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Focus On Four Cornerstones of Best-in-Class Customer Experience

Outsourcing partnerships and projects have the potential to create outstanding customer experience (CX) - because they bring together complementary experts and specialists. When buyers and suppliers work in harmony, and when creative vision is delivered through technical implementation, customers are the winners.

One of the biggest outsourcing challenges for 2017 will be creating seamless and connected customer experiences. If this can be achieved, it won’t just satisfy increasingly demanding customers, it will also boost bottom lines.

Forrester has 6 years of data showing that CX leaders grow revenue faster than laggards. But where should effort be focussed to deliver the greatest CX impact? Below are four cornerstones of creating best-in-class customer experience.

1. Fit-For-Purpose Measurement
Quantifying customer experience is critical - until you know what’s underperforming, you don’t know where to invest.

Creating a truly holistic view of CX
To report on true customer experience, organisations should be measuring customer service channels and offline/in-store experience as well as multi-channel activity on key digital properties.

Current methods don’t work
The bad news is that current methods such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) are flawed. Single score metrics such as NPS work well if you want a snapshot of brand perception, but are too simplistic and emotionally-focussed to measure the real complexities of digital customer experience.

Organisations with the ambition to create great CX (and prove they have) need to use performance indicators fit for 2017 and beyond.

2. People And Platforms Pulling Together
The ability for outsourcing projects to deliver great CX requires teams and technologies working together to facilitate the easy flow of data and rapid creation of new content.

People
Projects teams made of buyers and suppliers need to be connected and in regular or real-time contact with each other, ensuring that both sides understand the impact their actions have on the customer experience. And these working groups must be incentivised to share insights and openly collaborate on customer-centric solutions.

Platforms
As we move to a data-driven future, technology platforms need to be better integrated. Only when this happens can the true potential be realised for customer engagement across multiple channels.

3. Give Customers Consistency
As customers effortlessly hop between devices and try new communications tools, they expect brands to provide a consistent, joined-up experiences.

Create a Single Customer View (SCV)
The unprecedented levels of data available, plus the interoperability of CRM and CMS systems, and increasing power of on-site optimisation mean that creating (and taking advantage of) a true SCV is now possible.

Having this capability will make it easier for organisations (working with their technology partners) to create content that is personal and highly relevant. This means customers can be offered experiences based on the context of their engagement - past, present and future. Increasingly savvy consumers are already turning their backs on organisations that aren’t using this data to enhance experiences.

A number of smaller, nimbler alternatives to the enterprise set emerged in 2016. These are enabling CMOs to build the future at a fraction of the cost and implementation time.

4. Rich And Rewarding Relationships
The world’s leading service brands have raised the bar to unprecedented levels, and customers now expect interactions to be surprising, rewarding and innovative. They’re also extremely fickle - one in four Brits deletes apps on the same day - so organisations need a laser focus on ensuring content is engaging and experiences areremarkable.

Personal, relevant and timely
Unsurprisingly, personalised content encourages users to stay longer on a brand’s website, whilst weaker content results in higher drop off rates. Recent research we completed found that ecommerce retailers who published stronger content experienced 21% lower bounce rates than those with weaker content.

And the longer a customer stays on your site, the longer they have to browse and the more likely they are to convert to a sale. In the same study, simple product recommendation functions saw brands reap the rewards of 140% more page views.

Product innovation unlock incomes
A Gartner study found that 83% of customers are willing to pay more for innovative products. That’s why brands are creating accelerator programmes and investing in startup technologies that they hope will become game-changers in their industries. One recent example is Dazzle - the winners of the latest Marriott ‘Test Bed’ accelerator – which will be trialling its voice-activated personal assistants in one early adopter hotel.

Experiments like this that combine IoT devices, new digital interfaces and cognitive technologies have the potential to reinvent customer interaction. The challenge to reach the market first is now greater than ever, and first movers benefit by generating PR “buzz” and the ability to charge premium prices.
Conclusion
In today’s increasingly complex digital and omni-channel world, CX has become a battleground for competitive advantage. How the outsourcing world meets this challenge will have a significant effect on perceived project success in 2017.

As ex-Mercedes Benz USA President and CEO Steve Cannon put it, “Customer experience is the new marketing.”.

Find out more at EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE with CXScore on Thursday 16th February 2017.

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