Five Principles of Good CX
Stuart Featherston, Avolin, looks at the growing importance of a truly joined-up approach to customer experience (CX), and identifies a number of principles leaders can apply to achieve this holy grail.
Given that CX has overtaken product and price as the number one brand differentiator in 2020, it’s little wonder that it is cited as the leading business priority for businesses according to Forrester, jumping from 26% in 2019 to 46% in 2020.
According to research 86% of customers will pay more for a good experience while 32% will walk away from a brand they love after a single bad experience. In the wake of Covid, this trend seems likely to accelerate with organizations reconsidering business models as they have to work harder than ever to keep the doors open.
The complexities of CRM
But as with anything worthwhile, getting things right doesn’t always come easily. Many organizations have invested in various CRM systems over the last few decades, all of which claim to deliver a joined-up customer experience. In reality these typically automate one or two aspects, leaving customer-facing staff having to log in to different systems in order to access important customer information, with the joining up part done manually. This of course falls woefully short of providing the all-important 360 degree view of a customer necessary for good CX. And the problem has been exacerbated in recent years by the explosion in omni-channel and social media, and the complexity surrounding our relationships with brands.
A principled approach
The best CX leaders are addressing this complexity and disparity by adopting the following five principles:
Hyper-personalization: the ability to make customers feel that you understand their preferences and can align specific packages or products to these at the right time.
Trust: to be reliable in providing the right products, at the right prices, at the right time, and reassurance that if something isn’t right, it will be rectified quickly.
Empathy: listening and understanding a request or query, and ensuring that the customer feels their voice is being heard.
Timing: technology has created an expectation of immediacy across many areas, meaning that delays and lags in responses or product availability are rarely tolerated. Being able to make offers, provide solutions or address complaints in one interaction is key.
Engagement: empowering customer-facing employees with the insights and autonomy to make decisions which drive customer loyalty, increase sales and resolve queries in a seamless way, is a crucial, and often underestimated principle of good CX.
The digital denominator
Of course, the common denominator in bringing all of these principles together is technology. It is only truly possible to deliver these crucial practices fully through having a modern, intelligent and comprehensive system.
And there lays the nub of the issue. Old systems generally fall short of facilitating this best practice, yet the modern capabilities which deliver the level of insight necessary for good CX inevitably come at a prohibitively expensive price tag.
The CX Cloud
Thankfully, there is another approach which is becoming increasingly popular. API-led integration hubs, such as Avolin’s CX Cloud, are proving to be game changing. These cloud-native solutions deliver scale, velocity and offer new opportunities for organizational business and cost agility. For users, these solutions deliver insights, quickly and easily, paving the way for world class CX.
Representing a bridge to connect all of an organization’s CRM, sales and customer service systems, allowing these to easily talk to each other, they converge insights into a common interface. The enhanced visibility and collaboration they deliver not only eliminates errors and reduces the risk of oversights which might impede customer relationships, but supports better forecasting for increased customer value.
The API architecture allows all customer insights from across the entire enterprise to be accessed in just a few clicks, creating the sense of having one centralized system from which to deliver a hyper-personalized experience. With new services and solutions to effectively manage this large pool of unstructured data, the level of detail they facilitate can be leveraged by employees to foster loyalty, and boost conversion and upselling rates.
A good example might be a consumer applying for a mortgage with their bank. Through a contact center agent having immediate access to all customer details across personal accounts, business accounts and credit cards, together with the autonomy to create an appropriate proposition, a preferential rate might be considered to reward that customer and instil loyalty, rather than taking a silo-orientated view.
World class CX without disruption
At a time where justifying investment in digital transformation is a challenge, the CX Cloud is an incredibly compelling, risk-free and cost-effective proposition. The information blind spots associated with using multiple systems can be eliminated to allow fast and full customer insights to be leveraged, representing a flexible, incremental route to implementing the principles adopted by CX leaders.