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It’s a damaging verdict. “Most companies fail to deliver value to customers because they think about it in an incomplete and limited way,” says Rick Parrish, Principal Analyst at Forrester, in a report on Customer Experience (CX). “Companies misjudge what customers value most; lack strategies for addressing customers’ moral, social and political beliefs; and fail to learn the lessons of customer success management.”
As purse strings tighten and competition among companies increases for share of wallet, research from Gartner confirms Parrish’s analysis. “Over 70 percent of CX leaders struggle to design projects that increase customer loyalty and achieve results,” it says.
Never has there been such pressure on those working in CX design to deliver results and get it right the first time. Here are three actions that organizations should be taking now in order to unlock new value through CX design.
Build more accurate, granular customer personas to deliver better results for customers
Organizations typically create four to five customer personas as part of their CX design. This is not enough. More importantly, insufficient data means that they’re frequently only focused on as few as three percent of actual users. This is because only around 10-15 percent of customers respond to surveys, and only 20-25 percent of that dataset represent the all-important dissatisfied (D-SAT) customers. Yes, organizations are aware of the need to create personas — but because of their inaccuracy, these personas could easily be useless and even misleading.
The solution to this common problem?
A design-led consultative approach can ensure that personas are built on firm foundations — a blend of qualitative and quantitative data collected from multiple sources such as web analytics, digital surveys, in-person surveys, social media insights and social monitoring tools. This enables an organization to be more specific about each persona's age, location, marital status, average annual income, weekly food budget and even their social media usage, among other factors. Drawing on the widest possible pool of data, more accurate, comprehensive personas can be used to remove pain points, empathize with customers and build stronger customer relationships.
Fuse data and design to improve every customer touchpoint
By fusing data and design, organizations can measure the performance indicators that unlock value and drive innovation. Data professionals should work ever more closely with design teams and share advanced data capturing, analysis and targeted insights across customer touchpoints to harness qualitative insights.
They need to use real-time dashboards from the initial process of monitoring customer satisfaction reports through to the visualization stage. Here, interactive analytics and applied intelligence can help significantly. Once patterns emerging from the data are identified, they should be translated into improvements in Customer Performance Indicators (CPIs).
It’s essential to take into account every customer touchpoint and ensure that they are integrated. The CX design team at supermarket chain Tesco, for instance, covers every aspect of customer experience — from their interface with the online shop and applications to their interactions with the brick-and-mortar stores, including self-service tills and the software used by employees at the checkout.
Leverage technologies to make voice of customer feedback more detailed and actionable
Many organizations have been unprepared for the recent exceptional increase in voice calls, leaving customers unhappy, and the organizations themselves unable to exploit the vital data that these calls produce. Used properly, Voice of Customer (VoC) can be an essential tool in CX design, enabling an organization to capture 360-degree feedback from customers’ experiences of its products and services.
But to reap the benefits and develop actionable insights, organizations should support it with technologies such as cloud computing, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence-led cognitive chatbots, and predictive and sentiment analytics in order to identify pain points and new demands from customers. They should be ready to adopt innovations such as Zero-UI, which enables users to interact with devices through voice, gestures and touch.
The global economy will continue to struggle over the next few years and, with consumers concerned about their finances, organizations will have to work harder than ever to retain customers and acquire new ones.
The answer is more personalized, seamless, easily accessible customer journeys. Technology offers organizations a way to design a CX that meets these growing challenges, but they need to start investing in it now in order to prepare for the post-COVID-19 economic landscape.