How to Restructure Your Bussiness Based Around Customer Experience

Most online brands we know and love have been around for long, have likely lived through their fair share of growing pains when it comes to providing a streamlined customer experience (CX) that keeps people coming back.

Many online businesses make the detrimental mistake of reducing CX to a supplementary factor in their brand image. In reality, it should be a cornerstone of the values they represent – take Zappos for example. To nearly everyone familiar with the digital landscape, a superior CX is practically synonymous with their reputation.

For the companies still trying to find the right formula that works for them, here are three ways to make sure your brand delivers outstanding CX.

1. Optimize Customer Journeys

Fine-tuning your customer journey is an ongoing process that requires constant attention. This involves knowing exactly how people go from being unaware of what you offer, to becoming loyal customers. Your analytics reveal ‘what’ your customers are doing, and ‘which’ of your digital channels are working to bring in new customers.

However, this data will only reveal so much. When it comes to enhancing the customer journey, the most effective advice actually comes straight from the source – the voice of the customer.

For this purpose, Medallia, a global CX management software company, released The Digital Voice of Customer Toolkit. This top-to-bottom resource focuses on the best ways for measuring and improving the customer experience across websites, mobile web, and mobile applications. A digital VoC program allows you to systematically engage with your customers, and gain comprehensive insights in real-time, on users’ interactions with your digital touchpoints.

From here, you will be able to identify the most effective methods to engage with the audience and gain meaningful feedback, which can take your business to the next level. Ultimately, a VoC program pinpoints the deeper meaning of the ‘why’ and uses feedback straight from the source. This feedback compliments the data that you collect from your analytics provider to improve customer satisfaction and experience.

2. Emphasize Persona

Your brand persona is how people see you and what impression you leave them with, after an interaction.

The harsh truth of conducting business digitally is that your competition is no longer confined to a specific geographic location. Brands are now faced with competition across their entire industry. That being said, brand loyalty these days is commonly built and developed based on the persona you project.

These unique characteristics should be present throughout your whole strategy – from your marketing messages to the actual products. Even more, it needs to speak to the existing and prospective customers in a manner they can easily relate to.

A great place to start with is archetypes. If your brand was a human being:

· What do they sound like?

· What do they look like?

· What is their general outlook on life?

· What is the most important thing to them?

· How do they interact with others?

For these answers, social media and web monitoring tools come in very handy. Tools like Brandwatch allow you to track relevant keywords, brand names, industries, and more to give you a better idea of who your ideal customers are, and how to speak their language.

3. Always A/B Test

The digital world is one that is constantly changing. This is due to the rapid advancement of the internet, e-commerce technology, and user mindsets. As a result, you cannot expect a formula for a good CX to work forever. As time goes on, you will need to refine the smaller details of how people use your digital channels.

This process involves personalizing website engagement at all stages, from knowing customer preferences all the way to the checkout. The more you experiment and gauge results, you’ll quickly learn that even the tiniest tweaks can make a world of difference. Perhaps the most frequently-tested aspects in strategies to increase website conversion rate are tweaking copy and calls to action (CTA) buttons. Doing something as simple as altering the color, text, or placement can boost your conversions.

Tools like Optimizely allow you to set up different versions of your website and landing pages to run customized tests that determine which approaches work well, and which ones can be scrapped. The program is equipped with heat maps, behavioral targeting, usability testing, and more to ensure your CX is constantly evolving alongside user preferences.

By consistently A/B testing variations across your website, you can increase online sales by up to 20%!

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Optimizing Internal Efficiency Versus Customer Experience

Optimizing Internal Efficiency Versus Customer Experience

There was once a company whose packaging was notoriously difficult to open. In fact, a TV program had a competition where it offered a prize for anybody who could open the package without spilling the contents. Nobody won the prize. Why would an organization do that? Internal efficiency.

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Accounting Firm for Tech Industry Grows Customer Base by 70% in 2016

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Optimize DX – and Get Real – with Customer Experience Management

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As a poor college student, I would have done nearly anything  for an extra buck. So when I was offered $ 20 to be observed while trying to accomplish various tasks on a 1990s website, I jumped at the chance.

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Updating your C-suite: Here’s why you need a chief customer officer

customer care

GUEST:

The customer always comes first. It’s a saying companies throw around a lot, but they rarely live and breathe it the way they should. It can be easy to forget what’s most important when you’re juggling finances, logistics, investors, and beyond. But there’s a way to keep your customer top of mind no matter what: Make an addition to your C-Suite by empowering a chief customer officer.

