Compiling and analyzing data from multiple customer touch points, based on company-set metrics, will provide a dynamic and actionable way of improving customer experience

Whether you know it or not, your business is awash in data about your customers and what they want.

Navigating this sea of information requires a sound customer experience strategy that can take in all that digital feedback in a structured way, analyze it against proper business metrics and use it to empower your employees to better anticipate and meet your customers’ needs or resolve their issues.

Seek and Measure Feedback

Such a strategy starts with actively listening to your customers and measuring their feedback. That means determining how your customers are talking to your organization today and how you can best assemble vast information across the multiple customer touch points in the digital universe. A CX platform that lets you gather this data constantly and analyze it effectively in real-time is critical because you can’t act on what you can’t measure.

The Forrester Research Customer Experience Council 2017 member survey noted that businesses need a “highly disciplined measurement program,” but found in its research that 39% of businesses that it surveyed don’t regularly ask customers for feedback, and 77% say they don’t regularly determine what drives a quality customer experience. That leaves them “in the dark about what matters most to their customers.

Know Your Most Important Customers

For many reasons, a CX management strategy must recognize that not all customers are created equal. As part of its CX management journey, a savvy business needs to determine its target audience and tailor its customer experiences accordingly. The best target audience is the one that translates most directly to the bottom line. Who are your most profitable customers? Where is your greatest growth potential? Which customers have the greatest influence in the market?

These are the customers you work hardest to attract, so they are also the ones you must work hardest to please and to retain. So logically, this is where you should focus your CX management efforts.

Of course, this isn’t likely to be a monolithic group – your customer base will include demographic segments that will communicate with you in different ways. A successful CX management strategy views its customer journeys through multiple lenses. This can help you identify key touch points along the way that can address different segments.

Decide What You Want To Measure

At this point, your business needs to decide which customer experiences you want to measure – and develop metrics for doing that measurement. As the Forrester Research study notes, customer experiences happen at different levels. There is the overall relationship, but there is also the customer journey and then there are specific interactions. For example, buying health insurance establishes a consumer’s relationship to that insurer, but the consumer’s journey can include dealing with either chronic or sporadic medical issues. So, specific interactions could start with the sign-up process and progress through written or online benefit statements and billing conflict resolutions.

A CX strategy should be able to identify experiences at the journey and interaction level and determine customer expectations for both AND ways of measuring ongoing performance against those expectations.

Get the Right Platform In Place

Know how you are going to collect the information you need, to evaluate how your company is meeting the expectations of its most important customers and where you need to do more work. That requires a CX management platform that builds in constant data analysis so that, within the sea of data, you can choose what’s important and what’s not, acting on the former and not getting distracted by the latter.

Break Down Silos to Be Customer-Centric

A CX strategy also needs a plan of action for how to use that analysis on regular basis, in both traditional and non-traditional ways. Certainly, putting much more information about customers in the hands of your customer-facing employees is important but companies that are determined to adopt a customer-centric business strategy – and most say they are – go much farther.
PeopleMetrics’ Pooya Pourak noted in a recent article that the best CEM programs “cause cross-functional customer-centric collaboration which requires your company to break down organizational silos to be more valuable, efficient, and enjoyable to your customers.”

Those siloes can be a major impediment to change within any organization, and it is up to management to ensure that employees have the confidence to “leave their lane” if it means accomplishing CX management goals.

Get Ready to Act

Finally, your business needs to be prepared to act on what you hear and have a strategy that links constant customer feedback to business outcomes. That includes empowering your employees to act by giving them tools and policies that establish certainty as to the best path of action in customer engagement and keep them focused on where your business wants to go – and grow.