4 ways to transform your CX maturity levels
Brands understand that consumer expectations are continually rising. They know that they must keep innovating and improving if they are to differentiate their customer experience and therefore thrive.
However, knowing what they need to do, and actually achieving it, are clearly very different things, as the latest Temkin Group State of CX Management 2018 report shows. It found that just 13% of the 171 large companies surveyed had reached the top two (out of six) levels of its CX maturity scale. 37% were still at level one, ignoring the need for improving CX entirely.
The scale measures how companies approach customer experience, the level of senior management involvement in decision making, how they interact with and listen to customers, and use their feedback to drive change. It is based on four key competencies that eorganizations with a mature approach to CX display:
1. Purposeful Leadership: Operate consistently with a clear set of values.
2. Compelling Brand Values: Deliver on your brand promises to customers.
3. Employee Engagement: Align employees with the goals of the organization.
4. Customer Connectedness: Infuse customer insight across the organization.
The research found that most organizations struggled with Compelling Brand Values, but that those that did embrace CX saw stronger financial results. Companies understand they are on a journey - 7% of companies saw themselves as CX industry leaders today, and 54% aspire to be leaders within three years. “Competing priorities” was the most often cited reason for not yet giving CX the attention and backing that it required.
So how can brands ensure that they turn ideas into action? Based on our experience it comes down to four key areas:
1. Lead from the top
Organizations that succeed in CX are those where senior management champions the importance of customers, and leads from the top when it comes to CX programs. Think of Jeff Bezos at Amazon whose mantra is “We start with the customer and work backwards.” The more informed and involved in CX that leaders are, and the more CX metrics are seen in business and financial terms, the more likely you are to continually improve.
2. Involve and value everyone
Customer service and customer experience are everyone’s job, whether they work in the contact center or any other department. They need to be ambassadors for your company, and always put the customer first. To do this they have to be engaged with your brand values, which involves listening to their feedback, and acting on the insight they provide.
3. Empower your agents
Happy staff equals happy customers. Give your agents the skills, information and tools they need to do their job successfully. Continually improve how you operate, use automation and artificial intelligence to deflect more routine queries to channels such as self-service and chatbots, and share centralized knowledge to ensure consistency and faster responses. This frees up agent time to deal with more complex conversations, allowing agents to focus on using human skills such as empathy and emotional understanding to engage with customers for the long-term.
4. Act on customer feedback
Most businesses have some sort of Voice of the Customer program. However, many struggle to translate VoC results into actionable insights. Often, this is because they rely solely on customer feedback surveys for VoC, which just give a partial picture. It is important to move beyond this and embrace customer intelligence thanks to solutions such as vecko, analyzing all conversations with customers, such as the questions they ask online on all channels and combining them with survey results, and then sharing this across the business to give deeper, more actionable insight.
As the Temkin research demonstrates, companies aspire to become CX leaders. They see the benefits transforming the experience provides – what they need to focus on is turning theory into practice, supported by powerful technology such as AI, if they are achieve the financial rewards that CX leadership provides.