What does a football team need to do to win the ultimate prize?
Sure, a well-timed, rousing speech from the coach always helps. At least, it has in countless TV shows and movies in the past. However, having a playbook full of strategies that mix effective offense and unbreachable defense is what paves the path to winning.
Designing a winning Customer Experience (CX) program is no different.
According to Gartner, more than 4 in 5 brands compete primarily on CX. That means in today’s marketplace, you have to fight for every inch to score wins over your competitors.
You need to deliver amazing and memorable experiences that your customers will remember. Experiences that will make them want to stay with you long-term and, hopefully, entice others to check you out too.
Let’s look at just some of the things that you should include in your CX playbook to have a winning CX program.
Build an effective offense for your CX program
What do all winning teams do when trying to develop an effective attack? They watch a lot of video. They check out scouting reports. They try to find cracks in the other team’s defense so they can power through to the endzone.
A winning coaching staff knows the other team’s defense inside-and-out and leaves little to chance and assumptions.
You should approach your CX program with the same level of proactivity to deliver top-notch experiences across the customer journey.
What might that look like? Here are two things that can help you score CX touchdowns:
View your scouting reports (Measure the CX across the customer journey)
In football, one play can change the outcome of the game. Likewise, every single interaction along a customer’s journey can be the difference between whether your CX program gets a win or a loss.
A winning CX program will rely on in-depth scouting reports on your customers and their experiences with your brand. You must know your customers’ perceptions, preferences and tendencies through the customer journey. Most importantly, you should know your strengths are in the eyes of your customers, and where their most common pain points are and how you can address them to ensure a smooth experience.
Actively listening to your customers and collecting customer feedback on each of your touchpoints is key to gather this type of intel for your scouting reports.
Collect customer feedback on all your touchpoints and put together in-depth scouting reports on your key customer segments – their needs, wants, expectations, preferences, and perceptions.
Winning CX programs require you to do your due diligence and be proactive in learning how your customers perceive their experiences with your brand – on all your touchpoints, on all channels, throughout the journey.
This knowledge is critical to building an accurate scouting report you can use to develop a winning a CX program.
Watch the tape (Monitor your CX program’s performance)
Scouting reports are vital to putting together a solid gameplan for your CX offense. However, CX programs are not set-it-and-forget-it. Being able to adjust your plan as the game goes on is key to ensure your CX program remains potent.
Winning teams thrive on constantly watching tape (video) and figuring out how they can make adjustments on-the-fly. You should always ensure to have tools to easily monitor your CX program’s performance and to be able to quickly flag any issues before they get worse – decreases in customer satisfaction or drops in conversion, for example.
Always watch the tape and monitor your CX program’s performance. Use CX dashboards, real-time alerts, regularly-scheduled automated reports – anything to help you easily keep an eye on your CX.
Whether it’s Customer Experience dashboards, real-time alerts, or regularly-scheduled automated reports, you should have the monitoring tools in place to easily:
- Keep an eye on your Customer Experience efforts and KPIs over time
- Gauge the impact of any new CX efforts
- Flag significant changes in your CX data that require your attention
- Deep-dive into your CX data to identify root causes of issues
Set up a solid defense for your CX program
There is an often-debated cliché about how “defense is the best offense.” After all, you can have a powerful offense that scores 50 points. But if your defense is spotty and allows 51 points, you will lose every time.
The best teams are the ones that have both a productive offense and a rugged defense that keeps the other side out of their endzone.
What does defense look like for a CX program? Whereas offense requires you to be proactive to be able to deliver a great experience, defense requires you to be well-prepared to be reactive following these experiences.
Let’s look at two ways to instill an excellent defense for your CX program.
Use zone coverage (Look out for public comments about your CX)
It’s easier than ever for people to share feedback with others about their favorite (or least favorite) brands.
Collecting feedback from your customers on your touchpoints is crucial to obtaining targeted insights about your CX program. However, many customers will take to other methods to share their satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with your brand – social media, public forums; you name it.
As well, it’s important to remember that your CX program does not live in a bubble. Three in four customers find that one extraordinary experience from a brand raises their expectations of your CX.
When preparing for their next opponent, coaches will look at how other teams have been able to defeat them in the past. Likewise, any CX professional’s playbook should include looking out for how other brands’ customers (especially your competitors’ customers) talk about their experiences with those brands.
- What about these customers' experiences is making them want to stay with them?
- What are some of the most common complaints that come up?
- Why are your customers switching teams and going to your competitors?
Use zone coverage with your CX program and keep an eye on how customers talk about your CX and your competitors’ online, such as on social media, forums, review sites, and easily identify trends using text analytics.
Continually piping this feedback into a Text Analytics solution, especially one that automatically categorizes each comment by topic and performs sentiment analysis, can be a great way to intercept opportunities to address CX issues and further improve your CX program.
Go for the Pick-6 (Close the loop on critical experiences)
A timely interception can change the outcome of the game. Returning that interception for a touchdown (a pick-6)? Even more so.
Bad experiences happen even with the best of CX programs. However, a winning CX program is one that can intercept these bad experiences when they happen and remedy them quickly.
Measuring the experience and collecting customer feedback on all touchpoints is essential. However, closing the feedback loop has the potential to turn a bad experience into a good one, and even turn good experiences into great ones. The ability to do this as soon as possible and in real-time, if possible, can go a long way.
Go for the Pick-6 with your CX program. Turn bad experiences into good ones by implementing a closed-loop feedback program that intercepts bad experiences when they happen, and helps you remedy them ASAP.
Putting in place the right elements for your closed-loop feedback program, and emphasizing quick action, will help ensure you have the means in place to intercept key experiences when they happen, and potentially bring the ball to the house for the score.
Have the insights to run a winning CX program
A championship team is speedy, gritty, smart, and quick to adapt. Most importantly, they are well-prepared. They have tactical and well-thought-out playbooks to coordinate their offensive efforts and block a path to the endzone and keep other teams out of theirs.
Having the items we looked at in this post in place can bring you a long way to getting vital wins with your CX program, and the proverbial water cooler shower that comes with it.
Banner image source: Unsplash