mobile shopping A well defined customer experience strategy is no longer a ‘nice to have’ for companies and organizations. It is mission-critical. Especially in today’s digitally-driven era of customer experience. Customers almost dictate what your CX strategy should look like – forcing you to drive an overall brand strategy based on influences beyond your control.

It is no longer a question of simply adopting digital or social channels. The real question is: What should our multi-channel customer experience  strategy look like across touch points – and the customer journey?

When defining a strategy – and its required investment – usually a financially-oriented person within your organisation will ask the million dollar question:  What is the ROI on this project’?

For many, the business case is built by looking at employee efficiency gains and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) to the organization. You know, the usual efficiency-oriented metrics and models.

The problem is that the customer experience is bigger than this!

Look at Apple, BMW, Ritz Carlton, Starbucks, Harley Davidson and many others. These are premium brands that typically command a higher price than competitors. Why? It’s not just about a better product – although the companies above strive for that – it’s the way customers experience the brand, and that spans from using products and services to engaging with your people, and even interacting with your web site. If you manage to build a strong customer experience-driven foundation – across channels, touch points and departments – you can create a better brand reputation with loyal followers, and, not insignificantly, charge more for your product.

Customer experience is indeed competitive currency. Here are 5 tips to drive value across your organization:

1. Understand that Customers are Trying to Get Something Done – It’s not just about handling a single interaction and making the SLA. Your SLA’s are not that interesting to your customers. Sure, you need to respond quickly, but what’s more important is to respond consistently across all touch points, driving the conversation towards the desired outcome of the customer – not the business.

2. Implement Customer Experience Metrics – CX-oriented metrics, like Net Promoter Score and Customer Effort Score, should be a primary compass to guide your strategy. Have the courage to stop looking at short term results. Customer experience is not a project with an end date. It is a continuum. New company-wide CX metrics also require cultural change that needs to be driven and encouraged from the top or your organisation.

3. Ditch Your Current Efficiency Metrics –  Well, at least stop communicating them to your agents. Usually these metrics are not actionable. Focus on coaching your employees so that your CX metrics will improve. Typically, spending more time on the first interaction with your customer avoids having a second interaction on the same issue – get it right the first time. Efficiency metrics should only be used for capacity management and strategic workforce planning.

4. Utilize Interaction Analytics – The adoption of digital channels has greatly increased the complexity of managing the customer experience. You are probably dealing with multiple sources of data to make sense out of what your customers are saying, and how they respond to your agents. Interaction Analytics across all channels – and across all of your touch points – should be part of your customer experience toolkit, This enables you to immediately know when agents are out of compliance or do not deliver on your quality standards, so that you can immediately take action.

5. Manage the End-to-End Customer Journey – If you think that you can simply implement multi-channel contact center solution, think again. Managing customer channels is just part of the mix. During customer journeys, you may need to do more than just speak to your customer. You may need to make a change in your customer information, send the customer something, get something approved or looked at by another department. If the chain of interactions and processes breaks, the customer experience breaks too. Automating your business processes so that you can drive efficiency across the end-to-end customer journey is a critical factor for success.

To learn more about turning customer experience in to competitive currency, download the Genesys white paper Customer Experience Analytics today. You’ll learn how to to analyze customer conversations across both voice and text-based channels. Get it here!

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Stefan Captijn

Stefan Captijn

Stefan is Senior Director Strategic Marketing at Genesys. Stefan joined Genesys in April 2000, lives in the Amsterdam area with his wife and two children. In his free time, Stefan enjoys building loudspeakers, cycling and running.