Think back to your last experience making an online purchase. I trust that in these times, it was not very long ago. I imagine that you experienced a few of these:
- You heard about the brand or retailer somewhere
- You received an order confirmation email immediately
- You had a question about your order and revisited the website or spoke with a customer service agent
Now here’s a question: which of these experiences defines the customer experience? It’s a trick question: the answer is all of the above.
What CX challenges does the typical Australian company face?
The expectations of Australian customers are changing fast, and your customer service arm must be a fast-moving engine to keep up. As our world becomes more connected, your customers expect more touchpoints and real-time interactions with your company. In this landscape, competition for customer retention is fierce.
Fast resolution time is no longer a competitive advantage. Customers expect empathy from your customer service agents, and they want to interact with companies that enact their values, not just shout about them.
For many Australian businesses, this keeping up to maintain a competitive edge can be a significant challenge in this space. If you have a slow response to addressing customer expectations, they can become dissatisfied with your service and their experience and move on to another company.
The pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital technology within all of our lives. Customers have increased the frequency with which they leverage messaging apps and social media to interact with your company. Today’s customers may become frustrated if there is only one method of communication with your company. Even if you are not a digital native, you surely enjoy having options when contacting a company. You may become frustrated if they lack a web enquiry form or even an FAQ page, and you have to call to address your simple question.
Moreover, CX challenges for contact centres also exist within the development and implementation of CX initiatives. You need a holistic view of your CX challenges if your initiatives are to succeed.
Where CX initiatives go wrong
Some companies go wrong with their CX initiatives by conflating customer service with customer experience. In reality, customer service is one slice of the customer experience pie. CX covers the gamut of interactions with your customers, from first hearing about you online to the first time they call your customer service team.
Many companies go for surveys to gauge CX in their business. While surveys are one good method of highlighting where you might improve CX, they are not the only and certainly not the best way to pinpoint areas of improvement. Again, it often goes back to customers’ expectations of service in real-time; surveys capture customer data from the past and do not allow you to improve the customer experience as people interact with your company.
There is also a need for companies to address their internal challenges before trying to fix external problems. For example, if customer service representatives are under-trained or overworked, it can affect CX. So, they need to be resolved internally first before focusing on external aspects of CX initiatives.
“A study by Forrester measured the CX maturity of the survey respondents. Only 31% of them qualified as experience-driven businesses.”
Improve your play with a CX maturity model
CX maturity is a model for measuring the capabilities needed to deliver excellent CX and whether your contact centre meets these; it essentially measures how customer-centric you are. A CX maturity model is a sliding scale, and your organisation will place somewhere on this scale based on the measurements you are succeeding in.
It tracks metrics such as the sophistication of your technology, the skills of your agents and how well you implement customer feedback. Furthermore, it can be a great way to benchmark yourself against your competitors and decide where you need to improve your play.
With 73% of customers citing good CX as a factor in their purchasing decisions, it is crucial that you increase your CX maturity. Marking where you sit on the scale can provide you with the information to target potential areas for improving customer satisfaction and implement them across your organisation.
We have developed our own CX Maturity Assessment to help you get started in this process.
Strategies to overcome CX challenges
Once you have your CX maturity rating, you can leverage some of the strategies below to increase it.
1. Understand your customer base
Your customers will have differences in culture, generational attitudes, economic factors and geographic location, all of which you should consider if your team is to deliver CX with empathy. Your customers will have some of these metrics in common so you can create segmented lists for different types of customers.
2. Capture real-time customer feedback
Many CX challenges, such as unhappy customers and high turnover, can arise from a lack of real-time feedback.
Effective contact centres offer great service and respond to customers’ requests quickly and efficiently – but the contact centre is only as good as the agents responding. So, contact centres need to accurately capture real-time feedback to ensure they give the customer their best.
Capturing real-time customer feedback also helps you enhance training programs, so new hires have a better chance of learning and improving from day one.
3. Regularly gather employee feedback too
Employees are your most valuable asset when it comes to contact centre operations. It is seldom enough to gather their opinions via a yearly review, so you should consider regularly gathering their feedback to gather their ideas on where CX could improve. Your agents are, after all, the ones interacting with customers every day.
4. Create a clear customer experience vision
A successful CX initiative builds on a clear, future-facing vision that guides your business and your team in the right direction. Remember, your customers love companies that stick to their values and deliver on them.
You might ask:
- Is your vision clear?
- Does everyone in your contact centre understand how they contribute towards delivering that customer experience vision?
- What would happen if all of your contact centres understood their role in delivering the overall customer experience strategy.
Remember: Your vision should be something your agents can realistically stick to, and it should be specific.
5. Measure the ROI of your improved customer experience
One of the most important reasons for measuring ROI is to gauge the impact of your CX initiatives. By measuring ROI, you can designate whether particular CX strategies are working and where you might need to place more focus.
There are different ways you can measure your contact centre. For example, you might measure contact centre effectiveness by assessing how well agents communicate with customers and how satisfied customers are at the call’s end. You can also measure contact centre efficiency by assessing how long it took to answer a call during peak periods.
Overcome CX challenges with Premier Contact Point
We can help you measure your CX maturity, find strategies for improving it, and implement the solutions you need to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Our solutions encompass real-time customer reporting, seamless connections between touchpoints, quality assurance, self-service options and omnichannel queueing.
You can complete our CX Maturity Assessment to receive a report with actionable insights for improving CX.