Consumer access to online markets has created fierce competition. In a race for revenue, brands often rely on the customer experience to stand out and stay competitive. With Intelligent CX you can transform one-time customers into repeat customers—and repeat customers into brand advocates.
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A Walker study predicted that by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key competitive differentiator. That’s not to say that companies will succeed with inferior products. Rather, businesses that combine high-quality products and high-quality customer experiences will outpace their competition. It’s the experience that drives increased acquisition, higher lifetime value, and a better bottom line.
These three key strategies will help you create an Intelligent CX strategy and stand out from the crowd.
1. Don’t Confuse Customer Service with CX
Being there for your customers is important—but so is being there ahead of your customers.
Make Customer Service Proactive
Many brands confuse good customer service with delivering a good customer experience. While customer service is part of customer experience, CX is the sum total of all the experiences your brand offers throughout its touchpoints. Success is measured by how accurately you’ve identified and addressed customer needs before and during your customer lifecycle. Getting this right, when so many get it wrong, is how brands stay ahead.
Use Issues Identified through Customer Service to Improve CX
Rather than invest in a reactive strategy that uses customer service to repair gaps in CX, use it as an indicator for improvement. Even companies that get positive responses at individual touchpoints may fail to address the underlying, avoidable issues that drive down satisfaction with the total customer experience. By treating customer service as a piece of your CX strategy, you can resolve issues before they occur. Doing this right can result in reduced service costs and improved customer satisfaction.
Focus on Delivering a Complete Customer Journey at the First Touch
By building the complete end-to-end customer journey, you can reduce costs and improve results. Optimize your process to get customers through their issues before they have them, and you’ll deliver a better experience. In this case study, you can learn how Clearlink worked with Frontier Communications to transform the site’s customer service pages by focusing on CX as the company’s key competitive differentiator. Improving customer experience resulted in a 20% reduction in Frontier’s support calls and boosted bottom line and customer satisfaction.
Customer Service Essentials
- Make customer service proactive instead of reactive.
- Use issues identified through customer service to improve CX.
- Focus on delivering a complete customer journey at the first touch.
2. Empower Your Customer Experience Strategy
The talent behind your CX strategy powers your ability to stay ahead of your competition.
Create and Keep an Active and Empowered CX Team
Ultimately, improving your brand’s customer experience will grow your bottom line. That could be through increased conversion, customer lifetime value, or both. But it’s only by properly investing in and empowering your CX strategy that you’ll earn a return on your CX spend. Capable CX strategists optimize your brand’s customer experience by creating personas, mapping customer journeys, conducting A/B testing, and delivering on innovation. It’s by empowering them that you’ll earn the competitive advantage CX can bring.
Continue to Gather and Review CX Data and Analytics
Building a complex, multichannel customer experience can be challenging, but it can also be financially rewarding. In fact, consumers say they’ll pay more for a better experience. While profitability is the number one goal, it’s a willingness to invest in the customer experience that will result in future success. As you continue to gather data to improve your CX, you’ll earn your brand a competitive advantage and increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.
Grow and Adapt to Changing Markets and Technology
A proper CX strategy has to take into account a changing market and improving technology. Channels that exist now may be phased out, and new ones may be introduced. Make it a priority to audit your customer journey, review and gather new analytics, and refresh your branded content. Focus on a plan that stays current with technology and leverages up-to-the-minute data. Stay ahead of the competitive curve by empowering experts to keep your CX up to date.
- Create and keep an active and empowered CX team.
- Continue to gather and review CX data and analytics.
- Grow and adapt to changing markets and technology.
3. Know Your Customer Journey
You can’t deliver on an experience that delights if you don’t know where your customer touchpoints are.
Identify and Categorize Different Kinds of Touchpoints
Any time a customer interacts with your product or service, they’re touching your brand. A touchpoint can happen at any moment, and on any channel. That includes your website, social media, advertising, telephone, brick-and-mortar store visits, in-person meetings, direct mail, and even the invoices and receipts your customers receive. Understanding each interaction will help you measure and optimize each touch.
Deliver on Three Key CX Metrics
Customer experience is best measured by three main metrics: personalization, ease, and speed. Your brand is an ongoing story that unfolds at every touchpoint, and your customers expect each touchpoint to be fast, easy, and personalized. To capitalize on CX as your key competitive differentiator, your organization needs to make sure that you’re delivering on those three key metrics at every step of the customer lifecycle.
Measure Interactions to Improve Engagement
Because customer journeys are increasingly multichannel across many devices, brands must accurately identify and measure each touchpoint. Determine your journey mapping and success metrics to better understand your customer experience. By measuring where your customers are most and least engaged, you’ll have actionable data that can be used to continually improve your end-to-end customer journey.
Customer Journey Essentials
- Identify and categorize different kinds of touchpoints.
- Deliver on three key CX metrics.
- Measure interactions to improve engagement.
Deliver an Extraordinary Customer Experience
The market is evolving. Traditional competitive factors like price are becoming less and less relevant. As markets globalize, and products and services become increasingly similar, the experience your customers have will be your key competitive differentiator. And you can’t deliver a great customer experience without understanding your customer journey.
At Clearlink, we know that a customer journey isn’t a handoff, it’s a handshake. We’re here to make exceptional customer experiences your brand’s promise. We take CX a step further by using data to help break down silos by connecting marketing, sales, and support. Give your customers an engaging, thoughtfully designed journey using the Intelligent Customer Experience framework and give them an experience that does more than deliver—it delights.
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