What’s the CX buzz this week? (4th Feb, 2015)

Customer experience optimization is fundamental to building customer loyalty. Omni-channel strategies are one way companies optimize CX, but the challenge then becomes one of turning resulting customer loyalty into profit. Is profitable omni-channel CX possible? How can companies effectively balance between the operational and “softer” service sides of the omni-channel equation?

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Building a Profitable Omni-channel Customer Experience [risnews.edgl.com]

Omni-channel strategies usually mean improved customer engagement which ideally would lead to more sales. Yet, three out of four retailers are unable to do justice to this program as other company tasks take priority, according to EKN Research. To achieve the goal of stock clearance, inventory planning and visibility is given more priority over CRM and marketing. This ultimately results in the overall CX program taking a hit and not being fruitful.

To realize customer profitability and the financial benefits of omni-channel strategies, there has to be a balance between the operational and customer sides of the omni-channel equation. A holistic view of customer’s engagement in the entire customer journey will reap rich dividends and can be observed in all the metrics.

Building Customer Loyalty – What You Need to Know [iwantitnow.walkme.com]

Customers today have more choices than ever when it comes to products and services. Satisfied customers may not necessarily mean repeat customers. Earning customer loyalty also involves emotional responsibilities. From a cost perspective, customer loyalty is the least expensive when compared to marketing activities but it requires a great deal of time and effort to win a customer for lifetime. The following are some of the suggestions that can help companies build customer loyalty

To further improve the customer experience, Walters provides these three strategies:

  • Let your customers know what you are doing for them
  • Understand your customer expectations
  • Exceed customer expectations
  • Provide great customer service

Six rules to help companies create better customer experiences [mycustomer.com]

Customer satisfaction is fundamental to building a successful business today. With more and more people embracing social media it takes very little time for a negative review to reach millions of your customers. Creating great customer experiences is not an option anymore but a necessity to maintaining a competitive edge in any industry. Success of CX programs depends as much on the listening skills of your customer support team as it does on your product. Here is a taste of the 6 rules to building a better customer experiences:

To create customer experiences that build loyalty and long-term customer relationships, first use the data at your disposal to learn about customer behavior and spending habits. Then try to identify their expectations without actually bothering them. Finally, evaluate whether you’re providing them with the experience for their business to succeed and adjust as needed to complete the loop and restart the cycle.

Customer Experience 2004-2014 [linkedin.com]

According to Jack Mackey: “Vast amounts of energy and treasure have been invested to understand why customers do—or don’t—come back. Few questions are more important, since same store sales growth is built on the backs of loyal customers.” The author wrote these words in reference to multi-unit franchise operators back in 2004. The connection between customer loyalty and sales growth still remains true.

Way back in 2004, mystery shopping was used to measure customer satisfaction. By 2008, it became clear that moderate customer satisfaction did not automatically result in customer loyalty—only highly satisfied customers become loyal ones. This insight gave birth to the Net Promoter Score.

Then along came Customer Experience Management (CEM) programs at the end of the ‘00s, that helped franchisees take care of what mattered most at each location by measuring which parts of the customer experience matter most. Then all of a sudden, social media and mobile technology took the world by storm. By 2014, at least two-thirds of mobile phones were smartphones. This change had a remarkable effect as consumer feedback to franchisees via smartphone doubled each year. Most importantly, the tsunami of customer comments via social and mobile technologies has completely exposed the gap between what you promise and what you actually deliver.

Customer experience has become increasingly important over the last decade. It looks like the trend is on track to grow in 2015 and beyond.

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