How does your business manage customer experience? Is customer experience even a priority? According to Forrester's report, "The State of Customer Experience Management, 2013," most businesses are failing at tracking, assessing, and managing their customers' experience -- despite knowing how important it is for their future success.
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In order to win at CX, you need to put your money where your mouth is. 92% of businesses claim that customer experience is a "top strategic priority" -- yet only 47% provide a dedicated budget for CX management. Those businesses who actively prioritize CX in their budget, business operations, and culture have already reaped the benefits of CX management. These businesses include:
- Chrysler. Rather than punish dealerships who under-perform on customer service, this car manufacturer turned the tables and replaced those penalties with incentives and assistance. Under-performing dealerships now receive customer experience management training, as well as access to company data, in order to improve overall company-wide CX.
- Delta Airlines. In 2011 the airline initiated the "Ideas in Flight" program in collaboration with TEDTalks. The short videos released by the initiative are used to inspire conversations, generate customer feedback, and engage customers in the experience design process.
- Lowe's. Not only did the company form an internal experience design team to actively manage customer experience -- they hired the former head of a CX design firm to head the team.
Although the majority of businesses claim to prioritize CX, 86% also claim that managing CX isn't providing any value to them. What can explain this discrepancy? The truth is, most businesses are failing at adequately implementing the basic elements of CX management -- and as a result, those efforts that they do make are failing as well.
- CX Tracking. Only 53% measure CX quality consistently, and 40% collect the kind of descriptive data that provides useful insight into how CX is perceived by customers. As with any business system, if you aren't measuring your metrics, you can't measure your successes and failures, nor can you determine what changes you need to make.
- Anticipating effects. Your business is launching a new product or marketing campaign. Shouldn't your first step be assessing how that change will affect customer experience? This seems self-evident, yet only 30% of firms make this consideration.
- Surveying Customers. Again, a basic element of CX management is knowing what your customers are experiencing. The best way to figure that out is to simply ask them -- yet only 60% of companies do so consistently. As far as implementing more in-depth research on their customers that goes beyond simple surveys, only 31% of companies make that effort.
The quality of your business's customer experience has important ramifications for the lifetime value of your customers and the future success of your business. If you truly want to win at CX, you need to not only prioritize it in your overall business strategy -- you need to back it up with forthright efforts to sufficiently track and analyze CX data, prepare for the effects of your business decisions on CX, and actively engage your customers about their experience with your business.