- 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience.
- Customer Experience was ranked the most exciting business opportunity in Adobe’s Annual Digital Trends report.
- A Walker study found that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
According to Forrester Research’s CX Index, 0% of companies received an “Excellent”, even top brands known for providing good customer experiences. The reality is that even industry-leading CX companies are not keeping up with customers’ demands.
With so many businesses competing on customer experience, and executives across every major industry touting its importance, why is there still a lack of action and prioritization when it comes to customer experience (CX) programs? Why aren’t executives putting their money where their mouth is? There’s a divide between words and action, and solving it begins with revisiting your CX strategy.
Even though many companies claim to have doubled down on CX, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are making the most of their investments or seeing the intended results of their efforts. Most CX programs fail to close the feedback loop with both internal and external stakeholders, resulting in missed opportunities and leaving senior leaders blind to the value-add outcomes of CX and Voice of Customer (VoC) programs—reducing cost to serve, reducing overall cost per customer, increasing customer loyalty, reducing churn, and increasing lifetime value to name a few.
This disconnect between perception and action is the result of many CX programs’ inability to mature appropriately. Without a complete feedback process, CX programs aren’t able to shareback the value they bring to the business, making it difficult to get buy-in from executive leaders who speak the language of ROI.
As CX professionals, before we raise the white flag and give up on our dreams of customer-led decision making, there is hope. With a mature VoC program, you’ll be able to move the needle and share the value of CX back to the business by completing a simple four step process: collecting customer feedback, mining that feedback for insights, infusing insights into business decisions, and sharing these insights-driven business decisions back to stakeholders. It may seem easy, but organizations across the globe struggle with challenges in each step.
4 Key Challenges of VoC Programs
1. Listen & Capture—Don’t just be survey obsessed. Tap into the wealth of feedback you have at your organization, even the Voice of Employees. Many organizations have a number of listening efforts in place with no coordination. It is not uncommon for companies to have six or more listening tools in place working in isolation of each other. Work cross-functionally to gather all of the data your organization collects.
2. Learn & Interpret—Organizations who claim to be “swimming in data” but not able to get to insights suffer from siloed views of the experiences they’re providing. Wrangling data across departments can be a daunting task, but is crucial for delivering insights that are meaningful and relevant to your stakeholders.
3. Engage & Act—Driving action requires a formal closed-loop process. Whether it’s closing the loop 1:1 or more collectively and then making bigger systemic changes as a result of the feedback received, without the shareback, the value often goes completely unnoticed.
4. Prove & Monitor—Being able to show ROI and that movement on the metrics matter, establishing a connection with the customer, and providing internal rewards and recognition for delivering great experiences are critical, but companies without a closed-loop process often get stuck here.
You have to be able to show your customers that you’re listening and that you’re doing something about where you fall short. Closing the loop is not only good for your customers, but for the business as well—Did it rekindle the relationship with the customer? Did it right the experience? Did it help to identify a kink in our processes that needs to be revisited?
Once you’re able to benchmark the experience before and after closing the loop, you can clearly see the results gained. This will allow you to identify whether closing the loop had an impact on your business. Did it reduce customer churn? Increase referrals? What business processes has it improved?
Best-in-class companies do an effective job of not only giving people the insights and information to deliver better customer experience, but also help develop the right processes. It’s not just about one input, it's about making larger, systemic improvements to improve future customer experiences as well. These best-in-class companies are able to connect the dots between customer experience and empower and enable all of their people.
Prioritization continues to be a challenge for so many companies. Focus efforts on tapping into the right things that move the needle and are most impactful to your customers. Companies that get CX right focus on prioritizing systemic improvements over individual case resolutions. It takes time to help people see the work being done, but by closing the loop and communicating the value and impact of CX efforts, both on a 1:1 level and organization-wide, you’ll be well on your way to showing your leadership team that CX more than deserves to be the driving force in differentiating your organization for years to come.