Creating a consistently exceptional, personalized, omnichannel experience can be challenging, but there are many features that can help.
It is no secret that the way customers engage with companies has shifted dramatically in recent years. Between desktop and mobile browsing, customers have “always-on” access to information and are increasingly taking advantage of their ability to make buying decisions at any time, from a range of devices.
Companies operating in this new market paradigm must recognize that their customer experience (CX) practice has to match the increased pace of customer engagement. To be successful, companies need to prioritize actionable CX initiatives now—or risk falling behind their more prepared competitors.
Accelerating CX Action
One simple way for brands to achieve tangible wins from their CX investments is by accelerating their CX software capabilities. With the recent explosion in CX programs across virtually every industry segment, CX software platforms have matured considerably and now provide a range of innovative features in feedback gathering, customer verbatim, and CX analytics. In addition, advancements in closed loop alerting (CLA) capabilities now enable companies to identify and follow-up with dissatisfied customers in real-time, while ensuring employees comply with the CLA process through a range of communication and reporting features.
By unlocking these advancements and the power of today’s CX platforms, brands can now monitor and act on every customer’s experience, and in turn develop a roadmap of customer journeys that exceed the expectations of today’s empowered customers.
Innovations in CX Platform Capabilities
Customers now interact with companies across a variety of channels for support or sales transactions, so it has become imperative for CX platforms to enable the gathering of feedback across multiple mediums. The most advanced CX platforms gather feedback via:
In addition, a few CX platforms offer integrated options that can gather feedback from all 3 of the above within the same survey campaign or customer base. This advanced feature extends the reach of the CX program and can often lead to higher collection rates as well as feedback from more customer segments.
Mature CX offerings integrate verbatim feedback from customers throughout the platform and offer three features that are critical to deriving value from these important customer responses:
- Categorization: Verbatim are categorized by automated software or humans based on their theme, thereby enabling companies to quickly and easily see the aspects of their service, process, or products that are driving customer sentiment.
- Alerting: Negative verbatim are identified based on the customer’s sentiment and spoken words, and these verbatim are highlighted in the CX platform as a negative alert that is funneled to the appropriate group for follow-up and resolution.
- Verbatim Reporting: This feature has often lagged in many CX platforms, but leading CX software now provides users with many ways to consume verbatim feedback. The most important features show breakdowns by category (e.g., rep, appointment, or product) and theme, link verbatim directly to frontline employees for coaching, and provide key metrics (e.g., positive to negative ratios) that allow companies to quickly leverage this feedback at all levels of the organization.
Closed Loop Alerting
CX programs now depend on closed loop alerting (CLA) to operationalize their CX approach, identify and recover dissatisfied customers, and generate ROI from their CX efforts. Helping brands identify and manage their most vulnerable customer segment is critical since studies across varied industries have revealed that acquiring new customers can cost five to 25 times more than keeping current customers.
Leading CX platforms provide several key advancements that support companies’ CLA efforts, most notably:
- Real-time communication about and reporting of alerts lets frontline employees know about a dissatisfied customer immediately after a survey has been completed. These alerts are usually provided via email directly to a frontline employee responsible for following up with customers. Once alerts are received managers can quickly assess the situation, reach out to the customer for more insight, and take steps to resolve any concerns.
- CLA Workflow Engines enable managers and others to see current alerts and information about the customer and status, notate those alerts, and track and update resolution activities. This information is available to those in the service chain who play a role in closing out the alert, and is also useful in understanding the systemic themes driving customer dissatisfaction over time.
- Automated Reminders and Escalations that notify frontline employees and their managers of alerts that need action or have not been acted upon within the expected compliance timeframe.
- Compliance and CLA reporting features include dashboard views that summarize alert activity and detailed reports that highlight CLA process compliance by employees as well as performance in closing alerts and acting quickly to resolve customer issues.
CX Reporting & Analytics
The growth in the CX industry over the last 5 years has resulted in an influx of CX service (e.g., consulting) and software entrants in the market. Companies can now find many options to address their CX reporting needs, from primitive in-house and 3rd party do-it-yourself tools to sophisticated analytics engines with an almost endless number of reports and dashboard views. The leading CX software platforms have several common attributes though, including:
- Fully-integrated reporting and feedback gathering platforms that enable the exchange of customer feedback in real-time.
- A broad array of analytics dashboards, reports, and views that cover the customer feedback needs of frontline employees to CX stakeholders and executives. These engines provide CX trends, CX drivers, verbatim analytics, and brand-level and employee results, among many others, and usually have the ability to customize metrics, goals, and scoring algorithms according to specific company or program needs.
- Detailed reporting and features that enable closed loop alerting and the distribution of verbatim feedback to large, geographically-dispersed audiences.
Maximizing the Value of Customer Feedback
Most companies understand they need to give their customers a voice. While implementing feedback gathering technology is a critical step, companies should also embrace advanced CX platforms to maximize the value of the customer feedback they collect. Leading CX platforms can expose essential feedback themes and service trends over time. And by using this intelligence, organizations can recognize areas of strength and identify improvement opportunities in their CX program at a macro- or micro-level.
As an added benefit, CX platforms enable companies to gain near real-time insight into service failures—and take immediate steps to remediate concerns. This allows companies to rebuild relationships with unhappy customers—a win that can motivate long-term customer loyalty and improve the overall quality and consistency of customer experiences.