More than ever, companies must leverage the customer experience to succeed, says Qualtrics MD APAC and Japan, Bill McMurray, who gives us the six secrets to success.
In the last decade, the entire balance of power in the consumer-company relationship has drastically shifted towards the customer. This means competition for every company and business is at an all-time high and growing by the day.
If companies want to keep up in this hyper-competitive environment, they’ll have to create life-long brand loyalty by focusing on the people who purchase their product and service. More than ever, companies must leverage the customer experience to succeed.
Positive customer experience creates higher value customers, more referrals and lower churn. For many, customer experience has been largely overlooked in recent decades, but positive customer experience separates industry leaders from industry failures. And Voice-of-Customer (VoC) programs are critical for any company looking to excel at customer experience.
When confronted with the question “How do I build a VoC?” people are often paralyzed by the unknown and in some cases turn to full-service consultants to simply “do it for me”. This often leads to unwieldy and expensive implementations.
However, your VoC program should be agile and cost effective to be a competitive differentiator and as such, you need to own the program and its results. Implementing a world-class VoC program, supported by your VoC solution partner, becomes manageable by developing it in digestible pieces and steps. Qualtrics has identified six steps to building a successful customer experience program.
Step 1: Map the customer journey
Determine the most valuable metrics by identifying the most common type of customers and their personas. Consider how most customersexperience the organisation throughout the customer journey, from first contact to final service or product delivery.
Include touchpoints, potential roadblocks, and success gates; all of which provide an opportunity for measurement.
Step 2: Identify channels and timeline
Identify what you need to know about each customer touchpoint and determine how to collect the feedback for each one. Consider how to get a mix of solicited (where companies proactively seek customer feedback e.g. email surveys) and unsolicited (collecting feedback initiated by sources outside of a company’s control e.g. social media) feedback for a fuller picture.
Step 3: Test and iterate
Test survey questions against two key factors: reliability (when asking groups of questions relevant to a similar topic) and validity (how well survey items measure). Channel feedback performance also needs to be monitored through response rate and completion rate. Ideally, conventional surveys will achieve a 10 percent response rate and 5 percent completion rate.
If rates dip below these levels, there may be something wrong with the design or choice of feedback channel. The most common issue that leads to poor response/completion rates is an inappropriately high number of questions.
Step 4: Report
Strategic and role-based reporting is key. It is more valuable to give the right information to the right stakeholders, without overwhelming them with irrelevant data. The data needs to be real-time and meaningful to the end recipient based on their department and level.
Step 5: Set goals
It’s important to set SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. If company-wide buy-in is strong, it may be possible to formally hold employees responsible for the customer experience. This depends on completing the previous steps successfully.
Step 6: Act
The final and most important step is action. This means addressing opportunities and always closing the loop with customers. Opportunities occur when customers have a negative experience. This lets the company engage with the customer to win back their trust and their business.
Creating an exceptional customer experience isn’t fast or easy but it does deliver real bottom-line benefits through improved customer loyalty and increased revenues. While outsourcing some elements can be an option, companies that follow these six steps can overtake their competitors and achieve significant growth.
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