Increasing Customer Loyalty

According to Peppers and Rodgers, “81% of companies with strong competencies for delivering customer experience excellence outperform competitors.” More and more companies are beginning to understand this and seeing the importance of building effective Customer Experience Management (CXM) programs to increase customer loyalty. Ironically, “only 22% of companies say they have a well-developed customer experience strategy.”

Customer experience change must start at the helm with a fully engaged C-Suite. Executives must set goals, collect customer data, share data, and make changes based on the data and train well then repeat, cycle continually. Governance is critical as companies must have consistency across all channels. It’s difficult to pinpoint what is or isn’t working without consistency.

A critical piece of CXM is that employees must have information most relevant to their role at the point of interaction with their customer in order to satisfy the customer. Today we have a flood of data and often with companies collecting so much data it’s hard to the see forest from the trees. The goal of leveraging big data is to make sense and context for all collected data to drive organizational change. Connecting structured and unstructured data to create a complete customer story gives businesses an advantage.

In a recent #CXO chat, Bob Hayes [@Bobehayes] joined us to discuss and share ideas on this topic.

Here is a glimpse of the conversation:

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What are the major components of a CXM Program?

[@BobeHayes]: The 6 components of Customer Experience Management programs: Strategy, Governance, Integration, Method, Reporting, and Research.

[@ValaAfshar]: CXM programs succeed when companies believe in service differentiation as a competitive advantage.

[@Maldyj]: Listen to your customers, internalize their feedback, and act on it as you’re able—close the loop.

[@Clearaction]: CXM includes how we listen to and view customers and how we focus employees and our business on customers.

How important is strategy/governance in developing a CXM plan? Why?

[@BobeHayes]: Executive support of and involvement in CXM sets the tone for the ecosystem (employees, partners, board). Governance of CXM sets the operational foundation (rules and roles) of the customer culture. CXM Governance sets performance expectations for the entire company through use of customer feedback. Formalizing/Branding the CXM program lets your employees know that customers are important.

[@DianaSefkow]: Strategy is critical. The brand must have a mission paradigm to guide voice, actions, and engagements.

[@Morrismichellek]: Without a clear strategy, the scope, boundaries, goals and measures are fuzzy and the customers will suffer.

[@DelphiUSA]: Strategy is an extension of core purpose—who you are. So, too, is how you treat your customers. Customer experience correlates to brand—good or bad. Your customer experience strategy will determine which.

[@ValaAfshar]: CXM strategy defines what the finish looks like: spend allocations, measures of success, and line-of-business commitments.

[@Clearaction]: Companies that view CXM as a determinant of corporate strategy have a better ROI and a better CXM.

[@TPDashboard]: Without a roadmap, you’re stuck. With no guidelines to set you on your path, you’ll make a wrong turn somewhere.

Where does our data explosion fit in the customer experience program?

[@BobeHayes]: CXM programs are data intensive with multiple sources of feedback. It’s becoming a big data management problem, especially when linked to operational and financial data. Big Data is about understanding the statistical relationships among key business variables and metrics.

[@VOCMountaineer]: Data mining presents a huge opportunity to combine traditional Voice of Customer (VoC) initiatives with big data to produce ground-breaking customer experience improvements.

[@Annettefranz]: It is crucial to be able to pull together in one place, glean insights and drive out to the appropriate end-user/frontline.

[@DianaSefkow]: Big Data requires a refinement of analysis to produce succinct, meaningful insight—minimize to optimize. Companies must clarify insights; ensure that data provides meaningful, actionable insights. Data without actionable insights has no value. And it must be scalable and sustainable—build a paradigm and system that can handle the next explosion.

[@LoisMarketing]: Utilize data to plan for what should be “next.” Data quickly ages but can be smartly utilized to anticipate needs. So-called “lean” organizations can quickly become “fat” again with data. Understanding customer experience goals can help streamline.

[@Jbondre]: Social media and personal relationships with the customer are key pieces of big data that fit into the customer experience program. The question is, “how do you marry the two?” Companies will need to find relevance in the data from the broad source.

[@Lttlewys]: With clear goals, data doesn’t have to explode! We can narrow what we are looking at, and for to align with company strategy!

How do you measure and share results enterprise wide?

[@Bobehayes]: Employ the power of the web to collect CXM feedback and disseminate results.

For CXM, companies need to measure different types of customer loyalty (RAPID loyalty) for different types of business growth. When selecting CXM metrics, make sure they are reliable, valid and useful. You don’t want to measure “noise.” Measure your relative performance (against competitors) to increase share of wallet. Focus on both individual-level (addresses specific needs) AND segment-level reporting (group needs).

[@LoisMarketing]: Remember that behind and beneath all the data are customers and employee—humans. Be human-centric, not data-centric.

[@Maldyj]: Data is for executives. For the frontline share motivational nuggets, small slices of success that tells a bigger story.

[@Morrismichellek]: From the C-suite, from the ground up and in every conversation, the key is to multiply the conversation to change the culture. Use emotion from the customer to help change your culture. When you SEE or HEAR or READ what the customer says, customers become people to non-frontline employees. People help People.

[@ValaAfshar]: The ultimate measure of customer success is repeat business and advocacy that leads to new customer acquisition. It is important to benchmark your performance against your competitors. Ask your customers for direct feedback.

[@Clearaction]: Use VoC enterprise-wide in all departments and in “all” processes and rituals (rewards, AOP, performance reviews, R&D, forecast, etc.). Excellent use of VoC enterprise-wide is gap analysis of ALL policies: do they truly promote excellent customer experience?

Companies must continually measure, map and manage the customer experience as individual customer’s needs change. Sharing measurements, thresholds and customer feedback enterprise wide is essential to create change. At the end of the day until we implement strategy to govern our CXM programs, we will be the same company with a new, shiny, meaningless label. What are you doing to building an effective CXM program to increase customer loyalty?

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