By Margot Birbeck, Head Analytics / Account Management, inQuba
The current reality is that the environments in which we operate are becoming tougher in almost every way. Both the political and economic landscapes are impacting our businesses and require more innovation to keep ahead. Customer expectations are ever increasing and technology options and advancements are moving faster than we can keep up with.
The start of a new year however always brings a renewed energy with new possibilities. It is a great time to reflect on past achievements and lessons learnt, and then look forward to the new, setting goals and planning. In the world of your customer experience programs this couldn’t be truer. The past year has certainly shown a definite shift in the domain of customer experience.
Assuming you have established your CX Program, you would have been collecting key customer experience metrics against your customer journey model such as Loyalty (e.g. NPS), Satisfaction at critical experiences and touchpoints and possibly metrics like First Call Resolution and Customer Effort.
Before you deep-dive into operational gear I urge you to take a look at how your metrics have performed over the past year/s. What do these trend patterns look like? It is great to achieve upward shifts especially at the higher loyalty levels which takes significantly more effort to achieve. Constant downward trends, even minor, should present deep concern and call for action. Trend lines may show seasonal changes which are important to recognise and understand what interventions could circumvent dips in the year ahead. Regardless of the shape of your trend, resolve to shift your lines upwards in 2016.
Many programs have already realized the link with customer satisfaction, loyalty and business value but I’d like to reiterate the case for continuously improving customer experience. A continuous focus on customer experience is not only vital for staying ahead but it is critical to achieving the strategic financial outcomes – increasing and growing revenue. While numerous studies have proven the business case, the logic is fairly straightforward. Good customer experience leads to satisfied customers which leads to loyal customers who will not only continue to do business with you (reduce churn) but are more likely to purchase more (increase revenue). Loyal customers will also talk about their experiences and your brand which will encourage other customers to sign-up (new business). If the theory isn’t convincing we can develop the data models to explicitly measure the linkage in relation to your program. CX / Revenue models provide a highly effective tool for predicting outcomes and ensuring strategies are aligned.
Easier said than done? Shifting trends upwards is certainly no easy feat but it definitely is possible and we have seen that with the right focus and actions improved, scores can be achieved. There are a number of highly effective strategies to achieve desired results and each program will have a different set of levers. The big themes include: creating broad visibility of CX results, setting and measuring CX targets at all levels, making individual/team results relevant to their roles, engaging and motivating employees in the program, assigning responsibility and effective service recovery processes and using data discovery, data models and advanced text analytics to discover underlying themes. By gaining a deep understanding of customer delivery, CX initiatives can be carefully planned and executed to achieve results at each level of the customer journey, moving your metrics in the right direction.
May 2016 be a year of CX achievements – upward shifts in your CX, underpinned by improved delivery, increased business value, great customer experiences and increased revenues!