Overwhelming evidence confirms that improving CX does drive business results and that prioritizing customer experience is the proven path to success. However, many customers feel that only a few companies engage with them well, and even with those companies there is room for improvement.
So why are companies still struggling to deliver great customer engagements? For many organizations, this requires a customer engagement transformation. And how to go about this is often unclear.
Before moving forward with any CX strategy it’s important for your company to understand why it’s important to improve CX and what this will mean for the organization, including what CX competencies you need to establish. You need to assess where you stand on your journey to CX transformation and benchmark where you are against your competitors. This will help your company understand the level of transformation required as well as the urgency.
Once that’s done, you can plot your strategy. In the June 2017 report “Why and How to Lead A CX Transformation”, Forrester has identified 6 crucial CX competencies that companies must establish to start the transformation: research, prioritization, design, enablement, measurement, and culture.
6 CX competencies to establish and optimize
1. Researching your customer preferences
If you are just getting started on your CX transformation, then the first thing to do is research to ensure there is a good understanding of your customers wants and needs. This should be the first competency you look at because otherwise it will be very hard to move forward with the other cx competencies necessary to develop your CX transformation strategy.
2. Prioritizing based on what matters most to both – your customers and your business
Prioritization can be done by ranking your most important customer groups, journeys, and interactions and aligning that with your business values and business success criteria, so you can then move forward with the right focus.
3. Designing customer experiences
Then, you will identify and define the experience you want customers to have based on your CX vision and customer understanding (developed in the research and prioritization cx competencies above). This requires generating ideas, prototyping, testing with customers, and repeating that process many times before deciding that a design is done.
It’s important to not define the experience based on what the business wants. Capture what your customers want, and then design the way the organization engages with customers to meet those experiences.
Remember that you want to achieve the experiences that you define, but you don’t control experiences directly. What you do control is how your organization engages with customers, which then leaves customers to perceive these interactions and this results in the experiences your customers have with your organization.
4. Enabling your employees with training, information, and tools
Once you’ve defined the customer experience you want to deliver, you must provide employees with the resources that they need to properly engage with customers, and ultimately provide this experience.
And so, for some companies this might be the hardest part of their CX transformation. If you are dealing with system and process silos or legacy technology, delivering the right CX might mean upgrading technology or fully integrating your business and contact center systems. Depending on resources, it might take longer to work through this stage. But don’t let that deter you. The alternative option of continuing to deliver low quality CX will hurt your company in the long run.
By having the right architecture in place, you can start providing your employees with training, information, and tools that support the intended experience across all touch points.
5. Measuring CX metrics
To understand if your company is doing CX well, will require you to quantify the quality of experiences and link them to your organizations’ overall metrics. Ideally, you want to analyze what happens when customer interact with your brand, how they perceive these interactions, and what they do as a result.
This might require a shift in how you look at customer interactions and what metrics you report on. For further insights into how to measure CX, read the blog Looking at Contact Center Metrics In A Customer-Centric Way.
6.Establishing a customer-centric culture
To make sure that CX is a priority in your company will require a system of customer-centric values and behaviors that focus employees on better engaging with customers.
This is an especially important competency to continue your CX vision and drive business success. If you try to create this culture without looking at the other cx competencies, you are likely to be unsuccessful.
A good start is to educate employees about your customers, CX vision, and their roles in fulfilling your vision. Reinforcing customer-centric behaviors through routines, celebrations, and rewards is another good way to establishing customer obsession in your organization.
Don’t wait to start your CX Transformation
Some CX competencies you may be more mature at than others. Forrester Research suggests that companies establish the competencies they are missing, and optimize those already established. Eventually all competencies need to be optimized to be a well-managed “customer obsessed” organization, and be able to keep innovating.
Remember that with great CX being uncommon these days, acting now means you can more easily get ahead of the competition. Putting off the number one way to differentiate your business, will make CX differentiation much harder later on.
For more guidance on a CX transformation & how to implement these 6 competencies watch the webinar “CX Transformation: Six Essential Competencies”.
Noel Roberts serves as Aria Solutions’ Chief Technology Officer and VP of Marketing. He co-founded Aria with Robert Church in 1997. Prior to Aria, Noel founded Synapse, a software development company where he provided senior software development expertise in telecom peripheral equipment and computer telephony systems. At Aria, a big part of his role involves helping enterprise-size contact centers with full assessments, business, IT and CX strategy, roadmap development, and technology and vendor evaluation and selection. In his leisure time, Noel likes traveling and going to the rustic lake cabin with his family, reading about science and tech, and playing with new tech gadgets.
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