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What is customer experience and why is it so important for you?

8th Jun, 2016

Customer experience (CX) to some can seem like the story of the sword and the stone. Many choose to embark on the conquest, but not all succeed in their journey.

The good news is that CX is not an elusive, fictional and magical sword named Excalibur. Great customer experience springs from concrete, controllable elements that everyone has the ability to achieve given the right guidance.

A successful CX strategy often means collaboration from groups within an organisation that traditionally do not work together or work at different stages of the business cycle. Aligning your goals and making sure you have buy-in at all levels will be key.

There are several things to consider when creating a CX strategy:

The customer journey: Understanding your customers’ journey from initial contact, right through the business cycle and beyond is imperative. Is their journey seamless? What obstacles are you unknowingly placing in the way? Have you ever considered walking a mile in your customers’ shoes to see where it takes you? If not, try it.

Touchpoints: Are you offering all channels desired? Today’s consumer expects to contact you through telephone, email, web chat, customer portals and social media - and they expect you to know who they are. Don’t fall into the trap though – a great omnichannel experience has moved far beyond opening new channels (multichannel). Providing a universal queue avoids the bolted-on applications with silos of important customer information, which hinder giving a seamless omnichannel customer experience.

Ecosystems: An integrated ecosystem of applications or modules, software and services open up new possibilities for customer journeys and experiences in ways that more isolated touchpoints cannot. Do not spend a lot to stand still, and do not compromise - it is achievable.

So, what’s the big deal? Why is CX so important?

Well, think of CX as a savings account… Not in monetary terms, but loyalty, advocacy and ultimately, business.

Everyone dreams of providing a seamless and great CX every time, but in reality there will come a point where you have to let someone down – even if it’s through no fault of your own. All companies make mistakes at some point and those whose complaints have been well-handled have been found to become even more loyal than they were before. So in short, all is not lost – if you have done enough in the past to ‘bank’ enough loyalty points, you shouldn’t move below the customer happiness threshold. If that happens, it will ultimately result in disloyal customer behaviour.

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So now you know little bit more about the importance of a great CX – watch out for our next installment which will detail some possible steps to enable the collaboration required to plan and execute an effective CX strategy.

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