In two recently published articles “Data-Driven Dialogues Will Define Success” and “The Data-Driven Organization Questions Everything”, we detailed the need for managers to incorporate data and the use of digital information into all discussions within their organizations; and we discussed the need for engaged people to pose the key questions that lead to learning and actionable planning. The same needs for data-fueled discussions, learning and planning, apply to your organization’s customer experience (“CX”) initiatives and program management.
CX is the Newest Competitive Battleground for a Reason
The newest competitive battle is being waged over the experiences your customers and prospects have with you or others. And, while it is critical that you find the way to outperform your competition in that effort to delight customers, it is equally important for your organization to understand that it is also competing to meet the new and changing standards customers are setting. It is no longer good enough to outperform your competition. You must not only do it better. You must do it right. And doing it right requires the ability to measure success.
Measuring the Success of Critical CX Initiatives Requires Data
Organizations correctly see multiple benefits to engaging in CX efforts. Along with building competitive differentiation, organizations seek to improve customer retention (to increase account value), improve customer satisfaction (to increase brand referral), and create or expand the customer relationship (capture new business and increase both up-selling and cross-selling). Success in these areas will spur growth. But success is dependent upon capturing real-time data that reveals customers’ true experiences with your organization, and empowers you to manage change.
Success at “Big Data” Management and CX Can’t Be an “Either/Or” Choice
Your organization’s managers will be competing for resources that employ data to improve performance. Efforts to capture, manage, and analyze the large amounts of data are well intentioned and needed. And managers’ focus on promoting revenue growth through targeted promotions is understandable, because senior management needs to see results from their data analytics investments. But winning at CX does not start and stop with increased up-sell and cross-sell. As stated earlier, customer retention and satisfaction – even new customer capture – are key paths to revenue growth. And to succeed at these efforts, your organization must capture experiential data if it is to adapt its delivery channels and processes to win on the CX battlefield.
CEM Platforms Complement Other Data Capture and Analysis Efforts
Data analytics is a rapidly expanding practice delivering both promises and outcomes. As with all such efforts, managers must work to deliver results, to support further investment. Early data analytics efforts, therefore, have been rightly focused on initiatives that drive revenue growth. Customer retention, like increased cross-selling, equates directly to increased revenue; but improved service delivery and better customer experiences that lead to greater customer satisfaction have less linear paths to the same outcome. Satisfaction matters in many ways: contributes to retention, promotes brand value, draws new customers through referral, and more; but, because its revenue correlation is less direct, it may fall behind the other areas when it comes time to address from a data analytics perspective. But you cannot let this circumstance overrule the work you need to do to capture experiential data to help you win the CX battle.
CEM Software Helps You Monitor Your Company’s Performance.
Many CEM platforms can capture feedback from customer interactions across multiple delivery channels. They provide clear and compelling reports, making it easy to analyze and understand emerging trends and customer issues. CEM software’s analytics and reporting, along with prescriptive tools, facilitate actions that can drive improvement in service response to customer concerns. They promote the use of data to make process and product improvements that solve for emerging issues. When effectively employed CEM software’s capture, analysis, reporting and prescriptive tools can be just as important to monitoring company performance and building company capabilities as any financial accounting, business intelligence or process-management system.
Successful CX Initiatives and Programs are Built Upon Real-Time Data, Appropriately Analyzed and Effectively Acted Upon
Data-driven organizations seeking to implement CX solutions, to compete for service excellence, and to drive growth, should look to CEM software. These platforms can provide the real-time data needed to understand and act upon current, and anticipated, customer interactions. Without capturing and measuring real-time input focused on your customer’s actual experience, you cannot comprehend fully your organization’s success in delivering on its brand promise. In the words of Peter Drucker, “what gets measured, gets managed.” So, data-driven, CX-interested organizations, start measuring.