The Gist

  • To composable or not to composable. DXPs and composable platforms are popular choices for organizations, but composable platforms may not be the best choice for smaller organizations with niche use cases.
  • EX meets CX, again. Employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction are interlinked and should be measured and monitored together to boost company growth.
  • Technical CX chops. Both technical skills and soft skills are equally important in the CX realm and a team-based approach can facilitate hands-on experience and peer-to-peer engagement.
  • Better CX for B2B. Maintaining customer contact is essential for B2B interactions, and companies should take deliberate steps to create a better CX.

For companies, particularly smaller ones, ensuring every necessary action is taken to support customer experience and perform well can be a challenge. While generating profits is the primary objective, there are other factors that contribute to a company's success.

Recently, the correlation between employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) has been recognized as a crucial aspect, for instance. Creating a seamless CX also impacts other key areas such as adapting to new digital innovations and recognizing the importance of both technical and soft skills.

We shared these and other tips in some recent CX Decoded podcast. The podcast publishes twice a month and features customer experience and marketing thought leaders.

Here are five important tips for crafting strong customer experiences as we wind down the first quarter of the business year: 

Choose a Digital Experience Platform That's Right for You

In CMSWire’s most recent podcast, A Deep Dive Into the Power of DXPs and the Road Ahead, the discussion focuses on composable DXPs. DXPs have become increasingly popular in recent years. Even more recently, organizations have started using composable platforms. The popularity of composable platforms doesn’t mean they’re always the best choice.

What’s the best way to go about choosing?

In short, composable platforms can work well with larger organizations that are juggling multiple tools. However, it shouldn’t automatically be assumed as the first choice for smaller organizations.

Dave O’Flanagan of Sitecore explains his thinking on the subject. “So in composable, sometimes in a best of breed martech stack, it's very much big, big pieces of software that live alongside each other,” he said. O’Flanagan added, “the power of composable, right, is being able to make those choices that serve whatever the need of your individual business is, because pre-composing a bunch of that together fits a pretty broad range of brands and organizations. But it doesn't necessarily cater to folks who have, you know, really niche use cases.”

Related Article: What's Your Definition of a Digital Experience Platform?

Listen to Employees, Apply Knowledge of EX Satisfaction to CX

In the podcast Diana Brown on Customer Experience Meets Employee Experience, the VP of sales operations and CX at XPO joined the podcast for the discussion.

Employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction are interlinked and should be measured and monitored together. In short, the podcast focuses on how interlinked EX and CX are for company growth. CX is, of course, extremely important for gaining customers and maintaining customer loyalty. EX helps this field as well; a healthy EX helps boost employee loyalty since it helps employees be more proud and interested in their jobs. A good EX culture also listens to employees since many of them have ideas on boosting CX.

Brown stated a similar idea: “the focus on customers has to start with employees, recognizing the importance of the customer to our organization, and how they are our engine of growth.”

Related Article: Win-Win: Address Employee Experience for Better Customer Experience

Customer Experience Management: Value Teamwork, Implement Hard, Soft Skills

Joining this podcast was Tom DeWitt, director of the CX Management program at MSU.

DeWitt in the podcast Tom DeWitt on Team-Based CX Learning encourages a team-based approach that facilitates hands-on experience and peer-to-peer engagement. He also expresses concern that jobs classified as CX frequently are not related to that at all.

Dewitt dives into the team-based approach he uses at MSU in his customer experience management master's program. “The reality is you can learn so much from other people. And that's what team-based learning is about — introducing people to multiple sources," he says.

When asked about technical skills vs. soft skills, DeWitt replied that both were equally important. “I think you’ve got to have both, right?" he asks. "They're both equally important, because there are tons of organizations out there that have customer personas, they've got journey maps, they've got all these things, but there's not an understanding of what to do with them or to reinforce across the organization why the organization is focused on customer experience management.”

Learning Opportunities

Related Article: Take a Teams-Based Approach to the Hybrid Workplace

Improve B2B Interactions and Boost Customer Loyalty

Jim Tincher, Heart of the Customer’s founder and CEO and journey mapper-in-chief, emphasized in the podcast Jim Tincher on Doing B2B CX Better the importance of maintaining customer contact, even after transactions have been completed. Tincher mentions that in his past position, he “created a CX role to help the organization really adopt the customer view.” As a result, he states, “we led the nation in sales. We also led the nation in churn, and not just in sheer numbers, but in the percentage of customers, 9% of customers every year canceled their accounts."

Tincher also discusses four actions that separate change-makers from hopefuls. More of these details can be found in the podcast as well as in his book, “Do B2B Better.”

These actions include:

  • Start with a conversation with finance
  • Identify through data what emotions matter
  • Bring in the behavioral, operational and financial data into the analysis
  • Use deliberate change management

When discussing CX loyalty, Tincher describes a flywheel (also in his book): “It is that step one — we invest in a customer experience improvement. Step two, that customer experience improves, follows. Step three, customers become more emotionally engaged, so that step four, they buy more, stay longer, interact ... . And step five, the company gets stronger. So there's more money to go to step one again and repeat the whole thing.”

Related Article: Are You Creating the Best B2B Buyer Customer Experience?

Take Note of Main Channels Your Customers Feel Comfortable Using

Michelle Pacynski, vice president of digital innovation at Ulta Beauty, joins the podcast Digital Innovation Through the Lens of Beauty. Pacynski has inspired much of the company’s digital transformation in the past few years.

First, she discusses the debate on whether native apps are a good idea for companies to create. "One of the benefits of the mobile apps is just how efficient and easy the experience can be because you can easily remain signed in so that all of your information is available," she says. "And it makes for a really seamless checkout.” However, she acknowledges that mobile apps aren’t for everyone and that Ulta’s webpage and app are both popular.

As for “phygital,” (digital and physical combined), Pacynski elaborates by comparing it to “omnichannel.” As she states: “Guests that are engaging with us both in our physical stores and then digital channels….So omnichannel is those guests that are engaging with us across all of the channels that we show up in.” These innovations as well as “phygital” progress can help companies grow. 

Conclusion: CX Is a Team Effort

In short, there’s a slew of actions your company can take to boost success, CX and customer loyalty. These actions include working on anything from apps to listening to employee feedback.

While perhaps not all of these are intuitive, they could easily help boost your company’s success with some extra attention to customer experience management and the tools, strategies and processes that help get you there.