Customer experience (CX) is talked about a lot these days, but how are companies in the real world facing the challenge of launching a CX programme?

To find out, Econsultancy invited dozens of client-side marketers in the tropical metropolis of Bangkok to discuss CX at roundtables in April of this year.

The roundtables covered topics related to CX and were moderated by volunteer client-side marketers and subject matter experts from Econsultancy and our event sponsor IBM. 

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 topic Customer Experience Management: Trends, Challenges & Best Practices.

1. Understand the customer journey first

When starting off with improving CX, understanding the customer journey is a great starting point, according to attendees.

The reason for this is that when you start to map out the customer journey and understand the various touchpoints, customer pain points will emerge. 

This, according to one participant, is a great starting point for your programme. It is always easier to get an organisation to fix a problem then to make a change based on a good idea.

2. Show and tell

Once you are making changes to address the pain points, then the next step is to tell other people in the organisation what you are doing and why.

According to attendees, this sort of ‘show and tell’ will help everyone realize that CX is not just a marketing initiative, but is something that benefits every department including sales and customer service.

3. Make digital the priority

One participant noted that his company found digital touchpoints to be the most important for CX because of how quickly a bad customer experience spreads on social media.

Others agreed. Through improving digital touchpoints, listening on social media, and preparing customer service to respond through digital channels many were able to improve customer sentiment significantly.

4. Use Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a metric

Once your CX programme is underway, you will be expected to provide metrics which show return on investment (ROI). 

Participants agreed that the single most important metric for demonstrating the benefits of CX investment was Net Promoter Score (NPS).

For those unaware, Net Promoter Score is how customers rate your service, from 0 to 10, in response to a single question, “How likely are you to recommend our product or service to friends and family.” 

Scores of six and below are considered detractors to your brand. Scores of seven and eight are considered to be passive admirers. But those who answer nine or ten are active promoters of your product or service.

The aim, then, is to raise the score over time through investment in improving CX.

According to attendees, using a metric as simple as NPS makes it easier for people outside of marketing to understand CX and invest in it as well.

5. Develop self-service options

Looking further along, when you have removed pain points, have multiple departments onboard, and are using NPS or another CX metric as a KPI, there is another step you can take.

Participants pointed out that customers prefer self-service over interacting with a person at a company.

And so to improve CX to a greater extent, companies should consider developing self-service interfaces for customers to use.

One attendee noted that doing so provides an additional benefit of being able to closely track metrics, such as clicks-to-conversion, which can help you improve CX using analytics.

6. Get ready for the ‘bots’

Finally, participants agreed that software ‘chatbots’ which handle customer service automatically are the future of CX.

Already, Facebook claims to have over 10,000 developers working on chatbots for Messenger. LINE has also recently launched a bot interface and the other main messaging platforms cannot be far behind.

Chatbots are already starting to appear. In Tokyo, for example you can already order a Domino’s pizza purely through chatting on LINE.  

Attendees felt that it was imperative that brands start investing in this new, exciting technology to improve their CX.

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, IBM.

We would like to extend a special thanks to the table moderator for the Customer Experience Management: Trends, Challenges & Best Practices table, Nuttakorn Rattanachaisit, Co-founder & MD of Predictive Co., Ltd.

We appreciate all of the helpful discussion points participants provided on the day and we hope to see you all at our upcoming Econsultancy events!