Good customer service once meant saying "please" and "thank you" and addressing each person who approached the sales counter by name. But that was before the Internet made e-commerce a fact of life and social media gave every ever-so-slightly annoyed customer the capacity to ruin your brand in 140 characters — or less.
When it comes to obtaining and retaining customers, remembering what you learned in kindergarten really isn't enough anymore. Now it hinges on the effective use of social media and other Internet-based resources, a fact confirmed by a new study from Consero Group, a Bethesda, Md.-based company that specializes in planning and hosting industry-specific conferences.
What's more, Chief Customer Experience Officers will continue to need a variety of new tools and processes to manage the smart consumer effectively and retain customers in a competitive marketplace, Consero CEO Paul Mandell told CMSWire.
Secrets to Great Customer Experiences
Life isn't easy for CCOs — and it isn't any better for members of customer experience (CX) teams. According to the Spring 2014 Customer Experience Data Survey Consero released today, the demands on CX departments are ever increasing.
More companies recognize the importance of positive customer experience to overall success. But even though budgets and staff sizes are increasing in many firms, many CX executives still lack sufficient resources to run their departments well, Mandell said.
Even worse, an overwhelming majority (84 percent) of CCOs have no accurate way to measure the return on investment (ROI) of their social media policies. "This is a significant issue because it's critical for those involved with customer experience to understand exactly what works and what doesn't so they can make the most of their money," Mandell added.
The survey was developed in connection with an invitation-only event hosted by Consero in March for customer experience executives from Fortune 1000 companies. While only 51 executives participated in the survey, Mandell claims the answers still "provide valuable insight into the perspective and concerns of this group of senior corporate executives."
Justifying Their Existence
Customer experience, as a business function, is newer and less entrenched in corporate culture than, say, legal and finance departments. So CCOs have to work harder to justify investments of time and money. More importantly, they have to learn to take advantage of every tool and data source available to demonstrate that they are using corporate resources wisely, Mandell said.
That's not happening yet: 54 percent concede they still haven't started to use big data to improve their customer experience strategy. "Companies that can figure out how to use big data effectively will be in great shape," he added.
Infographic created exclusively for CMSWire by Jackie Jordan. Title image by Noreen Seebacher.