Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How to Manage Customer Experience Effectively

The best customer experience leads to a positive emotional reaction, a “WOW” factor.

Customer Experience Management is key to every business. It is not just important, it is vital for growth, development and to make sure you stay in business, Both retaining a customer and winning a new customer are very important to every business’s surviving and thriving, shall you take inside-out or outside-in view to observe customer? Should customer journey be represented as a set of discrete events or experiences or is it actually a seamless continuum? And how can you manage Customer Experience effectively?   

Customer Experience Management helps organizations in two ways. It attracts and wins the new customers as well as helps a great deal in customer retention. The best customer experience leads to a positive emotional reaction, a “WOW” factor.  One experience can be enough. After that, you have to create a relationship, to maintain positive behavior of the client (loyalty, word of mouth, a higher share of wallet, faster paying of bills and positive influence on employee engagement). And beyond the emotional WOW, the experience is effortless (easy), productive ( achieved objective) and painless (frictionless). And there is consistency over time in the delivery of the experience. Customer Experience Management is extremely important to a company's existence and growth. It's not only a department; it's an attitude that carries itself throughout the whole company. If those at the top don't value it, they won't feel it's important to have the best people in place to deal with their customers' issues. Working with a company where employees don't communicate is also an example of bad customer service. Everybody should be working together within that company toward a common goal of achieving customer-centricity.

Outside - in Customer Viewpoint: When to look at the customer experience from the inside out, there is nothing wrong with that, because you are the ones that can change the inside. However, the outside-in view is more important, because the customer's experience is about how they encounter, observe, or undergo a company's events or stages. You lay out a journey which is helpful, positive, and sharing experience with customers. They may not like, appreciate, or really care about the journey, or simply may not go through the journey in the "correct" way. If the sequence of events is based on "outside in" data, and the end result is to transform the company or organization to increase its customer-centric maturity and build a culture to focus on creating value for their customers, then you can call it a sequence of experiences or simply a strategic plan. Let the customer touch points land where they may achieve the results."Voice of the Customer" or a VOC program is very important factors that you do research into what the customer really wants. In early stages of a relationship, you need segment based modeling, but after more data come available in a relationship and more importantly, customers are more willing to share insights, a predictive model can purely focus on 'within customer record' information. When you really understand or attempt to understand what the customer would say they want and what you found they actually want, that is when you can really develop an experience that fits them and their needs or desires.

Tear down business silos through journey mapping, and build involvement and commitment in improving the customer experience. Customer Experience Management is a nurturing, developing, building a block that takes the ordinary to the sublime - without customers, there is no business. In order to build a customer - centric organization, business needs to run more holistically, to ensure organization as a whole is superior than the sum of pieces. Cross-departmental teams need to view each other as customers and provide a top notch level of support and attitude toward each other. Having positive internal interactions will certainly lead to great customer service for external customers. One of the best ways to tear downs silos, from a management perspective, is to get together around the customer journey mapping process. It is important for getting everyone together on the same page through journey mapping, and building involvement and commitment in improving customer experience, the shared goals surrounding a common vision. In addition, Customer Experience Council made up of internal cross-functional management, also helps build more transparency, communication and engagement with diverse teams that wouldn't otherwise work together. Here can every one from each silo start to talk, feel and think with the customers shoes and glasses on. To use the empathy map from each touch point to drive real empathy and understanding from managers, and from there connect the higher purpose, the core values, and the company's goals. It is what we measure, celebrate and reward that arise in the business.

The good customer experience management is the norm, but exceptional customer service and experience offers the 'WOW' concept as the necessary success factor to ensure you stay ahead of the game, particularly with your peers in the business. Hence, you have to put the customer at the heart of everything that you do as a business - great customer experience management is a differentiator for companies. It also has to be driven by a culture within the company starting at Board level. You need to believe that, the customer is the lifeline of the business. Once you have this basic premise right, everything flows naturally and exceptional customer service and WOW moments will be the automatic result. You have your priorities and chain of thought properly coordinated. Nobody can deny you the success. You will do well for the long-term prosperity.


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