Recently Cyara hosted several roundtable discussions with customers and prospects in London. The participants who attended represented companies that varied widely in size and industry, but their concerns followed similar threads. Primarily, that “the world has turned upside down,” and the customer is now in charge. They also agreed that a corporate culture that engages with customers is essential to survive today's monumental changes.
Rise of Connected Consumers
And speaking of monumental changes, it’s hard to believe, but the first iPhone was introduced in January of 2007. That's just 8 short years ago. Social media followed in 2008. Since that time, every human interaction has radically changed, from the way we date, bank, shop, work, exercise, and connect with one another—including connecting to complain about poor customer experiences or inferior products.
Participants in the roundtable discussions identified several challenges they face with today’s connected customers:
- There are still gaps in infrastructure that limit the availability of some communications channels and lead to inconsistent customer service.
- Regardless of the channels that are available, customers define how they want to communicate and expect their preferred channel to be optimized to meet their needs.
- More complex calls that require an agent use the voice channel, but the agent must be trained not only to convey the correct information but also the company culture.
- It is a challenge to knowing where to prioritize effort in delivering a flawless customer experience.
- Building the business case and helping the boardroom understand the opportunity and the benefits of investment can be a challenge.
Recharting the Customer Journey
The traditional buyer’s journey to compare, buy a product and then engage with the brand has been turned upside down so that now the consumer engages on their terms and is more likely to be attracted by company culture than by specific product features. Ideally, companies want to turn customers into fans by creating a culture with which their customers can identify. A good example of a brand that has successfully done this is Nike, who created a running app to connect with customers who buy their running shoes to create long-lasting relationships. Another example is Sephora, who has created a mobile, step-by-step personalized experience for their customers.
Participants in the roundtable discussion agreed that linking customer engagement to employee engagement adds value or brand equity, and it helps to further the goal of making “every customer a customer for life.” They also agreed that accomplishing this goal requires charting every touchpoint where the customer interacts with the company. For real engagement, there also needs to be a customer engagement hub—a designated engagement point for collaboration and to build community.
But do the employees who interact with customers understand the customer journey? There are significant day-to-day challenges that the roundtable participants identified related to mapping the customer journey and building community. These include:
- It can be difficult to capture enough data to build accurate models
- CX teams are small, often lack training, and they can have trouble getting buy-in from senior management
- It can be hard to determine what is truly important to the customer to build engagement that differentiates the brand
- Ownership of the customer experience can be dispersed among several departments. When this is the case, the customer behavior models may be siloed by tasks.
Responding to Constant Change
With the customers in charge, organizations are no longer able to execute a three-year plan from the boardroom, and the pace of change is faster than ever before. The pace of change also means that the agile business is the business that will win because they are equipped to innovate rapidly. A recent article in the London Business Reporter explains how Cyara can help you deal with the constant rollercoaster of change.
Participants in the roundtable provided the following recommendations for dealing with the challenges of constant change:
- Find out what is most important to the customers. Focusing on that one important thing keeps a company true to their culture and close to their customers.
- Create short-term goals to measure improvements in CX and the customer journey.
- Have a keen focus on the ROI and be fanatical about realizing the benefits.
- Build customer engagement to retain and satisfy customers.
- Be clear on your intent and develop a solution relevant to your customers and the market.
Managing Change with Cyara
Cyara helps accelerate innovation in voice and digital channels at scale to deliver flawless customer experiences. As the market-leading provider of an omnichannel customer experience testing, discovery and monitoring platform, Cyara enables its customers to dramatically reduce the cost of development and testing and the risk of exposing their customers to poor customer experiences. Regardless of the challenges you are facing, from improving the customer journey to building customer engagement through improved customer experiences or coping with the constant pace of change, find out more by contacting [email protected].