It means switching mindsets and re-evaluating workflows and technologies that have become second nature to staff in the past five months to five years. Improving CX has become a priority for a reason: it’s a giant task that requires substantial change. But there are ways to make the transition smoother.
Check out our three recommendations to create a CX-led culture and improve the way your business interacts with its customers.
Personalisation has become a buzzword, says Andrew Smith, Telstra’s Director of Customer Experience.
“Sixty percent of CMOs and other people who work with customer experience have rated personalisation as their number-one priority, which I find fascinating because I don’t think we’ve actually identified what it means yet,” Smith says.
He prefers “individualisation”, which focuses on a person’s relationship with a brand or business.
“The question is how do I truly individualise and contextualise that relationship, now I have a relationship with that business,” he says. “The best use case of that is tenure. If I have been a customer for 20 years, treat me like that. Treat me like I’ve been a customer for 20 years.”
Most Australian companies surveyed by GlobalData recognise the importance of delivering an individualised online experience, with 62 per cent signalling a direct focus on personalising website content. Device-specific content was also in most respondents’ sights, with more than 49 per cent saying they will invest more in personalising mobile app content.
However, Smith warns against companies personalising messages and experiences for the sake of it.
“Personalisation might feel like it needs to get really deep and personal, but what customers are finding is that it’s more about individualisation – them in the context of the relationship they have with the business,” he says.
CX stalls without staff on board
Marketing departments understand the loyalty, engagement and recommendations generated when a customer is given a personalised journey. However, for companies to make CX their priority, HR, senior leadership and IT also need to play a major role in developing a cohesive approach.
IT is poised to implement collaboration and workflow tools so departments can easily engage and share data securely. Big data has become crucial in understanding a customer's interaction with your business, so implementing the right tools to capture, interpret and share information in meaningful ways is crucial.
With these new tools and workflows, HR needs to ensure all staff are properly trained and feel engaged in the business’s new direction. At a people level, HR is best equipped to drive a CX-led culture change and explain the importance of following new procedures.
Smith uses American media and entertainment conglomerate Disney as an example of a company that successfully brought the entire organisation on board through the simple power of its corporate message: “We create happiness.”
“The message is easy to get behind,” Smith says. “I can be a carpark attendant and I can know that my job, within the context of that mission, is to create happiness. I know that the reason people are coming to park is that they are on the vacation of a lifetime and so I take that into account when talking to them and have fun with them while I am there. That’s the job.
“The Disney organisation knows that creating an engaged workforce – one that is happy, that is looked after, that is trained and that has career progression, where employees know their purpose within the organisation – is the first step to creating shareholder value.
“It’s not that different for engaging in B2B. Anyone can do it if you believe in what you are doing and you believe in your product,” he says.
“Personalisation might feel like it needs to get really deep and personal, what customers are finding that it’s more about just individualisation – understanding them in the context of the relationship they have with the business.”Andrew Smith, Director of Customer Experience, Telstra
Don’t fear change
Technological innovation is advancing at an exciting pace and there is no excuse for businesses today to rest on current tools.
The majority of executives interviewed for the GlobalData whitepaper are beginning to mix artificial intelligence, location-based services and machine learning algorithms to provide customers with content that’s relevant and personalised.
And as our personal items continue evolving into digital devices, 32 per cent of respondents said they would invest in IoT technologies to develop a deeper understanding of customer and audience behaviour.
These new technologies will require staff training, new workflows and possibly external partnerships, but the benefits are clear. Improved security, deeper audience profiling and improved customer service are now overshadowing the price of change for most businesses.