Last week PeopleMetrics headed off to Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum to learn from and meet with other customer experience (Cx) practitioners and vendors. Without any doubt, the space we inhabit is evolving and growing up. It is truly exciting to be a part of this young practice and meet with the passionate people who work tirelessly to improve the customer experience in their organizations.
The conference covered an array of industries and topics, but across all of them three key themes emerged:
1. Customer Experience is Transforming Business
Kerry Bodine reminded the audience, “We are in one of the most transformational periods that the business world has ever seen.” We are moving from the Information Age to the Age of the Customer and while it may be easy to assume that your business holds control, the truth is the success of your business has never been so dependent on understanding the needs of your customers. In the words of Neolane’s brilliant song, “Outside In,” “Brands should swallow their pride/ turn their focus outside/ but the lack of ‘me’ would leave some empty inside.”
2. Customer Experience Delivers Massive ROI
Analysis conducted by Watermark Consulting revealed that Cx leaders wildly out perform laggards. Fidelity found that customers with a good experience invested 4.5 times more than those with poor experiences. Sprint saves $1.7 Billion a year from decreasing the volume of calls coming into their call center owing to improved experiences.
Unfortunately, 95% of companies say they are customer focused, but only 8% of customers feel they deliver a superior customer experience. This discrepancy reveals the final key theme – customer experience is profitable, but only if it is treated as a discipline.
3. Transforming the Customer Experience is a Discipline
Among the attendees who stopped by our booth we heard a consistency in the problems they were facing:
- “We collect customer feedback…but it’s sporadic and every department is doing their own thing.”
- “We are making efforts to improve the customer experience, but they tend to be random and no one is measuring results.”
- “My company put me/us in charge of improving the customer experience, but we’re just getting started.”
For all of these people (and for the burgeoning Cx Industry) it is imperative that customer experience transformation be approached as a discipline. Results need to be measured and tracked and the end goal shouldn’t be a successful one-off initiative, but a culture that is transformed with a customer-centric perspective.