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The Importance of Customer Experience in Today’s Business Landscape

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I think we all know the answer to this question. Every organization revolves around this principle. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, observes, it has elevated due to increased customer access to information, more options, and various means of expressing their viewpoints.

In other words, customers have become accustomed to convenience; and fast response times; and have more platforms, channels, and vendors to choose from. Businesses face a compounded urgency in finding new or better ways to improve their service channel or digital experience to keep up with these expectations.

The framework developed by Jan Carlzon, the former CEO of the Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) in the 1980s, continues to be relevant today as companies strive to create memorable and positive customer experiences at all touchpoints and channels (such as when customers visit a website, use social media, make phone calls, send emails, or have in-person interactions). 

For the past years, a significant shift in delivering CX value from primarily (eureka moment or moment of truth) reactive to aggressively proactive (moments of impact). In other words, we are not just to improve touchpoints and interaction channels; but to expand them.

CX is at the radical change

CX (customer experience) is integral to understanding customer behaviors as it empowers businesses to adapt and respond to evolving customer needs and preferences. One of the best ways to achieve this [alignment] is by designing a CX framework that involves stakeholders creating the solutions.

A CX framework builds on partnership, and collaboration can help to break down silos and enable cross-functional teams to work together more effectively. This, in turn, leads to a more seamless and personalized customer experience, which benefits both the customers and the businesses.

Quick question (no worries, no one’s going to know your answer). How do you pivot your CX strategy to where customers are most comfortable receiving a better experience? Few things to consider in answering this question:

  • Is the path to CX excellence the design, implementation, and management of efficient CX processes?
  • How can you get customers to care about the CX programs you set up as they continue on their own journey?
  • In what ways can you effectively provide information to customers that align with their interests; and preferences for communication channels; and ultimately inspire increased purchasing behavior?

Understanding these nuances facilitates more intuitive collaboration that is more relevant, innovative, and effective, leading to improved business outcomes and customer satisfaction.

It is also critical to understand and recognize that the customer experience is at the center of radical change. Otherwise, we may risk delivering experiences that do not meet customers’ expectations, resulting in dissatisfaction and churn. 

Keeping pace

Nearly all organizations say they deliver a consistent digital experience to customers across their website, mobile site, call center, email, and other channels. But the question remains, is that enough to keep customers?

While we operate in a landscape where many of us have direct competitors offering similar products or services, what differentiates us is the customer experience we [choose] to provide.

One of the critical components of CX is the use of new technologies to keep pace with the ever-evolving landscape of the modern world. 

With AI-powered tools, businesses can analyze large amounts of data in real-time and discover patterns and insights that are difficult or impossible to detect manually. This will help companies embrace digital transformation to eliminate friction.

Embracing new technologies is not just about adopting new technologies for the sake of it. It involves identifying technologies that help solve customers’ problems, improve CX, and create consistent value (both for themselves and their customers). 

Understanding CX triggers and what they represent

Understanding CX triggers [any event or interaction that impacts a customer’s goal or success] that cause a current state or realization that a particular area needs to change helps businesses design CX strategies that cater to specific customer demands and necessities. 

As reported by the Qualtrics XM Institute, every industry experienced a decline in their NPS score from 77 in 2018 to 73.2 in Q3 2022. This data suggests that if we don’t focus on constructing a better value or experience, we can’t create a CX that resonates with customers and their desired outcomes. 

When improving the customer experience (CX) and the customer journey (CJ), it is necessary to prioritize the most significant touchpoints and interactions. Here are some suggestions for setting priorities and improving CX:

  1. Start with customer feedback. Collect feedback through surveys, interviews, and social media channels. This feedback can provide valuable insights into what is working and what is not. Leverage feedback as the best opportunity for improvement.
  2. Focus on the most impactful and significant areas. It includes improving the checkout process, reducing wait times, or improving customer service.
  3. Communicate and recalibrate the goal to achieve throughout the customer journey (CJ). Write a detailed road map [for each journey] that describes the process from start to finish, and share visual maps of the business impact and sequence of initiatives in order, not only of priority but urgency.
  4. Measure impact and sequence initiative. Lay out the processes with expected outcomes that last the entire journey. It involves defining processes and establishing foolproof strategic efforts that will guide the implementation and execution of these initiatives. 
  5. Implement a tracking or collaboration app like AppEQwhere customer data sets can be shared or populated across different or existing systems and platforms. This helps customer-facing teams correlate individual touchpoints and interactions from a unified view of the customer journey and enables more effective collaboration between departments.

Loyalty is long-term and short-term goals

Loyalty is a consequential aspect of any successful business. It encompasses both short-term and long-term goals. In the short term, loyalty can lead to repeat purchases and increased revenue, while in the long term, it can result in customer advocacy, brand evangelism, and sustainable growth. 

The “State of B2B Loyalty” report by Merkle states that 89% of B2B customers say that the experience they receive is as important as the products or services themselves. This only shows that the foundation of [your] customers’ satisfaction rests on the quality of your products and services.

Peter Drucker’s quote [the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer] emphasizes the importance of loyalty, not only in acquiring customers but also in keeping them by constantly striving to satisfy their needs and exceed their expectations.

Summary

Customers today are seeking more than just transactional interactions or relationships — they want a meaningful and lasting relationship with the organizations they engage with. It is important to always consider the perspective of customers when developing CX programs or processes.

This guides us towards continuous engagement with ourselves and our customers, helping us maintain our focus on addressing and resolving their needs. It empowers everyone (customer-facing teams) to innovate and make a significant impact. 

Building a CX culture and mindset requires a deeper understanding of human psychological well-being. In doing so, we do not ascertain CX as a trigger, an event, a change in expectations, or an activity, but rather a commitment to excellence and a lifelong commitment beyond understanding customer challenges, recognizing potential opportunities, and implementing changes. 

Its significance is still as relevant as ever. What are your thoughts? Please share them in the comments below.

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