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State of Customer Experience 2015 Industry Report
As Director of Industry Insights, Carolyn is responsible for analyzing aggregate data to understand best practices and root cause issues surrounding Win Loss and Customer Experience programs. Utilizing primary source research and secondary information, Carolyn produces syndicated and custom client reports that help to illustrate best practices and benchmarking metrics. Prior to her current role, Carolyn served as a Program Consultant at Primary Intelligence since 2013, with direct responsibility for customers’ Win Loss and Customer Experience programs. Read full bio
Customer Experience—also referred to as “CX”—is important to businesses. It helps explain why customers remain loyal, and why they continue to buy our products and services. It also helps to explain why some customers defect, going to a competitor or simply doing the work in-house.
In addition to gaining a better understanding of customer loyalty, Customer Experience initiatives also provide important benefits:
- First, Customer Experience helps to improve our understanding of customer needs. And understanding customer needs is the most important benefit for 86 percent of the participants in our recent research.
- Another key benefit of Customer Experience programs is improved customer service and support. This was highlighted by 70 percent of the respondents in our recent research.
- Other important benefits from customer experience include: the ability to identify best practices, improved responsiveness, and improved communication with customers. Each of these benefits received support from over 50 percent of our research participants.
But, despite these benefits, not all companies are performing Customer Experience Analysis. In fact, about one in five firms has no CX program in place today. Common reasons for not gathering Customer Experience feedback include not having enough resources to devote to customer experience initiatives and having too many other competing priorities within the organization.
- As one Corporate Sales and Customer Experience Officer explained, “We had so many ideas—where to set up campaigns, interview customers, offer rewards to loyal customers—but management said there was no budget and we didn’t have the money to implement any of these ideas.”
So what can you do to ensure your Customer Experience program is successful, whether you’re just getting started on your Customer Experience journey or you’re a long-term CX practitioner?
- First, make sure you have executive-level support. Support from your senior leadership is critical to the long-term success of your CX program. Reporting directly to the CEO or, at a minimum, having a senior leader to call upon as a strategic ally, is essential to ensuring the program is successful over the long term.
- As one CX leader told me as part of our research, “It really does make a difference when 100 percent of our executive team are nodding and walking the walk, as opposed to just walking the talk.”
- Second, implement closed feedback loops, including ways in which you’ll make process changes, behavioral changes, and cultural changes. You’ll then want to communicate that information—clearly and repeatedly—to different lines of business throughout your organization.
- Third, create repeatable processes for customer follow-up. This allows issues to be handled quickly and efficiently. And it’s especially important for large and geographically-dispersed organizations.
- As one CX leader I spoke with as part of our research told me, “It’s a huge best practice to be able to reach out to a customer within 24 or 48 hours of them completing a survey, letting them know ‘We heard you. We’re listening.’”
- Fourth, leverage information across the entire Make sure you get all employees involved and excited about your customer experience program. In our research, we found a strong link between Customer Experience programs and increased employee engagement. We also found that employee attrition rates are lower in firms that have strong CX programs in place.
- One CX manager I spoke with as part of our research believes that organizations should look at their recruiting processes, making sure to hire the right people—those that are customer focused.
- Finally, consider instituting debrief or discovery sessions within your company. These sessions bring together different individuals from throughout your organization to discuss the most significant issues related to customer feedback. They also allow key stakeholders to share best practices and root cause issues. This allows for immediate follow up and helps you to improve customer loyalty.
- A program manager I spoke with as part of our research said that debrief calls are a best practice within his global sales organization, helping to change and improve customer outcomes.
To learn more about Customer Experience programs and best practices, please visit the report page.