Importance of customer experience
With every industry facing steep, increasing competition, customers have a myriad of options to choose from. In the age of today’s internet, where there are search engines aplenty and conversational, AI-powered tools like ChatGPT customers have the capabilities to do thorough research on a product/service they are interested in – all at their own fingertips. A remarkable customer experience journey helps to create an affinity towards the brand, reinforcing a customer’s decision to purchase a product/service from their chosen company.
Stages of a CX journey
Identifying and understanding various customer experience phases allows a brand to create relevant content while also motivating support agents to work on areas that need improvement. It’s an opportunity to uncover what’s working well, and how to pivot if it’s been challenging. While some companies tend to use different nomenclature to pinpoint the steps in their customer experience journey, most organizations have similar phases that look like this:
- Understand the business objective: When assisting a customer, it is crucial for the support agent/brand representative to understand the customer’s requirements in depth. Once the requirements are fully understood, should an agent help in acquiring the desired product/service. If it is a support-based request; for instance, a customer is unable to set-up a furniture (applicable for ready-to-assemble kits), the contact center agent will offer to arrange a visit from a furniture expert to assemble the piece or communicate a video demonstration of the same virtually.
- Create a personalized environment: Creating relevant experiences is the second most important stage in a CX journey. Interactions should be tailored to suit an individual’s identity and any historical preferences that can be gathered when using a data-driven approach. Very few businesses understand the need to emphasize customized requirements. Taking time to put together a highly personalized touchpoint not only earns a brand some extra brownie points, but also helps with customer retention in the long run because it showcases that the company is doing everything it can to understand it’s customer.
- Manage sales funnel: Every business has a team that solely focuses on sales funnel management. Sales funnel management is like a reality check of what’s working and what’s not. Metrics play a huge role in this step as a lot of future decisions will be based on the data acquired at this stage. Sales funnel management also consists of understanding the sales architecture of a purchase from start to finish. While studying the sales architecture, the support/contact center agents become aware of the areas that need attention and thereby focus on creating satisfactory experiences wherever it is required. For example, a customer has complained about not receiving the product that he/she had purchased a while ago, within the mentioned delivery date. In such cases, the agent can choose to apologize and articulately explain the reason for the delay or implement other satisfactory resolutions like reimbursing delivery charges in some cases.
- Implement plans: By this latter stage of the journey, support agents should know what is lacking and be able to adequately plan how to fill the gaps. Whether it is learning a new skill or revising the operational model of an old service/product, agents start working on their shortcomings and strive towards improving customer experiences. Implementation of plans also include appropriate delegation of tasks, following-up on stranded deliveries, and resorting to cutting-edge technology such as ChatGPT whenever required.
- Monitor and measure: Team leaders and management officials frequently monitor the extent to which business objectives are being met. Additionally, they also monitor and rate the levels of customer satisfaction, intrinsic development, and compliance framework. This step helps to restructure KPIs and pivot strategies.
The key to enriching customer experiences lies in exceeding customer expectations and offering to go above and beyond each time if able. With the vast majority of customers willing to repurchase a product based on a good experience, it’s especially integral to strategize how to best achieve success within each stage of the CX journey.