In Adobe’s 2018 Digital Trends Report, respondents chose “optimising customer experience” as the most exciting opportunity for the year ahead. These results point to how businesses are weighing the importance of CX (customer experience), existentially. And it’s so important, that Adobe has also named 2018 the “year of customer experience (again).” Businesses are right to invest in this area: companies that successfully implement a CX strategy have more satisfied customers and realize more revenue than those that don’t.
It’s not only about revenue, though. Rolling out your new CX platform can be gnarly, but when done right—it can also be fun.
This is a moment for teams and organizations to challenge assumptions, find new areas of alignment, and change the way you work. Until recently, organizations had few tools to help them see the gaps in the experience they provide and little (if any) data to base decisions on.
Today, CX platforms and tools bridge that gap by helping digital-forward businesses orchestrate, provide, and measure the experience they’re giving their customers (overall and granularly).
Before your organization can get somewhere new, you have to agree on where you’re going. You don’t want to get halfway through your rollout only to discover that your team isn’t on the same page about high-level goals.
Next, follow some ancient advice that’s still valuable today: Know thyself.
· Do you have the right data?
· Is it analyzable?
· Do you have people who can analyze it & make decisions based on it?
· Is it siloed?
· Are you open to bad news from your data and/or avoiding confirmation bias?
Once you know where you stand and where you’re headed, it’s time to get on the same page.
Different stakeholders have different priorities and needs, and a well-facilitated workshop (or series of workshops) can bring a lot of that information to light while helping everyone see the areas they do agree on. It can also be a great way to pull up from the day-to-day work and remember what it is you’re actually trying to accomplish as an organization.
New technology and a new focus can bring stress to any team—trying to push through and ignoring that, will often make things worse. But by bringing everyone’s concerns, hopes, and dreams to light before you focus on the tools and technology, you can co-opt your critics and get your team aligned (on what Adobe considers the most important investment of 2018).
Your CX strategy supports your overall business strategy, so use that as a starting point.
Gather the key stakeholders together and talk about how your CX efforts are going to contribute to your overall success. Make sure everyone’s clear about what the tool does and doesn’t do, so you’re going into this effort with your eyes open. Most importantly, make sure everyone’s aligned around your overall goals for the platform and what you want to get out of it.
Measure The Experience
CX platforms are all about data.
Data is great, but it can tell you things that you may not be ready for (le gasp).
Confirmation bias is our natural tendency to see what we expect to see, and you may need to fight against that when the numbers start rolling in. The more you are open to the real story the numbers are telling, the sooner you’ll be able to make meaningful changes to the way you operate—telling the customer-journey story that you want to tell.
Manage The Change
Change management isn’t just about staying productive; it’s also about winning hearts and minds.
Rolling out a new CX platform will mean making changes to the way people do their work. Bringing people with you on this journey is going to mean acknowledging the challenges, so that change doesn’t become a roadblock. In addition to training your staff, you’ll need to work on enrolling people in your vision, rather than dragging them along with you.
Speaking of staying productive, you’ll also want to think through the roles and skills needed to manage your new CX system—and to act on the insights it gives you. This may mean redefining some people’s roles as well as hiring new staff to support your focus on the customer. Remember that your staff are key players in your success, and their experience is just as important as your customers’.
Know Your Customers
Today, we might add an addendum to that ancient advice above: Know Thy Customers.
Far too often, smart people at a business will come up with a great idea, run it by the other smart people at that business, and eventually launch it...only to learn that customers don’t care about it-- or worse, they hate it.
Why? Because no one thought about how a customer would actually use that product in the real world. But today’s customer experience is not just about how they interact with devices or technologies...it’s about where they interact with them.
Digital experience is now real life experience.
To get the most out of your CX platform, you have to understand the journey that your customers are taking when they use your product or service. Personae (based on real people), empathy maps, and journey maps help you understand your customers:
What’s going on in their lives when they seek you out?
What’re they thinking and feeling along the way?
Where (and how) are they interacting with your brand; where are the gaps where they need you and you’re not there?
Doing real research on your users—getting out of the office and actually talking to them—will yield incredibly valuable insights that will help you get ahead and make your customers happy at the same time.
Want to learn more about how to not only grow revenue, but also have fun, while rolling out your CX platform? Shoot me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org