Last time I posted an article on how a CX team should unite silos between business functions in order to focus on improving the customer experience. In this post I wanted to break that down a little further and discuss the key components to a CX function and how building the function is not as daunting as the pundits make it out to be. It’s also not helping that the statistics about CX programs aren’t very flattering.
According to Forrester, only 14% of CX professionals say the benefit of investing in CX is well established in their firm, mostly due to lack of results and inability to gain support. Customer Think put out a statistic last year that “93% of customer experience initiatives are failing.”
I’m here to tell you to ignore all that, as whoever creates the CX program at your company should and will be a Rockstar. If you incorporate the following four components into your efforts to build a CX program at your organization, you are almost guaranteed to succeed.
The 4 Key Components to a CX Function
1. Collect and Analyze
Listen to ALL your customers across all the channels they communicate with. Not just chats and social, everything. Every channel is equally important because each is preferred by a different segment of your customer base at different times, for different purposes. Start thinking about the more obscure channels customers may use to communicate with your company: community forums and third party reviews such as Google, Influenster, Trustpilot, and community forums, and so on. The purpose of doing this is to not only gain a better understanding of the experience your customers go through, but to realize just how important and valuable all this data can be. In order to build a relationship with your customers you first need to listen to them.
2. Learn your Business
Learn your business and how each function impacts the customer experience, and work with each business unit or function to understand their work, roadmaps, risks, expectations, and perceptions. Try to understand what metrics are most valuable to them, so when you deliver results you can speak the same language.
Similar to your customers, you need to build relationships with these business functions, as you will need their support in order to improve the customer experience in the future. Building business relationships starts with a good introduction, and the best introduction is a compliment. Using real data you’ve collected from listening, let them know how they are bettering the customer experience today. Tell them what customers enjoy about the experience they are creating and impacting. Don’t show up on day one with bad news about how a business function is hurting the customer experience, save that for the 3rd or 4th date.
3. Deliver insights
Deliver insights based on customer findings and your understanding of business functions. These insights may be directly tied to something the business function is already working on, or entirely new. With all the data at your fingertips, and extended knowledge of different business functions, delivering insights should be the easiest part of a CX program.
A key when delivering insights is making sure the reports are concise and easy to follow. A good recommendation is grouping insights by themes or subject. After delivery it is always beneficial to ensure teams understand the value of the insights and what their next steps should be, as there will always be work that needs to happen based on those insights in order to improve the customer experience.
4. Translate insights into action
Translate insights into action by assigning ownership to specific action items based on insights. These action items should be measurable and have a direct impact on the customer experience. Based on the learnings from different business functions it should be easier to assign action items to the proper business owners.
Document all the work being done on a given insight by various teams. Not all action items can be tackled in the short term, especially with more complex CX improvements, so it is imperative to document and track all insights, actions, and results. Lastly, when celebrating a win, give credit where credit is due: to the business function(s) that executed the action.
The goal of a CX team is to listen to customers, identify the experience gaps the business creates, and work to solve them while ensuring they don’t happen again. Without a CX team customers will expose your company’s’ poor experiences and move on to the company that is willing to listen and improve.
It is in the best interest of a company for everyone to know the experiences customers are having. A team cannot be held accountable for what it doesn’t know. In order to create a culture of customer advocacy, the voice of the customer needs to be shared with all. The purpose of a CX team is to ensure a company knows what the customer is experiencing and that the proper teams are listening and responding.
Despite all the negative press regarding CX programs it imperative that companies try to execute on it. Knowing that we are in a relationship economy where customers purchase “experiences” more so than products, if you don’t make the attempt to build a CX program at your company you are already sealing your fate. Take the leap and try to be the CX Rockstar, you won’t regret it.