CX is the not-so-secret secret ingredient for the long-term success of any business. But, with the constant change in customer needs and preferences, how does one create long-lasting customer relationships, foster business expansion, and ultimately get ahead in a saturated market? Companies often rely on traditional CX, but it comes with its own set of challenges, so many are turning to modern CX.
From traditional CX to modern CX
The traditional customer experience journey used to have a defined beginning, middle, and end, with most customers following that path. But modern CX is unpredictable, non-linear, and while somewhat shared, always changing, ultimately changing course for those following.
Because a majority of businesses still view CX through a traditional lens, only a few companies are taking true advantage and reaping the benefits of incorporating modern CX into their business strategy.
Only for those who are willing to look past the traditional, broaden the aperture, actively follow customers, and seek new and deeper ways of engagement, Modern CX creates new value and increasing revenue generation and profit.
Digitalization has enabled the streamlining of customer experiences. Whether it is adding new moments and touches or removing certain steps in the CX journey, it can be easily achieved.
By paying attention to customers in the real, social, and digital realms, companies gain a deeper understanding of their audience. By finding the opportunities to use those valuable insights, brands can create signature moments that drive relevance, reputation, and customer loyalty.
While the blend of digital and physical worlds is transforming customer experiences, at the same time, they are becoming more and more difficult to control. Therefore, authenticity is key when engaging with emotional decision-makers who consistently seek experiences that surpass mere functionalities.
Here are the ten biggest challenges in traditional CX faced by businesses and how to address them with modern CX solutions.
1. Insufficient response from customers
Working towards an effective CX strategy and solution requires copious volumes of data from customers. It can quickly become challenging if there is not enough data to work with that represents enough of the customer base, ultimately failing to deliver meaningful insights.
An effective solution that addresses this challenge is the placement of customer response mechanisms across all channels —webpages, social media, text, email, etc., creating an omnichannel experience. To ensure a well-balanced response rate and quality feedback, this effort requires constant monitoring.
Furthermore, certain channels like social media and websites offer data on customer behavior. This means that customer experience teams can analyze them to determine the best course of action when managing the customer journey.
2.Absence of multichannel management strategy or tools
Achieving a consistent customer experience across all channels goes beyond the features of a CRM package. Therefore, omnichannel communication can become quite challenging. Strategic planning with substantial IT input is essential for effective omnichannel management.
A cohesive and synchronized data model is crucial, supporting the customers who choose to engage across multiple channels. Centralized content management is pivotal for facilitating diverse purchasing activities of customers.
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3. Dealing with qualitative data
While not all customer feedback comes in the form of checkboxes or statistics, well-designed surveys often solicit qualitative input, capturing the opinions of the respondents in their own words. This type of data holds immense value on various fronts. The challenge, however, lies in clearly understanding how to effectively process and integrate this qualitative data into CX processes.
The solution to this traditional CX challenge involves investing in text analytics and customer sentiment analysis that can help unveil the underlying meanings within the data. Currently, there are various software and services that can interpret customers’ messages, extract the relevant sentiment, and detect the intensity and urgency of the message, thus delivering real value and usable insights to the business.
The sophistication of sentiment analysis has evolved to a point where it goes beyond identifying the fluctuations in customer sentiment; it can also detect customer intentions. For instance, these tools can predict whether a customer will likely make another purchase or recommend the product to others. These modern CX tools and capabilities are well worth the investment.
4. Poor in-house awareness of CX feedback
Sometimes, despite strong and consistent feedback from the customers, the message of the communication is lost in-house. It is important to understand that CX is an enterprise-wide effort and commitment. Too often, the data fails to reach the relevant people in the process.
A strong CX game involves closing the customer feedback loop by using a notification system so that the generated insights are accessible to every organizational department that contributes to the process and the C-suite.
5. Organizational silos
Dismantling organizational silos proves advantageous for several reasons, especially in the CX space. Silos not only impedes communication but also distorts the organization’s perception of the customer.
