Laura BassettDecember 20, 2017

Five Steps to Creating a Competitive Customer Experience

Each customer relationship starts with a single interaction and lasts the entire customer journey. Each interaction is critical and contributes to the overall lifetime customer experience that drives engagement, value and loyalty. Your entire organization needs to perform at the highest levels to support an end-to-end brand journey. Go deep into this subject in our 5 Steps to Creating a Competitive Customer Experience white paper.

We know this process is far from easy. To help, we’ve mapped out five steps for building, implementing, measuring and continually improving your customer experience strategy. Following these five steps, you can position your business to meet the needs and service demands of customers today and into the future.

Step 1: Develop Your Strategy

While this doesn’t need to be a lengthy single-spaced report, a competitive customer experience (CX) strategy must:

  • Document goals and objectives. What do you want to deliver in terms of customer experience? How will you know when you’re successful? Put a stake in the ground for yourself, your leadership team, your employees and entire organization. This CX planning guide can help get your wheels turning.
  • Develop a customer experience charter. Create a one-page document—a CX charter—that clearly articulates your brand’s customer experience to ensure organizational alignment. This will help you document desired service experiences that customers receive when interacting with your organization.
  • Chart out customer interaction flows (aka journey). How do customers access your organization, or how would they like to do business? A branch? An ATM? Via voice, SMS, social, email, web chat, mobile app or other digital channels? Look for potential points of frustration and modify service processes to streamline interactions.
  • Forecast demand and implement a schedule. Use historical interaction statistics to determine when you need to schedule support personnel so you always have the right number of staff to assist customers across all communications channels.

Step 2: Engage Your Customers

Customers demand access to your organization anytime, anywhere. To ensure you’re meeting your customers’ needs:

  • Enable customers to interact over any channel/device at any time. We live in a highly impatient world where customers expect information to be easily accessible when and how they want it.
  • Pair customer inquiries with the right support resources. Traditional skills-based routing tables and queues have their place. To expand routing options, attribute matching is the next logical step. Attribute matching leverages situational context (location, weather, time, day, etc.), customer data (demographics, device preference, contact details, social posts, purchase history, etc.) and employee attributes (skills, experience, performance, location, language, gender, etc.) to match customer inquiries to the right resources each and every time.
  • Break down organizational silos. Bring resources across your entire enterprise to assist with customer inquiries, regardless of their physical locations and job roles.

Step 3: Collect Customer Engagement Data

Leverage interaction data to discover where enhancements are needed to service processes, policies and employee practices. Here’s what you should collect:

  • Record your voice and non-voice customer interactions.
  • Capture desktop screens so you can see how well employees are using business applications to serve customers.
  • Initiate a quality assurance program where customer interactions are scored against your customer experience charter and expectations so that employees receive both positive and constructive performance feedback.
  • Deliver personalized training content to employees when quality assurance evaluations demonstrate a need to improve anything that arises from collecting customer engagement information.

Step 4: Measure Customer Engagement

With loads of data on hand, it’s time to learn from data. Real-time and historical end-to-end insights, combined with your operational performance, can help you make informed decisions that can lead to better business outcomes and results.

Knowledge is power. Leverage real-time processing capabilities and analytics to capitalize on big data. Transform customer experience intelligence into actionable insights that help you identify and pursue improvements that add value to the entire organization, not just the contact center.

Step 5: Commit to Continuous Improvement

You’ve built your plan. You’ve empowered people to bring your CX strategy to life. You’re tracking customer interaction data, evaluating your successes and challenges, and helping your people improve. Keep going. Creating the ultimate competitive customer experience is a continuous process where you’re always engaging, collecting, measuring and refining.

Customers Have High Expectations

To best meet customer expectations, you must lay out and implement a plan. Get more information and guidance in our 5 Steps to Creating a Competitive Customer Experience white paper.

Laura Bassett

Laura Bassett is the Director of Marketing for Avaya's Customer and Team Engagement Solutions. Laura oversees all aspects of marketing including business planning and strategy, market research and awareness, product marketing, and engagement for current and next generation Unified Communications and Contact Center solutions. Laura has over 20 years' experience in applications consulting, development and delivery. She has a BSBA in Computer Science and an Executive MBA from the University of Florida.

Read Articles by Laura Bassett


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