woman holding her chin looking up
PHOTO: Tachina Lee

I recently spent some time rereading various articles and blog posts I’ve written over the last five or so years on the subject of the evolving customer experience. It can be interesting to revisit your ideas, thoughts and observations on a topic and discover which ones have evolved, and which ones have stood the test of time.

One thing that struck me was how half a dozen words popped up on a regular basis, even though the articles were written over a five-year span: holistic, frictionless, seamless, flow, questions and tasks.

As we move forward into 2021 and beyond, these six words can provide a guideline for those of us in customer experience leadership positions, especially when thinking of ways to innovate and deliver the optimal experience for our customers.

6 Words for CX Leaders to Remember

Let’s take look at each word in a bit more detail:

  1. Holistic: A holistic viewpoint expresses the idea that systems should be viewed as a whole, not merely as a collection of parts. In terms of the customer experience this means that you need to develop an empathic approach and understand that, from the customer's perspective, every interaction is with one company or brand, not with disparate systems within that company. Customers don't look at your company as different functional silos, and neither should you. The customer experience should be designed, implemented and managed so that every part interacts with the next to deliver a complete experience at every stage of the customer's journey.
  2. Frictionless: That journey should be achieved with minimal difficulty; in other words, it should be as effortless as possible. Friction in the experience just causes irritation and dissatisfaction.
  3. Seamless: To be fully effective, you need to provide a customer experience that combines many different experiences, processes, and systems in such a way that customers won't encounter any obstacles as they are passed from one system to another.
  4. Flow: Information about the customer — including account status, history, and interests, including products they use or are considering using — should move in a steady, continuous stream from system to system. This can be achieved using well-designed bridges and APIs.
  5. Questions: Invariably, customers reach out because they have questions about your products or services. This can occur at any point in the customer journey. You need to think like a customer, so you can understand and anticipate the questions they ask and then provide the right content to answer those questions in the right context.
  6. Tasks: At the end of the day, the customer experience is about one thing: helping your customers achieve the tasks they need to complete to make their lives easier.

Taking note of these six points and acting on them will help you listen to your customers, understand your customers, help your customers, and, in short, deliver a better customer experience.