Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Customer Loyalty

No matter what services your company provides or what communication platforms you use, customer experience (CX) needs to be at the core of everything you do. With all the tools that are available to help brands engage with their customers — from social media to artificial intelligence-based resources like product recommendations and chatbots — there are more opportunities than ever to create powerful customer experiences that build loyalty and drive sales.

But these tools aren’t going to use themselves, nor will a CX-focused culture spontaneously arise on its own. Brands need to make CX a priority at every level, from the first moment a consumer decides to explore their products online to the final step of the customer journey to the ongoing relationship that may last for years or even decades.

Great customer experiences are all about the way consumers feel when they interact with your brand. Are their needs met swiftly and effectively? Are they treated like individuals whose concerns and priorities matter? Are your digital channels easy to navigate and fully integrated with one another? When customers answer “yes” to these questions, it means your brand has established a solid CX platform that provides satisfying experiences across the board.

Brands Should Have An Explicit Focus On CX

When it comes to CX, brands should never be complacent. Even customer loyalty that has been cultivated over many years can be severely damaged by unpleasant experiences. According to a 2018 PwC report, 32% of customers say they’ll “walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience” — a reminder that CX needs to be top of mind at all times.

Customer Experience    CX    Customer Journey   CX Platform   Customer Loyalty

Reading time: 1 min
Digital Strategy, CXREFRESH, Customer Experience, CX, Employee Experience, Human Experience, Digital Transformation, Digital Customer

A sure recipe to fail in the digital transformation is creating a change management program that revolves around technology instead of taking into account people and their experiences: digitization is a disruption that affects the human experience.

Innovation makes sense if it focused on people and their expectations. Digital transformation becomes more than a buzzword only if it creates a great human experience for all the parties involved in the change process.

Everything else, from processes, to technology, digital strategy, communications, and alignment is to be considered a secondary byproduct of a digitalization strategy that hinges on the human experience.

We often talk about customer experience and user experience. Both are essential components of a digital strategy. At the same time, we also know that transformation is directly linked to a great employee experience.

A lot of companies talk about these concepts in term of efficiency, completely missing the point of what those words represent.

In general, then, technology and change processes target people and their experiencesTherefore, the human experience in general, should be the main focus of transformation.

Digital transformation makes sense only if the processes we optimize lead to a better experience for our customers. At the same time, innovation is sensible if this enhances the experience of people who have to work with the new processes as well.

Some innovation needs to be aimed at improving processes, efficiency, and profitability. But when it comes to digital transformation, changes must revolve around human beings and their expectations.

Let’s go through a quick overview of the steps that companies need to go through in order to start a change management process that leads to the creation of a better human experience.

Step 1: Create Meaningful Employee Experiences

All the rules that apply to a digital customer also apply to employees in the era of digital disruption.

Digitization and digitalization revolve around the concept of creating a great human experience. But we can’t solely focus on the experience of our customers.

If we manage to create meaningful experiences for our employees, they will in turn be more likely to be able to focus on creating a great experience for our customers.

The kind of experience your customers will go through is directly connected to the experience you offer to your employees.

Step 2: Define what Success Is with Your Customers

If you want to create a truly extraordinary human experience, your business must focus on leading customers to success. And the first step is identifying what success actually is.

For some businesses the task is relatively easy (in essence, customers of an ISP are successful when they can be online and receive good customer service) while for others it is more complicated since their product or service can have multiple implementations for different use cases.

That’s why it’s important to fully understand what different customer personas expect based on how they’ll integrate your product or service. For specific accounts it’s also important to have a proper dialogue in which goals and metrics can be decided upon while defining a desired outcome.

As usual, customer success remains the ultimate goal of a great CX centric business strategy and hence also the main focus of change management processes that involve innovation.

Step 3: Define and Map the Customer Journey

Innovation always starts with a thorough analysis of the status quo.

Companies that want to create value for their customers know how to lead customers to success with minimum friction along the way.

This process starts with collecting all the information you can regarding the current touchpoints along the customer journey.

Customer journey mapping means tracking every touchpoint carefully. Such a customer experience mapping process is vital to identify potential sources of frustration so that you immediately get to spot areas in which it’s worth investing in order to create more innovative processes.

The next step obviously involves a thorough customer journey analysis. Every step in the journey that causes delay, friction, frustration, doubt, insecurity, stress, lack of trust, or confusion can be revised and optimized to create a better human experience throughout different phases, from discovery, to awareness, consideration, negotiations, implementation, and support.

Step 4: Identify Capabilities and Pinpoint Pockets of Innovation

Before starting with a proper plan it’s worth checking what resources and capabilities your company can already leverage.

There are skills and resources you can already take advantage of but it’s necessary to collect information and data across all departments.

Knowing what processes, people, resources, tools you’ll be able to rely on can differentiate you from your competitors by helping you create a more organic, natural, and human experience.

Step 5: Deal with Internal Weaknesses

After identifying internal capabilities which can be leveraged to support a digital strategy, it’s time to identify those areas in which your company struggles to excel due to the lack of resources, people, or know-how.

