Developing a customer experience strategy might seem like a long ordeal. Of course, it is. After all, it is the one thing that is going to give you an upper hand over stiff competition. A well-rounded customer experience strategy can position your brand eons ahead of the competition and in the right mind space of customers.
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It needs no mention that everyone from C-suite to middle management and below is neck-deep busy crafting a fine customer experience strategy. The efforts always focus on what needs to be done, how it should be done, and when it should be done.
However, to quote the American educator Prof. Michael Porter, “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”
A strategy has a specific mission and vision attached to it. It should not be a vague experiment that requires you to direct your expensive resources in a hundred different directions. An ideal strategy must unify resources and take the organization towards a well-intended goal. Your customer experience strategy should be a culmination of doing few things in the best fashion possible.
Here are some elements you can pull together to develop a great customer experience strategy.
1. Begin with user persona
A sound customer experience strategy must be focused on the user persona. It should try to answer and also outline the various tactics through which the user persona will be won.
Some questions worth pondering include:
- Who are you trying to win?
- Who are you trying to sell to?
- What are their expectations?
- What demographics do they belong to?
- What behavioral traits do they exhibit?
Here are some basic questions you can use to do user persona research:
These questions will help you sketch a detailed user persona and also a customer experience strategy that aligns with it.
2. Omnichannel matters
A customer experience strategy must take into all channels through which your customers could get in touch with you. Ideally, it must envision how the interactions in these channels will play out and what needs to be done to deliver a positive customer experience.
That said, omnichannel customer service is not an option, but a mandate for a positive customer experience. The strategy must consider how website visitors can be served with a live chat software, chatbot and Knowledge base ; how social media handles can be used for customer support, how in-store customer service would be maintained at par with online customer experience.
3. Build a strong support team
This might seem like a cliche recommendation. However, it is one that will never go out of trend or out of context. A strong support team is the pillar of a customer experience strategy. The positive customer experiences your customers will receive are directly proportional to the expertise and experience of your support team.
A strong support team does not mean you have an army of support reps and agents. Instead, it refers to a team where each member has the ability to deliver stellar customer support even in the worst-case scenarios. Also, they have soft skills like flawless written and oral communication in addition to high emotional quotient traits like empathy, patience, ethics, etc.
4. Create an organizational culture
Customer service is an attitude, not just a function. It requires the entire organization to come together as a single unit and pull all levers to put a smile on the customer’s face. That makes it necessary for the expectations to be set from the upper levels of management. Right from the C-suite, the organization should create a culture where delivering delightful customer experiences is made the ultimate mission of the business.
In fact, companies like Zappos and Amazon have an organizational culture that is centered around the customer. This organizational culture is a centerpiece to the overall customer experience strategy.
5. Leverage AI for better CX
Let’s face it. The age of AI is upon us. However, there is one misconception about AI that needs to be addressed right away. AI is not going to rob humans of jobs. Instead, it is going to create jobs of a new nature. It is going to make certain kinds of jobs redundant while setting the tone for a new nature of jobs.
AI can also play a crucial role in delivering a better customer experience. It can help marketers, product developers, and sales professionals come up with data-driven approaches to serving the customers. In fact, there are also a handful of AI tools in the market that can help marketers and product strategists automate a large chunk of their customer experience strategy activities.
6. Leverage customer feedback
In most organizations, customer feedback is an afterthought process. However, if customer feedback is gathered, acted upon, and analyzed with a specific intent, it can do wonders for a business. To begin with, it is a goldmine of sorts that can give gold’s worth of input about customer wants and how your product or service is able to match it.
Secondly, customer feedback can pave the way for new ideas and innovations that product teams might overlook. It is the customer — the end-user who has more hands-on experience and can think of ways to make the offering better than it already is. So, asking for customer feedback can also contribute significantly to creating a customer experience strategy that is centered on customers.
Bringing it all together
A customer experience strategy is akin to a scaled-down map. It gives a bird’s eye view of what the customer could be looking at and how the business offerings are matched to it. The very nature of a customer experience strategy makes it difficult to craft. It requires bringing together data and inputs from multiple departments, user research, and also critical thinking about user experience.
There is no single way to create a customer experience strategy. The tips discussed above can help with crafting a near-perfect customer experience strategy. Of course, to keep it delivering value, the strategy must be tweaked from time to time. There is no such thing as a strategy that will work forever.
Ashwini is passionate about Business, Entrepreneurship, E-commerce, emerging technology and Digital Marketing. She is working with Acquire as a digital marketing expert. She is a free soul and adventurous scholar who spends her free time with herself, loved once, music, as well as watching & playing sports. She is ocean addicted and on roads being a thrill-seeking traveler to get new experiences as she looks at life as our very own works of art.