analytics, and measurement to optimize a given experience. They all seek to improve a phase of the marketing funnel or retain/grow lifecycle. They also have clients in common, fighting for business across different departments and budgets. When the dust settles, you have several “CX” software platforms, internal teams still don’t share data or talk to each other, and you have a very expensive and uneven CX effort.
Instead of focusing on the short-term tactics or technology involved in a specific solution, consider CX a big picture with multiple facets. By taking a holistic approach (and sometimes using multiple partners), your CX programs will deliver better experiences, drive more revenue, and satisfy more customers over the long term
3 recommendations for end-to-end CX planning
1. Identify the problem. Before embarking on your CX effort, gather a cross-functional team to get all of the issues out on the table, from lead gen through to loyalty. Define what “CX” means to you before engaging further.
2. Treat data as data. You have a marketing data warehouse, you have digital event data, you have structured and unstructured sentiment and device generated data. Think about how you can combine these data sets to personalize interactions and customer treatments. For example, you should know who your best customers are, which ones are your fans (via sentiment), which products they need, and how engaged they are with your brand.
3. Don’t get stuck on acquisition. Make sure your chosen partner (or partners if you are combining the effort) have expertise in the full breadth of the customer lifecycle. Your partners should have a methodology for uncovering customer needs; they should understand both the marketing, sales, and service aspects of the business; they should know the technology landscape, and be able to prescribe integrated strategies to drive customer growth, retention, and loyalty.
There is a lot of exciting work occurring in CX today, from AI and cloud-based solutions to data-driven insights and personalization. But these pieces need to be coordinated and aligned to make up the complete customer picture. Taking a broader, holistic view of CX can profit your organization in the long run.