CX is basically all about identifying the ingredients to success. It's a little bit of customer trust, a pinch of user interface, a dash of user experience, a tablespoon of KPIs, with a data analysis mist. And viola, you've got yourself a full plate.
But why focus on CX? Why measure it, in order to develop and improve it? Well, why measure anything? Measurement is the foundation of everything, according to Thanassis Thomopoulos, Head of Global Marketing & Commercial Analytics at eBay. Nothing can really be improved without measuring them first.
Thanassis gave us a quick explanation for the evolution of business KPIs and how they've evolved, in his #MarTechFest Dial Up (Mini) websesh .
He started with revenue, or margin (and always some kind of combination of the both), it was then suggested that these are too concrete and too hard as KPIs. Instead, marketers need to move to metrics which indicate higher aspiration, such as brand love. After all, it's seven times more expensive to acquire customers than to retain them.
Then what happened? Well, in most businesses, this brand loyalty began to decrease in terms of effect, to the benefit of CX. If you have customers who have loyalty to the brand, but are constantly bombarded with poor customer experience, they will eventually churn away to your competitors.
What is CX?
Customer experience basically refers to how a business engages with its customers at every point in their buying journey.
This includes marketing, customer service, sales and more. It's the sum total of every interaction your customer has with your brand. Every touchpoint is vital as it can make or break the entire experience.
More and more, consumers have begun to differentiate between brands not based on the specific product features and functions, but on the experience of the company.
Why has Netflix taken over Blockbuster? Both are basically peddling the same business model, right? But when customers think about Netflix they think of convenience, and barely about the product they arrived there for - the movies themselves.
You should really think about CX as a series of customer journeys. One for awareness, one for onboarding, one for continued renewal, and even one for leaving. This is because customer journeys are the sum of your client's interactions with your brand.
Some ways you can improve on your CX are:
- Embrace a mobile-friendly, AI-driven mindset for CX
- Introduce a level of personalisation. This will be the biggest boost for customer experience
- Customer journey mapping can help improve customer experience seamlessly
- Make sure you’re receiving useful customer feedback
So, let's have a look at some common CX myths, shall we?
Myth Number One: AI is Not Always the Be-all-or-end-all
Yes, AI is great. In fact, it has many benefits for marketers, including:
- AI augmentation is predicted to have created $2T of business value by 2021. This value is equal to 6B hours of worker productivity globally.
- 80% of business and tech leaders say AI already boosts productivity.
- Current AI technology can boost business productivity by up to 40%.
- By 2023, 40% of infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams will use AI-augmented automation in large enterprises, freeing up IT personnel’s time for strategic work.
But sometimes, with CX, it can overpromise. AI is often not a feature, but a method of implementing a feature. So, it's a means to an end, which is a specific use case.
Ai is a tech which allows machines to simulate human behaviour, and solve complex issues. In marketing, AI uses technologies to make automated decisions based on data collection, data analysis, and all sorts of audience and trending observations. This is all based on the need for speed. Ka-chow.
AI is used by marketers to augment marketing teams or perform tactical tasks that don't require human nuance or refinement. This means effective messaging and tailored marketing, without much intervention, and with maximum efficiency.
But when picking a solution to your marketing problem, don't automatically jump on AI. Don't forget to look behind the curtain to see what an AI actually does and whether it's the best method of solving your issue.
For example, chatbots without AI can often be more successful than those with it. Multiple expert chatbots, each focused on a single subject and coordinated by a central bot, sourced from a knowledge management system, and with regular requests for clarification and user feedback, can accomplish more for less money and time than AI.
Myth Two: Customers Will Readily Adopt Digital Channels
Take for example self-service. It often offers the quickest path to resolving a problem for many customer issues, so marketers are equally as quick to assume that customers will flock to the choice if made available.
However, customers will often move towards assisted channels they've used in the past, leading to the avoidance and abandonment of self-service.
Gartner's research has shown that many customers will begin their service journey online, which presents an opportunity to redirect customers into digital channels like self-service. To reduce the assisted service contact volume, service organisations should use SEO to redirect customers to organisation-owned service pages featuring self-service capabilities.
Myth Three: Customers Will Trust Customer Service Channels the Most
Marketers assume that, when problems arise, customers will reach out to customer service without hesitation.
Although, this isn't always the case. In fact, a majority of customers view contacting customer service as a very last resort. This is especially true with millennials and Gen Z customers who often turn to third-party sites to resolve their issues. So, this must be accounted for when developing channel strategies.
Myth Four: Low Prices Lead to Improved Customer Experiences
Everyone loves a bargain. Until they don't.
In B2B companies, marketers might think that customers only care about the price. But the customers need to be happy with the quality and price equally. Low prices are important, but they're not the be-all-or-end-all.
A McKinsey study says that 70% of buying experiences are based on customer experience. So, take a Rolex for example. They're very expensive, right? But people still buy them, for their high quality and customer service. This shows that the price alone doesn't impact customers solely.
Myth Five: One Bad Interaction Ruins Everything
In marketing and customer success its easy to adopt a set of blinkers, only seeing the service-centric view of the world and how business works.
So, while a bad service experience should 100% be avoided, there's always things that'll be out of your control. You'll always run into outliers and unpreventable situations. But one or two bad experience is not the end of the line. But bad service can be.
Long-term experiences which are most-of-the-time good can overshadow an occasionally disappointing support experience.
Experience is largely made up from emotion. So, aim for a sustainable service which is as good as you can do, rather than overpromising and tripping at the first hurdle.
So, when it comes to realistically designing and implementing your CX vision, it needs to e grounded in your business reality, not in over-ambitious absolutes. Your overall goals and expectations must be aligned with the real world.