In the previous post, we discussed the alarming disconnect between perception of the customer experience in terms of importance and the quality of the customer experience delivered. Organizations that make customer experience a top business priority need to understand and integrate the various phases and interactions that comprise the customer experience. In this post, we’ll discuss how to develop a successful strategy and the role of technology in optimizing the customer experience.

Developing a successful customer experience strategy begins with creating a clear vision and guiding principles that become part of your company culture. Your customer experience vision and principles should be introduced and reinforced in staff training and employee manuals. This will drive employee behavior, especially with customer-facing teams, that focuses on the needs of the customer and supports your vision of what the ideal customer experience looks and feels like.

Your customer experience vision and guiding principles should be based on a deep understanding of who your customers are. Recognize that your customer base is likely made up of multiple user personas, each with different demographics, lifestyles, preferences and behaviors. Use knowledge of these personas and your guiding principles to build emotional connections with customers that drive loyalty and advocacy.

If you want to find out whether you’re meeting customer expectations, you have to be able to capture their feedback in real time and act quickly. You should be able to break down and analyze this feedback based on various touchpoints, interactions and the employees involved. Customer feedback insights will provide you with a quality framework that guides employee training and process optimization to enhance the customer experience and maximize ROI. ROI measurement is critical to determining whether your efforts to improve the customer experience are translating to real business results.

The right technology is critical for managing and improving the customer experience. For example, human interaction is representing a smaller and smaller portion of the customer experience. This isn’t just because customers are using websites and social media to conduct research and find answers to their questions. More organizations are using chat bots for support, customer service and other functions within the customer experience. Today’s chat bots use artificial intelligence to mimic human interactions, learn from each interaction, provide more effective responses and recommendations, and recognize customer preferences and sentiment.

The Internet of Things (IoT) allows you to constantly collect data on customers. IoT and chat bot data is fed into advanced analytics tools to examine behavioral patterns, identify and predict market trends, determine which part of the customer experience requires improvement, and recommend changes and workflows that can enhance the customer experience. Workforce optimization tools can also be used to ensure that employees with the appropriate skills are supporting the customer during each phase of the customer experience.

Developing a customer experience strategy and choosing the right technology require the expertise of a vendor that can integrate and optimize various systems and tools in a way that supports your vision. Let us help you analyze the current state of your customer experience, identify technology gaps, and implement solutions that meet customer expectations and deliver the business results you demand.