Problems connected to know-how can often be addressed by improving recruiting and employee retention processes.

When it comes to issues that involve the lack of technology or capabilities which would take years to develop, it’s always a smart move to look around and:

  1. Create new partnerships
  2. Acquire businesses that master the processes and the technology you need to strengthen and defend your position
  3. Cooperate with startups that lead innovation by including them in your accelerator programs

Digital Strategy   CXREFRESH   Customer Experience     CX    Employee Experience      Human Experience    Digital Transformation      Digital Customer

Reading time: 4 min
CustomerExperience, CXStrategy, CXREFRESH

Customer experience is a term used to categorize and describe the experience a customer receives while interacting with a business’s marketing and sales messages.

Ideally, these interactions will make up a “path to conversion”, also called a customer journey, that facilitates the progression of a potential customer from the introduction to the completed sale and beyond.

In fact, for traditional retailers, like Abercrombie & Fitch, Build A Bear, and Nordstrom, customer experience has been successfully employed to differentiate themselves from their competitors and create a brand synonymous with quality.

This emphasis has also impacted the bottom line for these companies. Forrester reports that improving CX can increase profitability by more than 500%, as well as reducing customer acquisition and employee hiring costs.

CX starts with engaging customers with relevant events well before the sale and continues after the sale with advocacy and brand loyalty.

The secret ingredients for a great CX strategy

Define the right style

Your CX strategy changes depending on the predictability of your market, and to every market, there is a different strategic style. The Harvard Business Review, suggests the four strategic styles below. They include:

  • Classical: This style is best for companies that operate in highly predictable industries. Companies utilizing a classical style build a favorable market position by planning well into the future, and remaining with the same strategy for several years. Ask yourself: Can I sustain my customer experience strategy for many years forward?
  • Adaptive: This is best for companies in unpredictable industries. Such companies require a more adaptive strategy that can be easily and rapidly changed. Ask yourself: Is my infrastructure one that can change rapidly? Is the decision-making process quick and easily adaptable?
  • Shaping: This is one step beyond the adaptive style. While it too changes frequently, it focuses beyond the boundaries of the company to define new markets, standards, and business practices. Ask yourself: Do I leave room for market feedback to power rapid decision making?
  • Visionary: This bold and entrepreneurial style can create entirely new markets or visions, and views the environment as a way to be molded to a company’s advantage. But it’s more similar to a classical strategy because companies take calculated steps to reach goals without switching tactics. Ask yourself: What does the future hold for the industry and how can we provide a customer experience that disrupts it?

Create a journey for your strategy

While it doesn’t have to entertain, a good strategy should tell a good story. First, ask yourself what is the correct place to start? Some might start with detailing the goals up front. Some might prefer to opt for a “problem-solution” type of story, which details current challenges and their solutions.

Second, establish a theme by asking what is the main point of your customer experience strategy? Like any good story, your strategy should have a build up to a literary climax. For example, in the “problem-solution” model the climax is reached when presenting suggested solutions and their foreseeable outcomes. Finally, a good strategy brings it all together with a solid conclusion.

Map your customer data

Map out the touchpoints, collect data, and figure out how to optimize the process. We all collect data. However, for your data to effectively fuel decision it should address questions such as:

  • How do customers find you?
  • Why do they choose you over your competition?
  • How easy is it for them to leave reviews?
  • What sort of incentives do they receive to purchase again?
  • How (often) do they receive customer support?

Go for omnichannel

Striving for an omnichannel experience is an important part of an effective CX strategy. Omnichannel businesses provide customers with a seamless integrated shopping experience

When creating a CX strategy, it’s necessary to keep in mind the omnichannel experiences that most customers will traverse.

Focus on the customer

Always maintain a customer-centric approach. Ask yourself: What do my customers want? And what is the best way I can provide it?

Don’t assume that you know what is best for your customers. Spend time talking to them and collecting data. Find out what is important to them, why they choose the products that they do, and what matters to them when they shop. Focus on their needs. It’s all about them.

The ideal customer

If you are losing customers, find out why. Was the customer ready to buy? Was the customer the right fit? But be sure to also study the profiles of your best customers so you can understand what you are doing right.

Using all the information, come up with a description of your ideal customers, and then create a better customer experience with them in mind.

The ideal journey

Using your customer data to address areas that should be improved, map out the ideal customer journey. Ultimately, it should be an experience that allows your customers to easily find what they are looking for, quickly purchase it, and then return to buy more.

Research assets, cost analysis, and KPIs

What will it take to implement your CX strategy? Make a list of the assets you have and will need to deliver the strategy. Consider what sort of impact the strategy will have on resources, but be sure to show the expected return for these expenditures.

Create a timeline

Customer experience management involves lots of touchpoints and its optimization is a cross-departmental undertaking.

Keep in mind, different departments have different goals, so map out a timeline and prioritize. Is it more important to focus on discovery or retention?

