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Customer experience (CX) is a hot topic for marketers in 2016.
In our most recent Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing, optimizing the customer experience was voted the most exciting opportunity for marketers this year.
But what does optimizing CX mean to marketers in relation to their everyday work? What can they do to improve CX in their own organization?
To find out, Econsultancy invited dozens of client-side marketers to roundtable discussions in Sydney, Australia on March 10.
About the roundtables
The roundtables covered three topics all related to CX and were moderated by subject matter experts from Econsultancy and our event sponsor Epsilon.
Delegates brought experiences from many different companies and industries and they openly discussed their success stories and challenges with the group.
Moderators dutifully took high-level notes during the discussion and presented them back to the group at the end.
Below is a summary of the main talking points during the day about the first topic, Customer Experience - Building the Business Case & Best Practices.
Building the business case for customer experience (CX)
The first topic of discussion was 'How should marketers build a business case for customer experience within their organization?'
Most of the delegates agreed that improving customer experience is not a tactical solution, but rather a big cultural change for an organization.
Because of this, a CX improvement programme needs buy-in from the business.
First, convince the right people
In order to get that buy-in, though, it helps to know first who needs to be convinced.
Attendees suggested that it's necessary to both find the key person, or persons, and learn in advance what they really care about.
This is because their actual concerns will help you frame your business plan.
Next, build the business plan
Once the decision-makers and their motivations are understood, there are a few 'ingredients' which should be part of the business plan according to the moderators' reports.
The business plan for improving customer experience should, first off, 'sell the dream' of achieving a single customer view.
Acknowledge that improving CX is a big challenge, but be sure to let the sponsors know that you are aiming for the 'holy grail', a personalized experience for each customer.
Then address particular concerns among the decision-makers.
- If they are metrics-driven, then talk about improving the company's Net Promoter Score (NPS). Participants agreed that NPS is the single most popular way to measure progress with customer experience programs.
- If your audience wants actual examples of how to improve customer experience, then survey a focus group and collate its comments. It doesn't have to be extensive or complicated, but nothing is more convincing that CX needs to be improved than actual feedback from real customers about your company's products or services.
- And for those who will still be difficult to convince, come up with some risks that the business is facing because of its current customer experience. Also, think of a crisis scenario and map out the difference between the current CX and what you plan to accomplish. Good CX should both help reduce the risk of a crisis scenario and help you manage one, should it arise.
Finally, make it scalable
And while you are thinking about how to get the decision makers on board, be sure to think how this effort will be scalable.
Remember, the aim here is to set up a new capability in your company to continuously improve CX, not just fix a few problems you are facing today.
Ultimately, attendees agreed, providing great customer experience requires a mindset change in each employee.
This is only achievable through changing the company's culture which means you need to think big.
Then the roundtable moved on to discussing the best practices for improving CX within your organization.
For best practices, delegates said that there are a lot of lessons to be learned from a number of CX industry leaders. Some examples provided are...
Uber, an app which delivers a smooth CX from start to finish.
It looks easy, but anyone who has tried to achieve a similar results will know that it's very difficult to be so slick. So learn from its example.
ASOS, a company that's able to deliver a highly personalized experience through well-written emails and a simple website.
Attendees recommended reading the website's copy and studying its CX-friendly design.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). Perhaps it's a surprise to some to see a bank listed as a leader, but one table moderator pointed out that financial services have come a long way and are now CX experts.
CBA stands out as it has been able to do customer-friendly things with its credit cards that many would not think possible.
One example of great CX at CBA is that its credit card customers can now 'turn off' a card if they think they might have lost it - and then 'turn it on' again if they find it.
And as banks are known for being conservative, delegates argued, financial institutions can act as a beacon of CX excellence for even the most traditional organizations.
A word of thanks
Econsultancy would like to thank all of the client-side marketers who participated on the day and our sponsor for the event, Epsilon.
We would like to extend a special thanks to our table moderators for the Customer Experience: Building the Business Case and Best Practices tables:
- Anuraag Mohan, Head of Search & Optimisation, Telstra.
- Marieken van Ewijk, eBusiness Manager, Oceania, Nestle Nespresso.
We appreciate all of the helpful discussion points you provided on the day and we hope to see you all at our upcoming Econsultancy events!