Reading the Room: How to Adapt Your Customer Experience Journey to Create Trust and Build ROI
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical to look deep within your organization and search for honest feedback about how both your customers and your employees are feeling. Now more than ever emotions are heightened, people are on edge and they are paying very close attention to what your brand is saying (both internally and externally) and how they feel about recent experiences with your brand. Without a clear understanding of how you’re doing—not how you think you are doing—but actual data reflecting customer and employee sentiments; many organizations will face long-term erosion of their reputation. Without this self-reflecting information, you could find yourself saying, “I thought we were doing everything right. How did we get here?”
In an effort to avoid the path that leads to this question, we would lean on an old idgroup adage that the answers are in the room, and that the best answers aren’t always found behind the biggest desks. This means that we believe in engaging all stakeholders in an organization and discovering and creating solutions together. We believe in building continuous improvement cultures that thrive because employees and customers feel engaged and empowered. In turn, this creates organizations that are trusted because they are authentic (Beyond Sizzle: Next Evolution of Branding).
One part of this engagement of stakeholders is your customer. This group is arguably the most opinionated side, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasing customer journey satisfaction can lift customer satisfaction by up to 20 percent as well as revenues by 15 percent while keeping the customer serving cost lower by 20 percent (McKinsey).
To succeed in engaging this group of stakeholders and creating customer experience (CX) initiatives that really move the needle of ROI, you must ask your customer for feedback. Every customer, every time. Real time CX survey methods that can be delivered at point-of-service either in-person or online help to answer the question, “what do our customers actually think about their experience with us?” By consistently asking the right questions at the right time, you can gain valuable insights on each touchpoint of your customer journey and take swift action to course-correct when needed.
For many organizations, this journey has been turned upside down due to COVID-19. Businesses must be quick and agile to respond to the ever changing needs of the customer. Even with the best of intentions, it takes a business 12 positive experiences to compensate for one negative experience (Survicate). As these numbers and experiences add up, you can see how quickly this can make the difference between surviving vs thriving during and after the pandemic.
When making changes to your customer journey (either forced changes or voluntary ones), keep these tips in mind:
Consistently Ask for Feedback— Use a real time feedback survey tool with questions that can be easily changed to capture, track and analyze high and low points along your customer journey.
Ask Questions that Can Drive Change— Asking for feedback alone will not improve customer satisfaction. Asking and then acting based on that feedback is the key. Example: “How did you feel about the level of no-touch service you received today?”
Respond to Customer Issues Quickly— Roughly 54 percent to 70 percent of dissatisfied customers will buy again following an effective resolution. However, this stat jumps up to 95 percent if the customer feels the complaint was resolved quickly (Albrecht and Zemke, Service America).
Create a Continuous Improvement Culture— Realtime CX data helps in preventing your organization and your team from becoming complacent. Continuous improvement model:
Act: Execute the agreed-upon plan
Review: Review results—what’s working
Adjust: Focus on behaviors that produce results
Successful implementation of CX journey improvement initiatives is one critical puzzle piece in creating the authenticity and trust needed to build healthy organizations, strong brands and respected reputations.