In this guest post, Jason Mallia, Confirmit’s country manager for Australia and New Zealand, argues that as we advance towards 2018, we must start thinking about what the next innovations and trends will be to continue to drive viral, transformational change within our organisation and beyond.
While it’s difficult to truly predict what lies ahead for VoC and CX, it’s clear that change will start with those driving the program.
Over recent years, customer experience (CX) solutions, services and professionals have hit the mainstream – and for good reason.
Organisations have realised the value a voice of the customer (VoC) program plays in delivering insights into the customer experience.
VoC is now a fundamental part of a well-rounded CX program, increasingly so for B2B companies and as table stakes for B2C.
The growing importance of CX isn’t surprising. After all, it’s well-recognised that in many industries, customer experience has become a key player, with prices and even product features being difficult to use as differentiators.
With this momentum comes an evolution of best practices. As we advance towards 2018, we must start thinking about what the next innovations and trends will be to continue to drive viral, transformational change.
Getting executives on board
As CX practitioners, we know how important certain metrics are, such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) or repurchase propensity.
However, these numbers do not necessarily hit the mark with top executives.
It’s important to clearly show the linkage between CX metrics and financial and business metrics, as these are the sort of scores that executives focus on daily.
They may like the simplicity of one number, but one number is rarely sufficient for deeper-level insights.
In addition, the juggernaut of predictive analytics has arrived.
Leveraging predictive analytics in VoC and CX will help drive business change in the organisation by looking forward instead of backward.
For example, instead of worrying about what a customer’s NPS was last week, it’s about strategising on leading indicators deep within the experience that will predict impact upon customer, operational and financial metrics.
Employee motivation will become increasingly important
Many workers aren’t engaged at the level that provides fertile ground for great customer experiences – and haven’t been for years.
However, you can turn this situation around by demonstrating the importance of their role in the customer experience.
In the future, more organisations will focus on motivating employees to deliver better experiences.
It sounds simple, but it works. By creating viral change in the organisation, starting with frontline employees, organisations can kill the typical ‘command and control’ ethos.
This will empower and enable all employees in the organisation – from the bottom up.
Getting customer data and insights into the hands of the right people will allow for richer conversations, translating to added value for the customers.
This is great for customers, but also allows all employees to be engaged, authentic, and truly enjoy their role, because they know they are making a difference.
Silos will continue to be eroded
To drive action and change within an organisation, it’s critical to break down existing silos.
This will become increasingly important as CX evolves.
Organisational data silos can make it impossible for companies to get the kind of holistic, real-time insights they need to improve the customer experience, anticipate customer behaviour, drive organisational improvement, and maximise innovation and profitability.
One approach that companies can take to move things forward is to develop an effective customer journey map. This process relies on cross-functional collaboration, sharing and communication, and continual refinement.
This helps to break down some of the walls that impede delivering on the CX promise and promote an understanding of how everyone plays a role in the journey.
It will no longer be good enough to simply gather customer feedback, analyse and report on it, then drive tactical action.
These are becoming hygiene factors – things that help businesses improve, but don’t drive transformational change.
‘Find and fix’ will only bring you up to par. While it’s difficult to truly predict what lies ahead for VoC and CX, it’s clear that change will start with those driving the program.