While overhauling a CX programme or taking on large projects like introducing a new Voice of the Customer initiative can take significant effort, time and financial resources, you should not be discouraged from embarking upon smaller projects to improve and learn about the CX in your organisation. Recent research from Gartner suggests that quick wins can be effective in building the momentum, interest and support needed to inspire a larger commitment to CX.
Below, are five easily achievable strategies that can be adopted to boost your CX initiatives quickly and effectively.
1. Define Your CX Vision
With so many spinning plates in any organisation, it can be difficult to get different stakeholders in different departments to focus on one issue at large. Take it upon yourself to create a vision of what CX would look like under ideal circumstances for your business, and create a clear and concise vision and plan of action. Look at your company as a whole and map out all of the places in which CX could improve. It would be wise to examine CX programmes of other organisations you admire to inspire what your ideal initiatives could look like. You should treat the endeavour as a research project, gaining information about your internal operations and what CX programmes are working well in other businesses. Once you have it mapped out, you can share your vision with key stakeholders and encourage them to prioritise CX too.
2. Think Digital
A truly simple way to tackle CX is to tackle your online reviews. It is now commonplace for anyone to look up a restaurant, shop or business for on the web before they decide to purchase. If someone is immediately exposed to negative reviews, they will look elsewhere. The problem is that, more often than not, unhappy customers will go onto review sites to talk about their experience. Satisfied customers won’t necessarily feel the need.
The easiest win you can have is to encourage your happy customers to advocate on your behalf online by redirecting them to websites such as Trustpilot, Yelp or TripAdvisor to boost your SEO and to draw new customers to your business. Our Social Advocate™ tool helps with exactly this issue by connecting your VoC survey to online review sites and social media sites. We’ve seen enormous, and fast, positive results for our customers, some of which have gone from the bottom of their industry to the top in just a few months. You can learn more about the Social Advocate™ solution here.
3. Examine the Impact of Your Metrics
While we recommend keeping metrics fairly consistent so you can measure performance between various touchpoints through time on a like-for-like basis. If, however, you feel you are not getting enough insight from your CX programme, it might be worth having a look at your metrics.
While CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) is the most widely used metric, both NPS and CES can give you further insight into your customers' overall sentiment and how well you are doing to keep them happy and loyal.
Introducing the Customer Effort Score (CES), for example, can open up your ability to analyse your customer’s interactions with your business. Gartner, who purchased the organisation which developed the CES, (perhaps unsurprisingly) recommends it as a measurement to help you learn the touchpoints at which your customer is making more effort than necessary. Once you have isolated these instances, you can channel your effort towards reducing customer effort, as low effort has been correlated with loyalty and positive word of mouth.
While reducing customer effort after you’ve isolated the causes can be resource-intensive, in the short term, figuring out the causes for high levels of customer effort can be the motivation you need to jump-start your improvement programme. Once effort is assessed, you can modify different touchpoints in your business to reduce customer effort and improve CX.
You can learn more about CSAT, NPS and CES here.
4. Identify CX Gaps
This move goes hand in hand with adopting the Customer Effort Score and is a really easy way to better understand your business and your customers in a short period of time. When you identify the causes for long wait times or out of stock products, you will be able to single out areas for improvement. Identifying these causes gives you proof points that can justify more buy-in from senior management into spending more on your CX programmes.
When reviewing your customers’ points of contention, look for repeat themes and commonalities. You might be surprised to see that many of the issues found are repetitive or the root cause of something is translated across complaints.
You don’t have to take action right away to address what the issues are, but having an understanding of the gaps in your CX will help you down the line to improve the overall CX when you are ready to address them fully. This step is an important investment in customer understanding. While it doesn’t actually improve your CX, it gives you a jumping off point from which you can make radical improvements.
5. Shorten Your Customer Feedback Form
Stop boring your customers with lengthy surveys. Don’t ask them 25 questions that won’t give you actionable information that can help you improve their experiences with your brand. If the question is more so out of your own curiosity of wanting to gain insights on your business, find another solution to gaining the information, because long surveys discourage customers from actually filling them out.
If you insist upon having a lengthy survey - give your customer an incentive to filling it out, like a chance to win a voucher or loyalty points. This has a huge positive impact on response rates and encourages participation, results you will be able to see quickly.
It’s good to give these a go and try adopting some new strategies to see what little things you can do to improve your CX in 2019. On their own, these projects won’t represent a major accomplishment. You should push to extend them to the next level for real results. But hopefully, the small, short-term wins can give you the motivation to tackle the bigger, more permanent CX programmes that will really improve your business long term.