Today, we live in the era of the customer experience.
Consumers are empowered by technology and have more choices than ever. To stand out from the crowd, brands need to offer a flawless customer experience. This new paradigm shift is putting pressure on CX professionals to orchestrate a game plan that addresses this important aspect of modern business.
So what are some of the biggest challenges facing CX professionals as they go about improving the customer experience? Here are 3 of the challenges that I see CX professionals trying to tackle today.
1. Creating a customer-first culture
The customer experience is critical to succeed in today’s hypercompetitive landscape. However, it will almost always require cross-departmental support from Marketing and IT to Sales and Finance. This means that in order for a customer experience program to get off the ground, and for a sustained customer-centric mindset to take hold in an organization, everyone needs to be on board, starting with the C-Suite.
“If everybody is an experience company, that inherently means the CEO, your C-Suite, has to buy-in to your company being an experience company.” — Jay Schneider, SVP Digital, Royal Caribbean Cruises
As a CX professional, how do you get continuous buy-in from your senior management? It starts with understanding what their KPIs are, and how your job is helping them meet their objectives. Recently, I put together a cheat sheet looking at how to get buy-in from each member of your C-Suite and instill a customer-first culture.
2. Getting the right team in place
To get the most out of the customer experience program, it requires an experienced team to manage the diverse aspects of the program, from implementation experts to research analysts to BI specialists. However, employing a full-time internal team to support your CX program can be expensive, whereas leveraging a vendor with an expert services team might help you achieve a better ROI. Also, you might need a large team at the beginning as it can be an undertaking to properly launch a feedback solution across multiple websites and countries. But as your program evolves you might not need as many staff, so you need the ability to scale to justify the return on investment.
One of the best ways to always make sure you have the right team in place at all times is to have a CX vendor that will not only offer a full range of feedback capabilities, but a fully-serviced option with access to a team of experts who are invested in making sure your program delivers a return on your investment (ROI).
3. Proving ROI
Speaking of ROI, just showing that overall satisfaction has increased is no longer enough to demonstrate your CX program is delivering a return on your investment. It is imperative to show how your CX efforts are impacting key business KPIs, such as conversion and customer retention.
According to a study by The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Genesys, senior executives saw improved customer retention and sales to be the most important benefits for investing in customer experience. Customer Retention was perceived as the primary benefit among 33 percent of senior execs, while 28 percent believed Increased Sales to be the primary benefit.
As well, not only do you need to show that the customer experience drives retention and growth, but according to Ron Wince, General Manager of Peppers & Rogers Group:
“Part of the challenge many companies face is that senior management is often hesitant to invest in customer-focused programs without guaranteed returns.”
Setting for CX Success
As a CX professional, you want to improve the customer experience, plain and simple. But saying you want to improve the customer experience, and actually making it happen, are two entirely different things. CX has a seemingly perpetually growing list of moving parts that you must find a way to address in order to reach your end goal of helping improve conversions and optimize customer retention.
As you continue to develop your CX program, it’s crucial to build a customer-centric culture, have the right team and partners in place and, above all, show how CX is moving the needle.
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