What is the right time to invest in a customer experience solution? And no, the answer isn’t anytime. Deciding upon buying and implementing customer experience technology is about understanding three important things: why, what and who.
1) Why are you doing this?
Many people read about such things as improving customer service, retaining customers, customer centricity or gaining the voice of the customer and think “we need to start a customer experience program.”
However, rather than blindly following convention ask yourself why is that you need a customer experience program? What are you trying to solve or objectives you want to achieve by deploying a customer experience program?
[caption id="attachment_15861" align="alignright" width="362"] Understanding why you want to do CX, will help you decide which path to go down.[/caption]
This question is the most crucial one to ask because if you don’t know the ‘why’ then the rest of your endeavor is jeopardized. Having a loose assumption that you need to do customer experience will mean aiming for objectives that might not be applicable to your business and others that may be but are not detrimental to your customer experience.
While furthermore, not understanding your goal could also result in trying to solve too many objectives at once (retaining customers is quite different from improving customer service) and as your efforts are scattered between multiple directives you end up solving nothing.
Knowing why exactly you want to carry out customer experience should act as your guiding light that you continually measure everything against.
2) What do you need to do?
Knowing why you want to do something about your customer experience, you should next ask yourself what do you need to do to meet your objective?
A principal objective is always comprised of many smaller sub-objectives and measures to meet such objectives. Map out then all the objectives and measures that need to be carried out to meet these objectives, some of these objectives may simply call for internal restructuring and actions and others may need a technological solution.
Technologically, the key is to not go out looking for the Swiss army knife of solutions because more often than not you don’t need it. Do you really need all those features, add-ons or that many user licenses for what you are trying to do?
On one hand, this can be a waste of money and on the other hand it can simply make the tool confusing and inefficient. Moreover, is technology what you really need, maybe your problem is small enough to be resolved without technology?
Create a minimum viable product evaluation to understand your technological needs. This typically means a product with just the core features that allows the product to be deployed. Once again a simple mapping process using just a spreadsheet can help you create a list of objectives for the technology and how to go about meeting those objectives.
Think about what you need to meet your customer experience objective so as to not waste resources and time on unnecessary measures or technologies.
3) Who is going to own it?
[caption id="attachment_15865" align="alignleft" width="372"] Pinpoint the team or individual that is going to own the program[/caption]
Before you implement a customer experience program you should know who will take ownership of the program. This means which department is it going to be embedded in, and depending on the size of the program which individual(s) is going to be running it.
Is it going to be part of your marketing process, part of your customer service team or in the case of b2b under the account management team, depending on your answer to point 1) and your company’s structure this will differ. While at the personal level is it going to be a VP that is in charge, managerial level or maybe a small team? Regardless it has to be an employee(s) who thinks about the process, repeatability, and the data.
Launching a customer experience program should not be a part-time thing that is just stuck onto the back of someone’s list of responsibilities, but a full-time job.
Knowing who is going to own the program helps to implement a program that better defines and inacts what you are going to do to answer your objectives.
Many companies rush headlong into customer experience with the feeling they need to start as soon as possible to retain customers and grow revenue. However, by simply stopping for a moment and asking why you need to, what you are going to do, and who is going to do it saves companies a lot of problems further down the line.
For those that know their objective, one solution to many customer experience obstacles is the Net Promoter® System, read the business leader's practical guide created by our partner Genroe.