A Step-By-Step Guide to Building a CX Program

Building a CX Program Foundation What is 'CX' anyway?

Customer Experience (CX) is a catchy business term that has been used for decades, and until recently, measuring and managing it was not possible. Now, with the evolution of technology, a company can build and operationalize a true CX program.

For years, companies championed surveys, feedback, and other sources of data as the drivers of “Customer Experience" - however, these singular sources of data don't give a true, comprehensive view of how customers feel, think, and act.

Unfortunately, most companies aren’t capitalizing on the benefits of a CX program. Less than 10% of companies have a CX executive and of those companies, only 14% believe the benefit of CX is well established in their firm.*

In a time where the customer experience separates the winners from the losers, CX must be more of a priority for ALL businesses.

Customer Experience, as a program, is the aggregation and analysis of all customer interactions with the objective of uncovering and disseminating insights across the company in order to improve the customer's experience. This not only includes the analysis of typical channels in which customers directly interact with your company (calls, chats, emails, feedback, surveys, etc.) but all the channels in which customers may not be interacting directly with you - social, reviews, blogs, comment boards, media, etc.

In order to understand the purpose of a CX team and how it operates, you first need to understand how most businesses organize, manage, and carry out their customer experiences today.

Essentially, a company’s customer experience is owned and managed by a handful of teams. This includes, but is not limited to, digital, brand, strategy, UX, retail, design, pricing, membership, logistics, marketing, and customer service. All of these teams have a hand in customer experience. In order to affirm that they are working towards a common goal, they must communicate in a timely manner, meet and discuss upcoming initiatives and projects, and discuss results along with future objectives.

In a perfect world, every team has the time and passion to accomplish these tasks to ensure the customer experience is in sync with their work. In reality, teams end up scrambling for information and understanding of how each business function is impacting the customer experience - sometimes after the CX program has already launched.

This process is extremely inefficient and can lead to serious problems across the customer experience. These problems can lead to irreparable financial losses. If business functions are not on the same page when launching an experience, it creates a broken one for customers. Siloed teams create siloed experiences.

There are plenty of companies that operate in a semi-siloed manner and feel it is successful. What these companies don’t understand is that customer experience issues often occur between the ownership of these silos, in what some refer to as the “customer experience abyss," where no business function claims ownership. Customers react to these broken experiences by communicating their frustration through different communication channels (chats, surveys, reviews, calls, tweets, posts etc.).

For example, if a company launches a new subscription service and customers are confused about the pricing model, is it the job of customer service to explain it to customers? What about those customers that don’t contact the business at all? Does marketing need to modify their campaigns? Maybe digital needs to edit the nomenclature online... It could be all of these things. The key is determining which will solve the poor customer experience.

The objective of a CX program is to focus deeply on what customers are saying and shift business teams to become advocates for what they say. Once advocacy is achieved, the customer experience can be improved at scale with speed and precision. A premium customer experience is the key to company growth and customer retention.

How important is the customer experience? A 2011 study by Right Now Technologies showed that 89 percent of customers left a company following a poor customer experience and began doing business with a competitor.

CX is crucial to operating a business, and an exceptional experience starts with an understanding of the customer through their voice.

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