In today’s fast-paced business world, perfecting your brand’s customer experience (CX) is critical to staying competitive. As a CEO or COO, you may know the trouble spots in your digital CX, but lack a roadmap to address them.
Let’s tackle that roadmap head-on.
Start Small, Then Go Big
To begin optimizing your digital CX, focus on specific use cases and identify how to address them. An effective approach is to define problematic statements, such as: How do we eliminate onboarding issues that delay the start of service to new customers? This will require an examination of every aspect of the onboarding process, including materials and employee touchpoints -- an exercise that will deliver dividends that go beyond earning revenue faster. When you eliminate friction for your customers, you also enhance your employee experience (EX).
Even when starting with one or two specific scenarios, prioritize quick but effective changes that greatly impact on your CX and EX. Find the areas that can make the most significant improvements in the lives of your employees or customers - either in terms of reducing negative signals or boosting positive ones. Start small, see results, and these learnings will grow to create more effective larger-scale projects that build on these initial advancements.
It's important to understand that everything from product development to a big PR event announcing a new product, to the customer care rep who’ll help a client troubleshoot an issue, is a single, continuous journey. Strive to make every customer interaction feel cohesive.
Recognizing the interconnectedness of all these components makes it possible to elevate the overall CX and EX meaningfully. It also enables you to identify any contradictory policies or workflows that may be causing frustration for both customers and employees.
I experienced this during my time in the gaming industry. Having just taken the helm of the support department, we were able to step back and find a better holistic solution to one of our biggest volume issues: scratched game discs due to fragile hardware.
By optimizing for the best employee experience (empowering them to help customers faster and in ways that made the customers happiest), we were able to change our policy and send free disc replacements. This reduced solve time for one of our largest volume inbound inquiries and increased both customer and employee satisfaction significantly. While on its face, a free replacement sounded like undue extra cost, the new policy was a clear winner once analyzed across all vectors of spend and revenue.
Look for Missed Opportunities to Assess Customer Sentiment
Great CX goes beyond just asking for feedback. Every interaction with a customer ends with a sentiment: Did you listen to them? Did they feel heard? Are they confident in the outcome? How can you tell?
I’ve found that most business leaders don’t analyze what constitutes a successful CX interaction. But an improved CX hinges on understanding why one outcome is successful and why another leads to more work for your customers and employees. Digging into these questions will allow business leaders to understand where things aren’t working, and help develop strategies to address them.
Connect the CX to the EX
A great customer experience will encompass your agents, frontline employees, and the internal and external support teams, tools, and systems. When employees are frustrated, customers are likely frustrated too. Boosting employee sentiment, therefore, will have a spillover effect on your customers.
Ask your agents and employees: do the tools and technology you provide them enable them to find the information they need quickly? Do they need to gather data and info from multiple sources in order to respond to a customer?
To answer these questions, recruit your employees and ask specific questions. If querying multiple systems is inevitable, consider deploying a generative AI system to piece together that information on behalf of the agent, allowing them to ask for, and receive a tailor-made response for their specific situation. This makes the trove of information already in your systems instantly consumable, skipping the need for research and the resource investment in piecing together disparate pieces of data for the optimal answer. Generative AI, partnered with CX-specific models, can provide that experience on-demand.
Providing a positive customer experience boosts employee morale, enhances productivity, and alleviates your team from monotonous duties. It’s listening to your customer without sending an NPS survey, which also means you will now receive signals from all interactions - supercharging your ability to understand the landscape of your business.
The objective is to utilize data to identify the reasons and timings of customer frustration, to enhance their overall experience. It also involves identifying situations where employees need more information or answers to address issues.
Finally, Match the Right Tech to the Right CX Use Case
There are plenty of tools to help deliver a digital CX efficiently, including live chat, chatbots, and even chatbots that are powered by generative AI. They all have a purpose, but none can be all things to all customer interactions. The trick to a seamless CX is ensuring the right solution is deployed at the right time.
Your CX data can guide this process. Which questions or issues are best resolved with the assistance of a live agent? When are customers most frustrated because they can’t find the information they need to self-serve? Within the answers to these questions lies a precise roadmap to an optimized CX.
Creating a digital CX roadmap may seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be daunting. While it requires careful consideration of various touchpoints, breaking them down into smaller, manageable steps can make the process feel achievable rather than an insurmountable challenge.