Customer experience can be a complicated subject, so Jonathan Daniels, author of the Customer Experience Playbook, and I tackled some of the myths surrounding it on my latest episode of People&Digital, the podcast.
Jonathan is also the organiser of CX Brussels, a Belgium-based networking platform that supports customer experience professionals, not to mention a consultant and trainer, so he’s pretty much an industry guru!
Click here to listen to the whole discussion or scroll down to read the eight things he told me about customer experience that you might not know…
“The changes you make when you put in a CX roadmap should highlight and fix key pain points for your customers, so that you can use that as a way to grow your business,” Jonathan says.
Jonathan says that SMEs tend to go right to the source – the customer – to figure out their CX.
CX is a way of getting people to love your brand so much that they tell others about it, Jonathan explains.
You always need a plan when it comes to customer experience, according to Jonathan.
CX isn’t just about making customers happy, it’s about increasing loyalty and sales.
Jonathan suggests using your company’s Net Promoter Score to figure out who your most engaged customers are before using them to boost your business.
There’s nothing quite as effective as putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, according to Jonathan.
Don’t ignore the data and figures, says Jonathan – you still need to keep the metrics in mind to measure your CX success.
In terms of understanding our customers’ needs, we’re in a totally different space compared with 30 years ago, Jonathan tells me. “The amount of data, tools and interconnected systems means everything is just a lot more complicated than before. Organisations are trying to work all this and, on the other side, the customers are confused. They’re losing patience and have less time for anything that isn’t exactly what they’re looking for. They’re making quick decisions on purchases.”
Jonathan believes that CX is about keeping customer centricity in your organisation. “The changes you make when you put in a CX roadmap should highlight and fix key pain points for your customers, so that you can use that as a way to grow your business,” he says.
A lot of times, when Jonathan speaks to professionals putting their roadmaps together and looks at what they’ve got planned for the next year, only around one or two points out of 15 will really impact their customer experience. “Yet small companies or startups are going straight to the source,” he explains. “They’re looking at the customer journeys and saying, ‘how can we improve this?’ And if medium and larger businesses aren’t doing the same, they risk losing customers very quickly.”
It’s all about that focus on the customer, Jonathan says. Don’t just look at it from the perspective of when a person uses your platform or service. It’s about the whole journey.
Jonathan often sees people confuse customer service and customer experience. “Customer service is when you call up the customer service team to solve a problem or go to a store and speak to someone from customer services,” he explains, adding that CX, on the other hand, is the management of all the touchpoints a person has with your business. “It’s that one-to-one connection with the customer,” Jonathan says, “and a growth strategy. It’s a way of increasing retention; of getting people to love your brand so much that they tell others about it.”
Jonathan urges businesses to follow a CX framework that includes questions like, “How are you building insights about your customers? How are you developing that understanding? Once you have some data about your customers, what do you do with that information? How do you improve the customer experience? How do you do that very quickly? How do you make sure that you’re focusing on the things that are not just going to be good for the customer, but are going to be good for your business as well?”
Jonathan believes that putting rigorous CX processes in place will benefit any company. “It’s about looking at the structure of your organisation in terms of customer experience,” he says. “Who’s involved in the decision making? Who’s involved in the implementation of making changes? Look at the regular meetings that you have; look at the documentation. Just doing an evaluation of that is a good start.”
Jonathan explains that you also need to review the data you’re acquiring. Consider the retention rates. Keep sales to existing customers in mind. Do calculations around the customer lifetime value. Then you can prove the benefits of CX very quickly. The idea is to pinpoint some facets that you can deliver at pace and that will also give you a return on investment.
Instead of just using your Net Promoter Score to pat yourself on the back because you improved on last year’s stats, Jonathan suggests using the metrics to turn your customers into assets. You can encourage the people who give you high ratings to post about your business on social media, for instance, by offering them a promotion so that they can share it with friends. “That real relationship with your customers is crucial,” Jonathan says. “A lot of times we’re so distant – we want customers to just go through the website. But it’s really important to be able to pick up the phone and speak to your customers. There’s so much value in that.”
Jonathan stresses that you should make sure you actually understand your brand’s customer journey. For example, if you’re working on CX for a credit card company, you should go through the process of applying for a credit card or making payments. Pick up the phone and listen to people in the customer services department. Figure out what the pain points are. You need to walk in the customer’s shoes and ensure other members of staff are doing the same. Whenever you speak to one of your colleagues, ask them “what did you learn about your customers this month?”
“I work with a large charity and success for them is retention in terms of the number of people who are donating and supporting, so I look at the figures around that – I don’t just look at how happy people are,” Jonathan explains, adding that you should always keep an eye on the bottom line when it comes to CX. Assess what has translated into more referrals. Look at what has helped to build your brand and whether you’ve gotten more positive feedback online. “Customer satisfaction is a means to an end,” says Jonathan. “I want to be judged on the results that I bring to the business in terms of money coming in, in terms of new customers and new revenue generated.”
Voila – great advice, right? As usual, let me know what you think about these tips and tricks from Jonathan!
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