The Single Strategy You Need to Fuel Business Growth Right Now
With 2018 around the corner, businesses and brands are working to identify and leverage strategies to achieve goals and promote growth across all touch points. This means taking a look at existing initiatives and trying a fresh approach. For many, it's time to consider new perspectives to serve the ever-evolving customer and experiential omni-channel landscape.
The vast majority of marketers today agree that the ideal method of brand differentiation is to deliver a better customer experience. Recent projections from Gartner's Customer Experience Innovation 2017 Survey, shows that by 2020, more than 40 percent of digital analytics-related projects will relate to an aspect of customer experience.
Driving The Future of Business
To better meet the needs of their customers and attract new markets, businesses must focus on enhancing the customer experience as a top priority influencing their marketing strategies. To accomplish this, companies will rely heavily on improving the digital customer experience by leveraging new technologies, tools and strategies with personalization to drive revenue and create meaningful relationships with customers and clients.
Forrester data shows that while 72% of businesses say improving customer experience is their top priority, only 63% of marketers prioritize implementing strategy and investments that will help them reach this goal.The problem, it seems, is that organizations aren't entirely sure what a CX strategy would look like paired with the lack of skill and information to implement it properly. And while many may think that the customer experience is all about, well, the customer - it begins with the business.
Defining the Customer Experience
Customer experience embodies the perception of a brand or through the eyes of the customer - it is the totality of the interaction a person has with a brand or business. These ‘interactions' are many, and range from a social media post to the content on a packaging label. These touchpoints inform and connect the consumer to the brand, service, products and vision of the organization. These interactions should be deliberate, authentic and consistent.
Building a CX strategy to improve customer experience provides a useful and optimal experience to every customer across every touchpoint. Customer experience strategy helps to reduce cost, increase value, and creates differentiation. A well-crafted CX is essential the roadmap to delivering the ideal experience to a consumer or client. Key activities required to improve CX include creating personas, competitive analysis, journey mapping and touchpoint analysis.
The “Big Idea”: Setting a CX Blueprint
When bringing a strategy together for CX, all initiatives need to authentically reflect the unique business, brand, and vision that the company seeks to present for the future. These elements should guide, inform and delight the targeted market, building a path forward to create new opportunities for the business to grow.
The CX blueprint, along with a customer experience statement, or ‘big idea' should not only inspire customers, but empower and inform all internal employees within the organization. A customer experience statement (CES), is the driving force behind the strategy. By guiding the decision-making process, it defines the initiatives and actions that need to be put in place in delivering the ideal customer experience. Though they may seem similar, a CES should not be confused with a company's mission statement, as a customer experience statement goes into specific detail about the inner workings of the customer experience journey in relation to a company's overarching vision.
Behind The Scenes: Implementing the Strategy
A great customer experience goes far beyond marketing know-how. Targeting, reaching and engaging the right user set and converting them requires a collaboration of strategy and goals that cannot be accomplished with marketing alone. The most effective CX strategies will inform how a team will perform the strategy and how it will be done, providing steps and guidance along the way.
From design to content all the way to sales and customer service - several components must work in alignment to bring a CX strategy to realization. Inclusive of training, tools, platforms and technology - outside teams and internal individuals will need to be fully contributory, working towards the strategy's overall success.
The Truth of Measurement
Here's where it gets tricky. Customers are only human, and they will change over time. Measurement of initiatives not only indicates that progress is being made, it is also key to refining a customer experience strategy that remains consistently relevant.
The foremost tool for measurement is the Net Promoter Score. NPS is an index that ranges from -100 to 100, depicting how willing a customer is in recommending a brand's products and services to othes. Additional metrics include: Average Handling Time (ART) / First Response Time (FRT), First Contact Resolution (FCR), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and Customer Effort Score (CES).
The Tipping Point
While the path to to becoming a fully customer-centric organization isn't instantaneous, its essential to get a strategy in place that can provide experience-based differentiation, forging tangible connections for relevant products, services, and brands.
Don't be part of the nearly 40 percent of companies ignoring the power of CX. Companies of all sizes, whether new to CX, looking to establish a foundation or a seasoned organization with an existing strategy - implementing a customer experience strategy will always be a sound investment for the long term success and growth of a business.
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