It’s no secret that delivering excellent customer experiences has become a priority for virtually every business. In today’s competitive world, 89% of consumers say they’ve switched companies after encountering a bad experience with an existing vendor. Additionally, studies show that consumers will happily pay extra for a service or solution from a company that offers great experiences.
Optimizing any CX strategy starts with research. Businesses need to know where the friction points in the customer journey are, so they can deliver more personalized, streamlined support and guidance. Unfortunately, gaining a comprehensive view of the customer journey, and the satisfaction levels of customers can be easier said than done.
Collecting feedback from surveys and customer testimonials provides a fragmented, and often inaccurate insight into the CX landscape. In fact, while many organizations have implemented feedback management tools in the past, only 21% saw an increase in their CX scores as a result. The simple reason is that only a handful of customers will ever respond to surveys.
So, how do businesses gain a truly complete view of their customer experience performance?
Brett Weigl, SVP & GM, Digital, AI and Journey Analytics at Verizon Business Group says:
“Gaining a complete view of the customer journey and the success of your customer experience strategy in today’s landscape requires more than just the assessment of surveys and consumer feedback. Companies need intuitive new ways to draw data from every part of the customer lifecycle. Leveraging AI, and intelligent orchestration platforms, empowers company to turn more of the raw data they collect about their audience into actionable insights.”
Step 1: Auditing the Data Landscape
The first step in developing a unified view of the customer experience landscape is examining the current data ecosystem. Even as customer journeys continue to evolve, spreading across multiple platforms and channels, many businesses are still relying on a selection of disparate tools to power interactions and collect insights.
This unfortunately means data silos can quickly appear throughout the company. Business leaders need to evaluate the tools they’re already using to collect and generate data, from CCaaS platforms to ecommerce platforms, CRM systems, and customer satisfaction surveys. During this stage, it’s worth looking for potential insight gaps which could be preventing the business from reaching it goals.
For instance, being able to effectively identify customer intent at different stages of the marketing, sales, and service funnel can make it easier for companies to route clients to the right agents based on their needs. Alternatively, gathering information about common customer issues can help organizations produce self-service solutions that minimize contact volumes.
Step 2: Set CX Objectives and Define Metrics
After auditing the data landscape, and pinpointing potential problem areas, companies can then start to set specific goals for what they want to achieve with a more complete picture of CX performance. Common goals can include everything from improving customer loyalty and retention, and minimizing revenue churn, to improving business efficiency and productivity.
With a unified view of the customer journey, businesses can rapidly personalize the customer experience, reduce costs, and call volumes, and even increase customer lifetime value. Defining specific goals, and the metrics teams will need to monitor on the path to success can help business leaders to gain the buy-in and input of the stakeholders responsible for managing data through the business. It also ensures teams are aligned around the same targets.
Synchronizing staff around the same consistent goals ensures everyone is focused on achieving the same crucial results for future growth.
Step 3: Finding the Right Composable Platform
Next, it’s time to consolidate the various types of crucial data scattered across the business landscape into a single source of truth. A flexible, composable platform for customer journey orchestration can help with this. Thes versatile AI-powered platforms give business leaders a single environment where they can unify data from different ecosystems, using APIs and integration.
Composable platforms ensure companies can bridge the gaps between disconnected data systems, while also ensuring businesses can remain compliant with security and privacy standards. No matter where the data comes from, and how many sources are added to the right orchestration system, businesses will be able to benefit from a more unified view of the customer journey.
What’s more, with orchestration platforms, organizations can rapidly take advantage of scalable systems for AI analytics, automation, intelligent routing, and customer journey personalization. In an environment where 66% of customers now say they expect companies to understand their needs in advance, orchestration platforms give brands a crucial competitive edge.
Step 4: Unlock New Insights with AI
One of the biggest benefits of unifying CX data within a journey orchestration platform, is that companies can use embedded AI tools and advanced analytical services to convert raw information into useful, actionable insights. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning solutions built into these ecosystems provide access to everything from intent and sentiment analytics to intelligent routing strategies to boost first-call resolution rates.
With the power of AI, companies can sort through ever-increasing volumes of distributed data quickly and effectively, minimizing the need to hire data analysts and full-time data scientists. AI solutions can provide employees with a unified view of all of the most essential metrics they need to monitor across every service, sales, and marketing channel. Plus, AI tools can be used to deliver real-time guidance to agents, automate critical processes, and rapidly analyze service outcomes.
There are even AI tools available which utilize predictive analytics, to help companies forecast demand in advance, schedule employees effectively, and reduce costs in the long-term. Plus, proactive tools can be used to deliver support and guidance to customers in real-time, while simultaneously collecting information about the customer journey.
Step 5: Optimize and Automate
Finally, once you’ve aligned all of your insights across the CX landscape, use the information you’ve gathered to guide your future CX decisions. You might find that you can reduce average handling times, improve customer experiences, and boost agent productivity simply by implementing more effective automated routing strategies.
You might decide to implement self-service tools like AI bots and virtual assistants to reduce the strain on your human teams, and provide customers with 24/7 support. You could even decide to change the way you manage your teams, assigning specific employees to channels that play the biggest role in your customer’s purchasing journey.
Once you implement changes to your CX strategy, keep on top of your analytics. Continue to monitor the crucial KPIs and metrics relevant to your business, to determine the full ROI of your CX changes. This will help you to ensure you’re focusing your time, attention, and budget on the areas that drive the best results for your company.