skeleton keys in hand

New to Customer Experience? 3 Keys to Getting Started

4 minute read
Inge De Bleecker avatar
CX programs are, by their nature, designed to be end-to-end and across all channels. This brings special challenges to brands new to CX.

Customer experience (CX) has long been a hot topic. But it gained even more traction over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses evaluated and evolved how they interacted with end users. Today, dedicated customer experience programs and the ability to view the entire end-to-end customer journey across channels have become top-of-mind for almost every B2C brand.

New to Customer Experience? 

For those brands newer to CX programs, there is a special set of challenges. There are the usual suspects, of course, like educating teams and internal clients on the importance of CX, measuring the success of these programs, and proving the ROI over time. These challenges are even more pronounced with CX programs because they are, by their nature, designed to be end-to-end and across all channels. This means CX programs must get buy-in from different teams throughout an organization. What’s more, the CX programs have to align with the specific MBOs and KPIs of these unique teams.

Think about how product, design and engineering teams can be very specifically focused on, for example, the mobile app versus responsive web experience, or how a product's functionality can be the way to break things down. Separate teams may also work on the new member flow, while another works on the loyalty experience. And then think about breaking into the call center teams and the physical stores. For the last one, the divide between the physical component and the digital integration is often an immature area in itself. 

Yet, at the end of the day, the charter of the CX team is to understand and improve the overall customer experience — regardless of whether the customer is interacting online, IVR/call center or in a physical store.

And make no mistake, these experiences matter each and every time and on every channel. According to Salesforce’s 6th Edition State of Marketing report, “eighty-four percent of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.”

So, knowing the value of CX programs and the inherent challenges that will arise, how can organizations make them work?

Related Article: High-Impact Customer Experience Tactics

1. Executive Buy-In at the Highest Levels

This is nothing new, and continues to be crucial to success. For a CX team to reach a number of divisions, they will absolutely need strong support at an executive level that stretches across all those divisions. That means buy-in at the highest levels of the organization is needed to both communicate the value of CX programs and to ensure that each team involved makes CX a priority in their day-to-day roles.

Learning Opportunities

2. There Is Strength in Numbers

A CX team is likely not the only one that has had to deal with the challenges of cross-functional work before. CX leaders should seek out other teams within the company that face similar challenges of working across siloed environments and within departments that have unique goals and needs. One place to look: inclusion and diversity teams are becoming more a part of organizations and may have a charter to raise awareness and evangelize across silos. 

Related Article: The Customer Experience Hierarchy

3. Evangelizing Is a Business

Be very clever about your evangelizing and education strategy. Over time, we've learned that subject matter experts preaching from a soapbox aren't the most effective — especially in our world of short-burst multimedia information sharing.

Take a business-like approach to evangelization campaigns and make a business plan on when and how to communicate to internal audiences. This will also help you show ROI for your team.

Focus on multimedia campaigns that go for short bursts, rather than long sessions. Use visualizations and multimedia to get your point across in two-minute chunks.

Customer experience can make or break a business. And it’s never too late to start. While CX leaders and teams face unique challenges, these can be overcome by partnering at the highest levels of the business and ensuring that the value of CX is communicated throughout the organization.

About the author

Inge De Bleecker

Inge is a customer and user experience leader, consultant and author who helps companies create great experiences across the customer journey with a focus on conversational experiences. Inge established and grew Applause’s CX practice and continues to collaborate with Applause on CX strategy.

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