Building a better customer experience

Avoid these 6 common pitfalls as you evaluate CX solutions

Growing the business is always a top priority for business leaders, and many stakeholders are evaluating their customer experience (CX) to help accomplish that goal. In fact, according to the recent Corporate Board Member-RSM US research, 30% of companies believe enhancing the CX is most important to the success of their growth strategy.

While these businesses understand the need to deliver the best possible CX, their customers’ expectations are high—and continually growing.

Those organizations that invest in CX—and get it right—can realize many benefits:

  • Enhances the brand by fostering trust and connection with customers
  • Raises CSAT scores
  • Results in higher customer retention with less churn
  • Opens up growth potential with each client through upsell and cross-sell
  • Leads to better reviews, more product usage and customer referrals
  • Grows revenue

But building a better CX isn’t intuitive, even for organizations well-versed in transformational initiatives. Plenty of organizations succumb to common pitfalls.

Here are six of the most common ones to steer clear of.

Pitfall No.1: Taking a technology-first approach

You have a problem to solve. Perhaps your customers are frustrated by your account receivables (A/R) process. It’s tempting to buy a solution that will address your A/R issue and deliver a quick win. But jumping into a point solution without looking at the big picture and considering how changing a process or bringing in a solution will affect the overall customer experience often results in actually making the customer experience worse.

When it becomes clear that the point solution didn’t produce the expected result, organizations scramble to back out of the solution, change the project scope and deal with organizational fallout.

It’s wise to take a holistic approach to CX improvement that fits into your strategic plan for growth and revenues rather than deploying multiple-point solutions.

Pitfall No. 2: Choosing a cookie-cutter solution

You’re under pressure to implement a CX solution, so you purchase an off-the-shelf product. However, “cookie-cutter” solutions may not fit with your overall business strategy, may be misaligned with adjacent customer experiences and often don’t allow you to differentiate your business from the competition. You’ll get part of the way there, but the solution will never deliver on your CX vision.

Instead, take a minimal viable product approach to CX. After evaluating your plan within the context of your overall business goals, you can realize value quickly by rolling out CX functionality at a faster speed and then implementing iterative changes based on customer feedback to achieve a truly customized CX solution.

Pitfall No. 3: Assuming you know what the customer wants

One action that can lead to a bad experience is to send customers offers they don’t need or want. Making assumptions can be dangerous. The first step in excellent CX is to try to understand your customers and build an experience that is differentiated and compelling. Only then can you provide the next best offer or next best action.

There are many ways to get feedback. Start by asking customers questions, listening to their answers and building rapport. Get direct feedback through customer satisfaction scores (CSATs) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys, and indirect feedback based on metrics, such as average handle time or the percentage of customers who select the option to speak with a live contact center agent instead of using self-service options.

The end goal is real-time feedback through software solutions that can measure sentiment or provide intent data, focus groups, customer journey mapping and A/B testing.

Pitfall No. 4: Believing CX is too difficult to measure

It’s true. Measuring CX is different than measuring traditional technology implementations. It can take longer to gather metrics for CX to see how your initiatives are performing. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t measure CX. Without the metrics to see how well your initiatives are working, you won’t have the insights to make additional improvements.

As with any initiative, build measurement into your strategic road map. Begin by defining what customer experience means for your organization and then identify the metrics you’ll need to track whether your efforts have been successful.

Pitfall No. 5: Focusing on the “shiny new technology”

Although it does play an important role in building a better CX, technology isn’t the only variable in the equation. Efficient CX processes and the right people are also needed for successful transformation.

In fact, adding technology to a broken business process only automates a broken process. And adding technology that doesn’t fit how employees work forces them to find workarounds using Excel spreadsheets and Word documents and often creating shadow IT.

People and processes are the foundation for CX. It’s easy to fall in love with a technology solution based on a demo and hope people and processes fall into place. But starting with your existing processes, understanding the need for building employee buy-in to new processes and then choosing the solution that best matches your operations and goals will deliver better outcomes.

Pitfall No. 6: Thinking the end is in sight

Because of the way they create budgets and allocate resources, many organizations often believe they’re limited to a big-bang approach to CX initiatives with a clearly defined endpoint. However, as customer expectations evolve, the end point of what great CX looks like will change as well.

While you can’t get everything done at once, you do need to have a vision and a roadmap with defined steps for the near- and medium-term. Even when you achieve your immediate goals, you’ll need to continue to iterate. If you don’t keep up with customer expectations, you may find that all the work you’ve done will need a major overhaul rather than iterative updates.

Avoiding pitfalls on the road to better CX

The best way to avoid pitfalls on the road to better customer experience is to develop a clear road map. This road map will guide you as you weigh the pros and cons of CX solutions and ensure that you’ll stay you on a straight road to steady progress and avoid going around in circles.

For more information on the next steps your company should take to improve the customer experience with data transformation, get our guide, “Next-step guide: Digital transformation for better customer experience.”

 

Digital transformation for enhanced CX: Free guide 

Technology can remove obstacles enhancing customer experience, including adding capabilities to predict what customers want and serve them in multiple channels with consistent, predictable and personalized contact along the customer journey.