We are nearly halfway through the year. Articles and posts about trends for the year are disappearing from our feeds, but rest assured SEO and Marketing Managers are already planning next year’s.
So I would like to look at the basics of Customer Experience Management, the things that will stay the same – even as the details change beyond our ability to predict the future. As I prepared this article I saw something similar: Customer Expectations Are Changing. But These 7 Things Haven’t Changed About Customer Experience. I love how Stephanie reminds us that customers’, people’s needs don’t really change.
If we accept that the basic customer requirements stay the same, shouldn’t our actions remain the right ones – subject to ever changing details such as new channels, etc?
Here are seven tools I believe Customer Experience Managers will continue using to improve customer experience and enable sustainable growth.
We have a lot of metrics and the best practitioners talk about value chains linking:
Operational metrics to CX metrics to business metrics to performance metrics.
Operational metrics tell us how well we’re interacting with customers, like on-time delivery, site speed.
CX metrics tell us how customers perceive their experience. Most commonly people use NPS, CSAT and CES, but there are others, and some businesses create their own.
Business metrics show the impact of customer experience through churn, lifetime value, share of wallet, etc. They can also look towards loyalty and cover referrals, re-purchases, up sells and cross sells.
Performance metrics are those we see in our accounts. Revenue, costs, profits.
Metrics will be around in five years. Which metrics exactly I wouldn’t want to say, though I notice Gartner believe 75% of organisations will have dropped NPS by 2025. And metrics will be the basis for the decision to act as they show the value of intentionally managing customer experience.
While we all use data to understand customers, the value comes from understanding what the data is saying. Simple techniques like customer personas, blend with modelling methods like journey mapping (see below) and listening (see Voice of the Customer) help us empathise with customers. Customer Experience without empathy is like salt in the sugar bowl.
Understanding, both quantitatively and with empathy, can only grow more common.
All the metrics and understanding in the world mean nothing unless we do something with them. The need to take action, to use our understanding to improve or add products, services and customer touchpoints isn’t going anywhere.
If we don’t take action customers will become less happy (this is shown through the Kano model, this post gives a quick intro https://customerexperienceconsultant.co.uk/balance-perfect-and-good-enough/). This, of course, leads to…
Showing a return on investment
Like any other business activity, managing customer experience comes with a cost. When we spend time, money and talent o Customer Experience we lose the opportunity to spend them on other things, so it must show a return. A great customer experience is not the end, it is a means to the end.
The need for profitable investments will only disappear if shareholders stop asking for returns.
The links with employee experience
Happy employees make customers happy. While tied up with empowerment and support, that age-old equation won’t change anytime soon.
Telling the story of our customers’ interactions with our products, services and touchpoints is powerful. Using a structure and data transforms the story from anecdote to valuable insights and helps us understand each of our customer personas.
Voice of the Customer
But most of all – and my favourite – listening to the customer won’t change. Sure there will be new technology and ways of doing it, but when we stop listening we cannot meet our customers needs.
The basics of Customer Experience Management keep us honest.
They help us deliver the promises we make. They deliver loyalty and trust and show us the future of our interactions with customers as they need to be.
And they need to be personal, based on trust and meaningful – not the next best thing in CX.