Historically, it was common for sales and marketing, as well as the service desk and other departments, to maintain separate customer databases. As a result, this fragmentation introduced a significant discontinuity in the customer experience, as each department may possess only a fragment of the complete customer profile, resulting in misguided assumptions and assessments of their needs and priorities.
As a solution to the above traditional CX challenge, organizations should centralize all customer data in a single repository like a customer data platform (or CDP) that can track and study customer behavior.
Adopting a CDP enables all applications and departments to have a unified customer view, fostering consistency in relationships and providing a more accurate foundation for journey mapping.
6. Inadequate technological infrastructure
The traditional CX challenges discussed thus far heavily rely on purpose-specific technologies. For instance, the CDP consolidates customer data for a unified view.
This specificity extends to sentiment analysis and omnichannel infrastructure as well. Analyzing customer-generated text with precision demands specialized methods beyond generic analytics, necessitating investments in dedicated analytics software.
Without the right technologies, the challenges will persist. Overcoming these hurdles entails a steadfast enterprise-wide commitment to invest in the appropriate tools that empower and elevate the customer experience.
7. Outdated documentation
Despite having a CDP and adopting a collaborative, de-siloed approach to managing the customer journey, issues can arise if the unified customer view becomes outdated.
The consolidation of customer data and its accessibility across the enterprise is only valuable if it remains accurate. Given the multitude of variables influencing the customer journey—ranging from demographics and preferences to online behaviors and purchase history — keeping the data current is a crucial element in ensuring accuracy and fostering a better customer relationship.
Throughout the customer lifecycle, preferences are bound to evolve, needs will change, and there will inevitably be a shift in priorities. In response to these changes, CX teams must make adjustments to the customer journey accordingly. This adaptive approach ensures the relationship remains dynamic and the management of the customer journey retains its effectiveness.
8. Unclear ROI for CX projects
Effectively implementing a CX strategy demands substantial investment, necessitating a clear perspective from the C-suite on the ROI for CX projects. Failure to clarify the ROI may erode confidence in the investment and appreciation of the value of the processes. Hence, it is crucial to meticulously calculate the CX ROI through several steps.
First, identify the business metrics most influenced by CX, often including revenue, cost to serve, customer satisfaction, retention, and upsell. Subsequently, by determining the drivers of the customer behaviors, establish correlations between the customer journey analytics and the business metrics. The strong correlations will reveal quantitative values, showcasing the impact of CX on critical metrics.
The values aggregate into a new variable—profit from CX. To determine the CX ROI, organizations must quantify their investments, encompassing aspects like training, technology, operating costs, time expended, and estimates of ongoing costs.
9. Employee training and engagement
It takes a team to deliver exceptional CX, but many organizations struggle with attracting talent and retaining them. This leads to high turnover rates and inconsistent CX delivery.
A CX-focused culture ensures that the employees have the skills and knowledge required to provide excellent CX. Brands must invest in training and development initiatives and prioritize employee engagement.
Recognizing employee efforts and rewarding them fosters a sense of pride and ownership among team members, thus further empowering them to commit to enhancing the customer experience.
10. Blind spots of traditional CX metrics
CX management and measurement metrics are critical elements in understanding CX performances. However, these metrics may provide a limited and flawed understanding of CX as they may not always show an accurate representation.
Some of the following reasons could be responsible for a stagnant or declining CX, which traditional metrics fail to convey, ultimately, resulting in a lack of insight into the specific pain points of the customer journey.
The traditional metrics are not granular enough
Lack of continuous assessment
Irrelevant/incomplete data sources for customer journey
Biased customer journey metrics
Outdated data due to delay in analysis
Absence of a holistic picture of customer satisfaction
Businesses should adopt a comprehensive strategy, constructing a hierarchy of CX metrics instead of relying solely on a single top metric. This approach ensures that CX is measured based on factors that genuinely matter to customers.
Understanding the traditional CX challenges is the first step toward implementing more effective modern CX strategies. Many barriers exist that can keep CX initiatives from being effective, but most of the problems occur in communication at the consumer and enterprise levels.
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