The old saying, “Don’t talk the talk, if you can’t walk the walk,” has never been more relevant to the world of customer experience. According to Forrester 72 percent of firms rank improving CX as a top priority, but most major brands do not have a holistic viewpoint on what they want to improve, how to measure that improvement, and who to engage to achieve their desired business outcomes.
What’s more, most technology products and CX literature present tools and tactics that are adept at solving one pain-point or another, yet rarely deliver on the promise of wide-ranging benefits that impact the broader organization and customer base.
There are many options for accessing CX expertise, either through technology solutions or specialized CX consultants. However, individual resources may end up being point solution-focused on one interaction path, channel, or functional area. The result is short-shrift given to the holistic customer experience, and leads to lower-than-expected value being delivered back to the organization as a whole. The time is now for brands to consider a holistic outlook guided by a cross-functional CX expert.
A fresh view of CX implementations
What is the right structure and approach that will ensure companies achieve measurable and actionable results of their CX initiatives? According to a Harvard Business Review Analytic Services study, nearly half of all companies surveyed identified tying customer experience to business outcomes as very or extremely challenging. Processes that produce actionable data need to be comprehensively evaluated and organized in order to provide insights back to the business that can improve not just the brand experience, but also the product, business processes, and tools.
Without boiling the ocean, the best solution is viewing the customer journey holistically, across all channels and touchpoints. But this often requires sourcing an expert to view the operation with fresh eyes and in a truly comprehensive manner. From there the partner can provide the necessary customer segmentation and cohort analysis that enables prioritization and execution of all initiatives.
Take the lead on CX initiatives
But who should be at the forefront of a holistic initiative? By themselves, CX technology providers are limited in their scope and range of expertise, and typically focus on deployment as a point-solution. And siloed consultants may be focused on one customer channel or another, such as digital marketing. Both of these options leave out evaluating the core operations functions and ignore where the rubber meets the road with customer interactions and journey management. This leaves gaps in both planning and execution that reduce the effectiveness of new technology or focused process improvements.
Done correctly and holistically, CX improvement initiatives need to be led by holistic experts who deliver impact and benefits that range from increased NPS scores, CSAT scores, FCR enhancement, reduced customer churn rates, heightened brand experience, all the way to increased revenues and product advancements that make companies more competitive.
Taken individually, these are point metrics isolate how different parts of an organization are performing. Taken holistically, meanwhile, the benefits have the potential to multiply value and contribute greatly to brand equity, loyalty, and competitive position.
Put CX expertise to work for business impact
Given the multichannel and multi-touchpoint nature inherent in digital and CX transformations, engaging an expert with a broad range of expertise in strategy, operations, contact center management, technology, and analytics infrastructure gives the blanket-coverage many firms require to achieve the lofty promises of CX improvement initiatives. The best companies to consider as supporting partners for your CX plans are those with a diverse and deep set of experience across all major components of digital transformation. In many cases, breadth of experience and expertise is as important a credential to consider as is depth in any one area.
I once worked with a major e-commerce brand that was sold on a technology-driven point solution for speech analytics to be deployed in the contact center. The promise of improving CSAT, NPS, contact center efficiency, call QA, and agent training ultimately never materialized, as the actual technical implementation proved costlier and more time-consuming than any savings or benefit that could be realized. Even though the technology promised impact across a wide variety of metrics, the provider was not situated to map their solution to the unique needs of the business, and the project ultimately failed.
The objectives were finally met when the company engaged the consulting organization of a business with broad functional expertise and a wide array of experience with different technologies, business processes, and vertical industries.
Integrated customer journeys require integrated CX expertise
Companies with deep and broad customer experience are uniquely positioned to holistically provide expertise on the full breadth and depth of customer journeys, whether they are taking place online, in the contact center, or being analyzed in the boardroom.
There are many experts to choose from, but few are positioned to assess and execute on the wide array of channels and business functions modern companies need to successfully compete for customers.