Valentine’s Day is upon us, so I bet I can guess what’s on everyone’s mind: Your CX life. You might be asking yourself, how important is CX? How can I get better at CX? Is my CX performance meeting expectations?
Customer experience (CX) (...what did you think we were talking about?) is just that, an experience that the customer takes away from any interaction with your business. It’s made up of a wide range of factors that combine to form a holistic, all-encompassing view of your business and brand.
Most organizations agree that “improving the customer experience” is a top priority in 2021, but what does that really mean and how can we get there? Measuring and evaluating it can be challenging because CX is a moving target, and there is much debate about how to operationally capture and improve the experiences that lead to increased ROI and revenue.
Businesses have very little control over certain elements of brand perception; however, consistently positive experiences make up the bulk of customers’ perceptions about a brand, and these experiences don’t just “happen.” In the short term, each positive interaction that a customer has can lead to improved metrics such as NPS and CSAT scores. Longer term, it makes sense to focus on optimizing the aspects of customer engagement that businesses can control to culturally shift CX from its position as a secondary outcome to a driving factor that leads to change and innovation.
What does this look like? CX rolls up from objectives such as simply answering calls within a timeframe that meets the service level agreement (SLA) and providing first-contact resolution, but it also encompasses initiatives related to understanding, planning and developing solutions designed to deliver better outcomes across the entire customer journey.
Measuring Operational CX
In terms of lifetime value, it can cost up to five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. So it makes sense to commit resources to ensuring long-term customer loyalty.
Scorecard metrics like net promoter scores tell one piece of the CX story, but may not provide the actionable insights needed to prevent churn. Businesses should also explore ways to augment their understanding of customer experience with more tactical, but highly actionable metrics that reveal CX performance at an operational level.
Customer interaction applications in the contact center can serve as one source for tapping into this type of operational metric. These are the applications customers use to engage with your business every day, and can yield valuable data in terms of resolution rates, hold times, and even customer sentiment.
Cyara partnered with analyst firm Frost & Sullivan to survey 209 contact center leaders and found that 89% of those surveyed observed a moderate to severe impact on customer satisfaction from operational CX. Easy to spot, obviously, are the catastrophic failures such as system downtime or an IVR collapse, and it’s important to identify and resolve those issues quickly. Equally important however, and perhaps more insidious, are the small issues that are rarely even reported by customers. Little annoyances like slow response times, poor voice quality, or misrouted calls can represent death by a thousand papercuts for your CX. Tracking these operational metrics, and seeing when technology fails to meet acceptable thresholds, is exactly the insight you need to make tweaks to your CX applications before you see NPS/CSAT scores fall.
Better CX is Possible with—You Guessed It—Communication
In a perfect world, businesses would have a clear line of sight into every potential roadblock on the customer’s path. Imagine asking every customer how their experience was at every touchpoint. Imagine being told, in exquisite detail, exactly where your CX fell short. Imagine the impact that could have on future development and direction.
That kind of open, honest, detailed feedback would lead to amazing CX.
The next best thing? Identify operational issues by monitoring your CX applications from the customer’s perspective. Cyara Pulse allows businesses to create automated, synthetic interactions that replicate real-world customer journeys, providing a true customer’s-eye view of any issues they might encounter.
Happier customers is a goal worth pursuing, because excellent CX builds loyalty. To move the needle on operational CX and long-term customer loyalty, businesses should first take the necessary steps to ensure that all CX applications — IVR, email, web, chat, and SMS — are performing as designed, and enable customers to accomplish their goals effectively, efficiently, and consistently.
At the end of the day, who doesn't want better CX?