This blog is the second in a two-part series of actions you can take to improve your CX. In this article, we’ll take a look at five corporate-oriented, strategic initiatives that can impact CX. The first part of this series focused on the human-side of CX: Part 1: Five People-Centric Resolutions.
1. Plan your AI Strategy
Research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services shows that 88% of companies believe it’s important to have a complete and consistent view of customers across all channels and platforms. But only 15% do.1
This is where technology can make all the difference. This year (2023), it’s estimated that 40% of all customer interactions will be automated through AI and machine learning.2
Automation is now business-critical so do your homework before investing in your future. Define what specific use cases and business problems you want to solve and what goals you want to achieve with automation. AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics will give you the insights you need into how to best serve your customers. In fact, in a survey of customers 63% expect you’ll use artificial intelligence.3
2023 also seems to be the year of personalization. According to Salesforce, 56% of customers expect offers to always be personalized.4 And 78% of customers say they are more likely to purchase again from companies that personalize their experiences.5
The preference for personalization spans the generations too with 82% of millennials, 77% of both Gen X and Gen Z, and 69% of Baby Boomers agreeing that it is important.6
2. Engage Employees
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Good EX Makes Great CX: 3 Steps to Agent Retention. Stressed agents create stressed customers. And stressed customers become angry customers. One survey reported 35% of customers become angry when talking to customer service.7 (In this writer’s humble opinion, that’s a low estimate.)
So, what to do? Get employee buy-in on your EX/CX initiative. Engage them. Give them the tools they need. Train them. Educate them. Pay them competitively. Promote them. And most importantly, empower them to do what is needed to help the most important person in the room, the customer.
3. Raise the Skill Bar
You also need to focus on the skills at the top, in the executive suite. Who’s running your CX program? Most likely a generalist. That’s ok, but we’re entering the era of the CX specialist. As CX grows in importance, you need to enlist the experts in disciplines ranging from IT to HR. These are the people who will research, create, and implement CX strategies that support the company vision.
According to Forbes, “companies need more data scientists, analysts, and people skilled in specific technologies... They also need more people to manage the employee and organization transformation that CX requires, including organizational change management specialists and workforce upskilling pros.8
4. Analyze Everything
If you’re company is investing in CX, you need to emphasize the economic benefit and ROI that investment will yield. This is where those analysts you brought on board will come in handy. You need to measure customer experience metrics such as satisfaction analysis, the journey, NPS, and customer effort scores, just to name a few. Then translate those into your organizational KPIs, which can include costs, revenue, and stats on customer churn, attraction, retention, engagement, feedback, and perception. Sophisticated analysis of objective quantitative measurements can lead to impactful CX decisions and strategy adjustments.
5. Get Social
Don’t underestimate the power and influence of social media. In 2022, 4.6 billion people globally used social media actively according to Statistica.9
Companies use social media for everything: promotion, education, customer engagement, announcements, etc. Customers do too. They freely rate and express their views on anything and everything and their opinion can make or break a brand. Customers are now the disruptors thanks to social media. Consider these actions to get a handle on your social CX interactions.
- Create in-house guidelines for posting new content and encourage employees to share and post.
- Know where your customers hang out. Facebook. LinkedIn. Instagram. Twitter.
- This is important. Monitor those sites and really listen to your customers. According to Salesforce, 62% of customers say they share their bad experiences with others.10
- This is just as important. Reply swiftly if not instantly. Almost two-thirds of buyers expect a response within 10 minutes to any marketing, sales, or customer service inquiry.11
- Collect customer feedback and act on it.
You may not be able to keep all your CX resolutions this year, but you’ve got a good starting point in this list. Your goal is better CX, better EX, better technology, and ultimately, a better bottom line.
To learn more, read five more steps in this blog: New Year, New CX: Part 1 — Five People-Centric Resolutions.
The Black Box Customer Experience team stands ready to assist you achieve your CX goals. To learn more, take a look at our CX web page.
Here are some other CX resources you may be interested in.
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