It’s a move many of America’s largest companies have made over the last couple of years, driven by the need to differentiate. To boil it down, the chief customer officer (CCO) serves as a top executive with the responsibility of designing, orchestrating, and improving customer experience in a way that impacts all levels of your brand. Progressive companies across a range of industries — from Dunkin Donuts to PNC Bank — have empowered CCOs to build an organization that puts the customer first. At its core, this means dedicating your business to ensuring the voice of the customer is heard and acted upon across the organization.

In an era of heightened customer expectations — in which every customer is also a broadcaster — having a CCO is essential. As with any new role within your company, it’s important to establish responsibilities for your CCO and empower them to hit the ground running.

Here are the top five responsibilities your chief customer officer should take on:

1. Establish a clear vision for customer experience

First and foremost, your CCO will be responsible for establishing a clear vision for customer experience. Striving for great customer experiences isn’t enough anymore. It’s too vague, says little about your company and, counter-intuitively, often leads to muddled, less than great experiences. Your CCO will be able to unpack what great customer experiences actually look like for your business, establishing an authentic company voice and setting clear standards for engaging with customers.

With an understanding of what customer experience looks like for your particular brand, your CCO should set aspirational goals and a roadmap to execute against.

2. Pick an organizational model that can be successful in your business

There are three types of organizational models that businesses typically put in place to support the CCO. In the first model, the CCO directly manages the people, programs, and budget for all customer-focused initiatives. In the second model, the CCO is an evangelist/change agent within the company and makes changes through influence and alliance with teams, particularly when it comes to budget and program authority. The third model is a hybrid of the first two, with the CCO being part of a function (typically marketing or operations) but working across a wider range of teams.

Any of the above models can be successful, depending on how they are implemented. The key is for the CCO to show enterprise results in the areas of loyalty, satisfaction, and profitability.

3. Give customers a voice in all company initiatives

For employees that don’t engage with customers on a regular basis, it can be difficult to grasp how customer feedback plays a role in everything from daily tasks to large projects. But the truth is, customer experience should be top of mind for all departments — from finance and billing to marketing and sales. That’s where your chief customer officer comes in.

CCOs can come from different walks of life — there is no specific career path that CCOs need to have followed to be successful. Many come from an operational background, often earlier in their careers, working in customer-facing roles in sales, support, or regional operational management roles. Others come from marketing and/or insights roles, helping companies qualify and quantify the voice of the customer.

Whoever takes on the role of chief customer officer should be prepared to bring customer feedback to the table, prioritizing initiatives to improve the customer experience, and clearly explaining how customer insights relate to each individual department. Your CCO should aggregate insights from multiple sources — social platforms, call centers, forums — to create a comprehensive overview of customer feedback and how each department impacts those statistics.

Once each department has a clear understanding of its role in customer experience, your CCO should work with each department on initiatives and act as a customer representative in all matters. Ultimately, the CCO is responsible for driving a new way of thinking from the C-suite to the frontline and back-office employees, always giving the customer a seat at the table for every new initiative.

4. Be proactive

It is the responsibility of the chief customer officer to bring a proactive approach to customer experience management. CCOs need to help their teams get in front of issues by instating simple guidelines for engaging with customers. With a CCO in your arsenal and a broader customer experience management team to back them up, your team will be able to proactively communicate with customers about new products, policies, and processes.

Service recovery should be less of a priority as customer insights are used to create and innovate better solutions before they cause issues. In other words, your CCO will be able to mitigate potential issues before they arise by incorporating customer feedback at all levels of business.

5. Share results with the entire company

Most importantly, the chief customer officer is responsible for educating their peers and the rest of the organization on the value of being a customer-centric company. As your CCO and customer engagement management team bring their customer experience roadmap to life, they’ll share successes, failures, and everything in between. It’s important that the entire company have a clear understanding of what the CCO hopes to accomplish and that updates on progress are given on a regular basis. Seeing is believing, which is why the CCO will need to share insights and achievements as often as possible.

With such an increased focus on customer experience, the CCO role will likely become more and more common. In the meantime, early adopters — those who truly understand the importance and power of the customer — will lead the charge in shaping this new C-suite role and will, no doubt, have a leg up on the competition.

Sid Banerjee is executive chairman of Clarabridge.

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Connect First to Host Customer Experience Webinar Series

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(PRWeb September 16, 2015)

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