With so much pressure on customer experience (CX) today, business leaders may be tempted to toss any promising new technology into their CX strategy. It’s easy to see the possible advantages these products can offer, but it’s much harder to estimate the amount of effort required to turn possibility into reality.
In fact, a Wipro Digital poll found that “only 50% of companies are successfully executing on their digital transformation strategies despite demonstrated efforts and investment.” If you want to successfully incorporate a new product into your CX, do the groundwork first and never lose site of the people involved.
Set the Appropriate Goal for a CX Strategy
As part of a CX strategy, any new project needs a customer-focused goal. It’s not about databases, networks or architecture; it’s about the day-to-day experience of employees and customers who have no idea what’s behind the curtain.
The goal should describe how your customers’ lives will change for the better once this software is implemented. For example, if you’re planning to deploy a mobile app that lets people quickly re-order favorite products, users should find it more convenient than the website, faster than email and more personalized than social media promotions.
Select Success Metrics That Measure CX
The right metrics help you know if you’ve met the initial goal and tell you where to enhance or adjust your digital CX offerings. Identify measures that correlate with happy clients, such as customer satisfaction (CSAT) or first contact resolution (FCR).
You may need to expand data collection for the new application. If you want to increase FCR through automation, such as chatbots, define and track successful bot interactions so you can get a solid picture of how well it’s serving consumers.
Prepare the Organization for New CX Products
Determine which departments will be involved in making this product work and what they need to do. If these groups aren’t ready and able to support the new software, it’ll never get off the ground.
For instance, if you’re implementing omni-channel CX, every customer touchpoint will be responsible for updating client interactions in the new system as well as consulting a more detailed history before communicating with customers.
Prepare Employees for Digital CX
Employees will also have to learn new skills. You may consider deploying artificial intelligence to help predict customer behaviors, for example; if so, you’ll need specialists to train and tune the system, analysts to interpret the data and CX leaders to figure out what to do with new insights.
Even smaller plug-and-play offerings require additional training. Let’s say you want to serve customers with personal messaging apps; then representatives must learn to juggle several conversations at once, communicate effectively in short sentences, and recognize when it’s time to switch to voice.
Preparing employees for the requirements of new technology takes time. People need weeks of reminders, references, and support to develop new habits and skills. But skipping this phase could spell disaster for the digital strategy.
Start with Small CX Projects
You’ll traverse a steep learning curve with the first deployment of any product. Lower the risk by focusing initial CX planning on one limited pain point or a small customer population. You’ll be able to recover faster from mistakes and minimize damages if everything goes pear-shaped.
Always Give the Customer Options
You’re trying to make customers’ lives better, but you’re also introducing change, which is uncomfortable. People may take time to adopt the new offering, but don’t fall into the temptation of forcing them to use new apps.
For example, chatbots can handle customer questions without requiring a service agent, but companies who pushed people into bot interactions with no easy way to reach a person found their CX metrics falling. People feel unappreciated and frustrated when trapped in automation that isn’t solving their problem.
Entice customers to use new systems with marketing and messaging. Make it fun and easy to access and always offer other options, like connecting with a human. If the application does make their lives better, consumers will flock to it voluntarily.
Follow Through on CX Expectations
Any new system sets specific expectations in the minds of customers. In order for them to like and use the application, you need to understand their expectations and follow through accordingly.
Consider personalized messaging; as part of your digital strategy it sets the expectation that when customers contact you, you know who they are.
The make-up company Glossier has garnered high CX marks for understanding this. The company sends automated personalized messages about recent purchases. But when customers respond, they get an email back from a human who knows their purchase history and preferences. The result is a delightful, engaging experience.
Once you understand what’s required for success, you’ll be able to determine if new tech is right for your business. If it’s a bad fit, you’re free to find better alternatives. If it’s a good fit, you’ll know exactly how to make that cutting-edge CX wizardry work magic for you.