It sounds obvious, but there are countless businesses out there going about their customer experience without strategic direction. While they can still experience positive results from at least attending to customer experience, it’s an entire process that needs to be scripted, managed, analysed and adjusted in accordance with the multiple data sets and findings.
Generally speaking for many businesses, customer experience practices aren’t spared an extensive portion of marketing budget. Resources are also not being allocated to this area of focus. Businesses could be damaging their bottom line if they don’t start implementing effective customer experience strategies across multiple channels, as the competition within every niche is becoming fierce. According to Aberdeen Group Inc, businesses that have strong omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak or non-existent strategies.
It’s evident that businesses need to step up to the challenge with their customer experience exploits, and that begins with strategic direction that envelops the total customer experience across the entire journey.
No one area of the customer journey can be touted as the most important, as each step leads to another and nurturing the relationship at every level is important. Recognising each step as one part of a grand whole offers the opportunity for the business to improve on their offering by fine-tuning each piece of the puzzle. The customer journey will never be consistently perfect, even if for a period of time it seems that it is. There will always be room for improvement, and by closely managing and monitoring your customer experience strategy, you can identify the shortfalls or problem areas that need fixing for the optimal experience to come to the fore again.
How Customer Experience Strategy Should Fit Into The Business
Ideally, if resources will allow, customer experience needs to be a standalone business unit with a link to other areas such as customer support and marketing, with CX management having a direct line to the CEO for decision-making purposes. Having a team dedicated to managing the entire customer journey and experience will help businesses get down into the nitty gritty of each customer interaction and every touchpoint along the way without getting pulled off into other (seemingly) more important tasks.
The customer experience team should have their own set of KPIs ensuring that end-to-end customer satisfaction is not influenced by the objectives of other departments. When the need for changing certain elements of the strategy is recognised, if the customer experience unit is independent, the associated manager can simply ensure that the best interests of the customer are met when and where they need to be.
If you consider that 87% of customers think that brands need to put more effort into their over-arching experience strategies, there is a vast amount of room for improvement.
Have you got a customer experience strategy? If not, let us help you create one.