More than 30% of customers will leave a brand after one negative experience, says a recent study from PwC. To make matters worse, as many as 50% of customers reported a willingness to leave a brand, or have left a brand, after just two or three negative experiences. It’s no secret that customer experience is today’s brand differentiator, and there’s certainly no shortage of companies and experts offering advice, strategies, and technology solutions. Our focus has always been on engagement and what happens at the point of contact. So we’ve chatted amongst ourselves and have compiled a list of things you can do to boost your CX in 2020.
Hearts & Minds: Everyone Is In CX
If you only do one thing in 2020 to boost your CX, adopt a company-wide mindset that everyone contributes to the customer experience. From an app developer improving performance by 7%, to clear and uncomplicated invoices, it’s all customer experience. A few decades ago, we’d say, “everyone is in sales.” Less than a decade ago, as social media began dominating conversations, we’d say, “everyone is in marketing.” Today, everyone is in CX. An off-message tweet or awkward web experience can tarnish years of focused customer service that built a great brand and high NPS. Everyone is in CX. Everyone matters.
Culture: Everything Matters
If you only do one other thing in 2020, you and your team should repeat after me; “Everything is customer experience, and customer experience is everything.”
I know what you’re thinking, “Oh look, they stated a cliché!” It’s not; it’s today’s truth. Everything from the accessibility and readability of your website to the tone of your agents is the total customer experience. Is your customer service phone number easy to find? Are your policies clear? Is your IVR messaging and terminology positive and up to date? There is no other business strategy where little things can make a big difference. Sweat the details. Everything matters.
Engage: Get To Know Your Customers
If you only do another thing in 2020… only kidding, kidding about our first sentence, not getting to know your customers. Pick a regular day each quarter, the second Tuesday, the first Thursday, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s on your calendar. Then spend that day calling your customers or clients, especially those you haven’t spoken with recently. Even better, if several are in the same location, hold a small cocktail reception (not too big). Make sure to emphasize on those who aren’t your best customers. Sure it’s compelling to have a few laughs with your NPS promoters, but you’ll learn more from the others. (Disclaimer, we shamelessly purloined this one from Shep Hyken.)
Process: Constant Updates On The Updates
You’ve been in daily contact with a future customer as you scope the project and zero in on deliverables and schedule. Your rapport is amazing; you think this is your next customer champion in the making. The paperwork gets signed, the project goes to implementation, and you move to the next future customer. And then, typically, silence.
This process is typical, especially for B2B SaaS and technology services. But to build that future champion, this is the single most crucial moment in their journey; the moment when the rapport shifts from person to person, to business to business. Make sure you’ve established a channel and process for regular updates. Keep those status updates consistent and on-brand. Ensure that everyone on the project feels they are important to you.
Think: Share Content That Is All About The Customer
It can be challenging to avoid talking about yourself on your social media channels. While your current and future customers would often like to know what’s new, what they really want is to see that you’re thinking about them. Find and share content that helps them think about how to solve their problems. Your company may not be able to address every issue of theirs, but you can point to ideas that could.
Inform: Use More Video, Show Your Faces
People are more rushed than ever, while also demanding unimpeachable customer experiences right not right away. Video is an excellent way to inform and teach in today’s instant gratification marketplace. Use it for tutorials, product information, new announcements, or even video FAQ’s (make it fun). It can be inexpensive to produce and free to post. But most importantly, it’s a chance to show your future customers who you are and showcase your personality. Just make sure you don’t do vertical videos.
Speed: Return Calls, Freaky Fast
Nothing exemplifies how vital your customers are to you, like a rapid response to voicemails. Jimmy Johns built their business on “Freaky Fast” delivery, and it is a defining component of their brand. Make sure you and your teams place a high priority on returning missed calls as quickly as possible.
Science: Deploy Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
I tricked you. I figured if my reader made it al least two-thirds of the way through this, I needed a final headline that would pull you through to the finish.
This final point is pretty much the opposite of the headline. While a host of other companies and we help solve CX problems with ever-advancing technology, technology solutions are not a panacea. Without the right fundamental CX-focused business culture, no technology will give you the results you need. Because the tech solutions and products are just tools, and the best hammer in the world in the wrong hands will just make holes in the wall.
Thank you for getting this far. Hopefully, you’ve noticed a theme here; great CX is all about aligning your teams on your customer’s problems, and their customers’ needs. Only then will you know which technologies will amplify your efforts.