CX Can Transform Your Customer Relationship Over Decades

Last year I posted an article here about how I felt that the design of modern customer experience (CX) solutions resembles conducting an orchestra. I was thinking about this article again when I heard Ivan Kotzev from Nelson Hall, talking on the CX Pod Europe. Ivan is a great CX thinker.

On the podcast, Ivan said: “I'm seeing more of these engagements, where the partnerships are based on achieved results in the mid or long-term. For quick fixes like cutting costs and some optimisation you might just use nearshoring or offshoring, but advanced brands don’t want to do that anymore.” He added: “Brands are now looking to create a partnership that is deeply transformational. The steps might involve technology or the cloud, something that is daunting for many companies. This will increasingly happen with those brands that have a vision for CX transformation.”

The really interesting thing about the TTEC and and many of our EMEA partnerships with some very big brands is that this really does describe the relationship. One of our CX transformation customers didn’t ask for someone to manage their contact centre. The company asked how they could create a five-year plan to transform interactions with their customers and that’s exactly what is in progress right now.

All these comments reinforce my earlier article suggesting that modern CX is now fundamentally different to the traditional view of outsourcing and how contact centres are designed.

Think about the journey a customer takes from their first awareness of a product to then making a purchase. How did it work in the past?

The customer might see an advert and become aware of the product. They ask around for some more information, perhaps by checking the website of the company, then make a purchase. If there are any problems or doubts then they contact the customer service helpline.

In this example the customer journey is linear. It goes from one step to the next and the only direct customer to brand engagement is after a purchase has taken place.

Now what does the modern reality look like?

Customers are just as likely to hear about your product from a friend or family member on social networks - product information no longer comes only from formal advertising or marketing. They might use a social network to ask the brand about their products or to ask existing users for reviews or comments. They can make a purchase and engage with a brand during the purchase itself. They can then frequently engage with the brand for many different reasons - especially if they are satisfied with the product and share this opinion online.

There is far more brand to customer interaction and the journey itself is no longer linear. It can jump all over the place and cycle around the various stages. An existing customer can ask the same question as a prospective customer. A satisfied customer will stay in touch - they are not making contact because there is a problem that needs to be resolved. They might just be sharing a photo online and tagging the brand.

Modern CX design needs to take all this into account. Customers expect personalisation and brands need to create more insight into what their customers prefer. The technology involved in making all this happen is far more complex than anything we used a few years ago.

But it is not just that there are more tools and technology today. The changing nature of the customer journey means that modern CX is focused on building positive and long-lasting customer relationships. This is now the focus. That’s what a company like Volkswagen is interested in achieving. Designing a CX solution is no longer focused on measuring how quickly customers calls can be handled. It’s the relationship that counts.

My colleague Simon Dilllsworth has written a new paper exploring transformation now available on our website. I recommend reading this because Simon’s observations reflect my own view.

CX design isn’t just about answering customer calls, it is now how smart brands transform and maintain a long-term relationship with their customers.