Create a reasonable plan, with the ultimate goal of achieving a truly seamless customer experience that includes everything it should.


Reading time: 4 min
Customer Experience Statistics, Customer Support, Customer Reviews, CXREFRESH, CX

Customer experience is hard to measure with a KPI or a specific number, but it has an outsize impact on whether your customers are happy and loyal to your brand.

That’s why it’s so important to be mindful of trends in the space so you can quickly adapt your strategy to the latest industry insights and create a beloved customer experience.

While the concept of customer experience is timeless, the research being conducted on it is still fairly new. Every year, new studies reveal insights into important trends that are influencing businesses across the world. To some, these statistics may feel like conversational fun facts, but in actuality, they can help your customer service team capitalize on timely opportunities to improve customer experience.

If your team is looking to stay up-to-date on the latest trends occurring in customer service, consolidating your information is a great way to start. Below, we compiled a list of customer experience statistics.

1. 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs.

Understanding the customer’s needs is a common challenge for many businesses and studies show that this will become a make-or-break benchmark for most companies. Salesforce conducted a survey of over 6,000 consumers and found that 76% of them expected companies to understand their needs and expectations. This doesn’t leave very much wiggle room for your marketing and customer service strategy to fail. If you want to deliver a sound customer experience, then it’s imperative that you create a customer-centric company that is focused on fulfilling customer needs.

2. Less than 50% of executives prioritize employee feedback.

A report conducted by Temkin Group revealed that while 73% of large companies survey employees, only 45% of executives seriously consider their employee’s feedback. Executives strategize for the business and make key operational decisions that guide the company. However, their day-to-day experience doesn’t often confront them with many customer interactions.

Frontline employees like customer service reps engage with the customer on a daily basis, making them valuable resources when researching the customer’s journey. They’re constantly engaging with new customers and gather customer reviews in everyday workflow. Executives and upper management should be craving their feedback when looking for new ways to improve the customer experience.

3. More than 80% of companies who prioritize customer experience are reporting an increase in revenue.

When customers discover a delightful customer experience, it’s likely that they’ll want to return to it again. Dimension Data even found that 84% of companies who focus on improving customer experience are reporting an increase in annual revenue. This is because these companies are gaining more customer loyalty which is highly valuable to the brand. Loyal customers make repeat purchases and offer recommendations to other potential leads who then become ambassadors as well. If you’re looking for new ways to increase your company’s profit margins, invest in bettering your customer experience.

4. More than half of all customer service reps do not plan on staying in their role.

Building an awesome customer service team is a challenge all its own, but keeping it together is another story altogether. Customer service is a unique career path and it’s quite common for people to transition in and out of service roles quickly. In fact, HubSpot Research found that 58% of customer service reps plan on leaving their current role in customer service. With the increased focus on building a positive customer experience, it’s imperative that you maintain the high-quality personnel on your customer service and customer support teams. These employees have a difficult job and won’t be afraid to look elsewhere if they feel they aren’t valued.


Reading time: 2 min

There seems to be no dearth of opinions on how to successfully plan and execute a customer experience (CX) strategy. However, a recent report shows that only 22% of CX initiatives have met or exceeded customer expectations. In a world where almost 81% of leaders expect to compete and differentiate solely on the basis of CX…there is a definite cause for concern!

While the jury is still out on what really constitutes a successful customer experience strategy, a careful study of global organisations and their failures provide strong and foolproof insights on what needs to be avoided.

Here are the 3 key mistakes organisations need to avoid.

1. CX as a tactic…instead of a culture – Thinking of CX as a tactic to win over customers is the biggest mistakes any firm can make. CX is not a tactic…it’s a culture that needs to be embedded deep within an organization and only then will it deliver results. Think about Taj Hotels…a premium hospitality brand which redefines great customer experience for all, to such an extent that even in the face of adversity like the unfortunate 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, almost every employee put the customers’ lives before their own. That happens only when the customer experience DNA is ingrained into every employee.

2. Waiting for that perfect CX instead of ‘failing fast’ – While different firms have different experience strategies, a lot of firms wait for that perfect customer experience before they go live…and unfortunately that moment never comes. One of the main reasons for Amazon Echo’s success is the fact that they released it into the market and iteratively improved the experience with real inputs from consumers. They didn’t wait for that perfect Alexa experience…and it worked great for them!

3. Not measuring the right metrics – One of the key things about ensuring CX success is to identify and measure the right metrics. More often than not there is a need for course correction in strategy, and without the right metrics it is impossible to identify what is wrong. Metrics need to be identified and measured on priority and kept inline with business objectives. Think about it, measuring NPS helps you understand existing customers, but does it help you find anything about the customers you lost?

Avoiding these common mistakes will surely improve chances of delivering successful CX initiatives. There is no set formula for getting it right. Businesses need to evolve their strategy constantly as consumers and technology change. The trick is to understand the customer, create relevant experiences, test it out, and realign when needed.


Reading time: 2 min
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