Customer experience programs can help your company build rapport with consumers and turn one-off encounters into repeat visitors. Maybe your customer experience program needs a reboot because it seems to be floundering or its influence has fizzled out. Perhaps it needs a reboot to keep it fresh and engaging. Regardless of the impetus behind its reboot, the following roadmap will help your company devise a better customer experience program.
Everyone Needs to be on Board
For a successful reboot of any program within your business -- but especially one that deals with customer experiences -- every person needs to be onboard with it. This means that everyone from the executives down to lower level leaders should know the reason behind the programs, the intricacies of it and be willing to put the work in to implement them. In this case, the way that leadership relates to their customers directly trickles down to affect their subordinates. If the leadership team places a strong emphasis on customer relations and experiences, so will others.
Establish a Vision
For any program to work, it needs a clear and focused vision. This is especially important when it comes to establishing a customer experience program. By outlining a specific goal that your company is working toward with the rebooting of its customer experience program, you can ensure that everyone within the organization is on the same page at all times. A vision statement is a cohesive and unequivocal way of doing so. It's important to use the right messaging and language when writing this vision statement. Something that is short and simple makes it easy to refer back to when a question or concern arises.
Define How the Program will Impact Your Business
When determining the scope of your customer experience program, it helps to develop a holistic approach instead of just doing it in a piecemeal fashion. It's important to remember that by improving your customers' experiences with your business, you are likely also going to improve other aspects of your company besides its immediate bottom line. In some cases, though, these other improvements might not be immediately evident.
Design Supportive Tools and Processes
No customer experience program reboot is going to be successful without the creative and/or updating of the tools and processes that support it. In nearly all cases, these processes and tools span more than one department and might even require that new IT tools be developed as well.
When designing these tools and processes, do so with a focus on making the customer's life and experience easier or better -- even if it creates more work for internal operations. Ensure that all departments of your company have access to a customer's information if it's needed for your programs. Businesses that repeatedly ask customers for the same information appear to be disorganized and out of touch with today's customer.
Look at Metrics
The metrics that you develop should focus on helping you determine how well your customer experience programs are working. When establishing such metrics, ensure that the right metrics are assigned to the right roles and that none of them conflict with one another. For example, a metric of gathering an increased amount of customer data during each engagement is at odds with one that also increases the number of customer engagements that must be addressed within a specific time frame.
Sharing the pertinent metrics with those who are affected by them is key in providing your employees and leadership team with the tools they need to succeed. Each person who is part of the customer experience program needs to know what is expected of them at certain time periods such as daily, weekly or monthly -- depending on your particular business model.
Maybe the reboot of your customer experience program came about as a result of some feedback that your company received. If so, this is a good place to start when soliciting feedback about the changes. Even if customer feedback was not the impetus for the reboot, it's still vital for you to collect any feedback on a regular basis and through multiple channels.
Harnessing the technology available today makes it easier for businesses to gather and analyze that feedback -- as well as other data -- they receive. Being able to separate the feedback regarding the customer experience program and other information relies on a robust interface that is both customized to your needs and nimble enough to change when needed.
Embrace Patience and Long-Term Commitment
Since rebooting a customer experience program is not an overnight job, the results are not likely to be evident within a few days either. Most companies need to understand that establishing and building a business culture that places the customer first is something that is a long-term goal and commitment. Instead of expecting results within days, weeks or even months, most companies who have experienced success have been updating and building their programs over many years.
It's important to understand that the process is gradual as your business slowly alters its approach to customers and the way that it collects information about them is slowly refined. These effects ripple through both your business and its customers are they become more widespread. As a leader in the business, it's important for you to remain patient, committed and upbeat about both the process and the vision.
By following the above objectives, your company can successfully reboot its customer experience programs in such a way that establishes loyalty among both your customers and your employees. The end result is a win-win situation for all involved.