by Xavier Quenaudon
Two of the most influential customer experience (CX) conferences recently took place within a six week time period – and Burke was at both. Designed to facilitate the exchange of information and experiences between attendees, the CXPA Insight Exchange and the Next Generation Customer Experience events provided a valuable forum for those at the beginning of their CX program, as well as those facing the hurdles which inevitably emerge during their organization’s journey to customer centricity. Here are a few key themes discussed at the conferences.
Four Key Themes in Customer Experience Management
Ease of Doing Business Becomes a Rallying Cry
Contacting Customer Service? Browsing a website to make a purchase or find information? Trying to use a product of service recently purchased? Or using the store’s mobile app to get directions? There are many facets to being a company that’s “easy to do business with.” The emergence of value-based services, such as the much-heralded Uber, is putting pressure on all organizations to find ways to simplify customers’ interactions with them – from beginning to end. This includes communicating in ways that customers can immediately comprehend and relate to. Instead of using internal jargon, use words that make a connection with your customers.
Here Come The Millennials!
Millennials now surpass Baby Boomers in the US – 75.4 million vs. 74.9 million. The implications for CX are very significant, as Millennials also represent the largest “working generation” in the workplace. As consumers, Millennials have low loyalty to brands, which forces companies to re-think the notion of “loyalty.” In addition, over 80% of millennials use social media to contact Customer Service and, making it more challenging for organizations, they expect a response within an hour after an issue is mentioned! And who is most likely to deliver that response? A continually-connected Millennial! Companies that best adapt to this generation are likely to emerge as winners in an increasingly competitive environment.
Focusing on the Relevant (Internal) Metrics
Several presentations stressed the ongoing struggles many organizations face with their performance metrics. First Call Resolution is a prime example of the disconnect that may exist between what organizations measure and what customers report. Who decides when an issue is resolved? Call Centers’ internal definitions of a “closed ticket” too often clash with the outcome reported by the caller. Shipping & Delivery is another area where internal performance metrics (sometimes defined decades ago) are at odds with customers’ experiences. The bottom line: Let customers define what quality means to them – and stop defining it for them!
Start with Your People
Many speakers at the CXPA Insight Exchange highlighted the importance of “putting employees first.” While some disagree with this statement (many believe the customer comes first), there is no doubt that to be a leader in customer experience, organizations need to engage their employees early, consistently, and often in the process. One speaker shared that his organization’s job descriptions now include the position’s role in delivering the customer experience. Another speaker stressed the importance of “going to the employees who are closest to the problem.” And a third one mentioned the positive impact of sharing and celebrating successes – big or small – as well as sharing failures, saying, “Don’t be afraid to fail – but fail fast!”
With a passion for everything and anything Customer Experience, Burke VP Xavier Quenaudon partners with companies seeking to take their CX program to the next level, by pushing them to advance their customer research, learning, and insights; making the most of the data that they have; and driving cultural and operational changes that impact Customer Loyalty and Engagement.