5 tips to creating a winning customer experience initiative

  • Two-thirds of organizations have a formal customer experience initiative.

  • Customer enhancement calls for changes that can stand the test of time.

  • 46 percent say initiatives need to reflect the “voice of the customer.”

In the last few years, contact center experts have conveyed one insistent message: improve customer experience or risk losing business to the competition. So, it’s no surprise that, according to Nemertes’ 2015 Contact Center Operations Benchmark, a full two-thirds of organizations now have a formal customer experience initiative, with another six percent planning to launch one this year.

Nemertes’ benchmark data reveals five key ways to improve your experience when creating a customer experience initiative:

Make it a formal initiative.

Improving the customer experience is neither the result nor the responsibility of only one person, team, or even department. Improving the customer experience requires time, commitment, and staffing. This should be a formal, continual initiative rather than an ad hoc project.

Get senior leadership on board early.

For best results, it is recommended that a senior-level leader spearhead the customer experience initiative from the beginning. Senior leaders are more likely to have the authority to push for budget and procedural changes required to implement initiatives. Nemertes’ benchmark identified a positive correlation between the success of a customer experience initiative and the participation of executive-level leaders on the team.

Get everyone involved at different levels.

Create a structured customer experience team that listens to input from different departments. One director explains how his organization has a “dedicated customer experience department that acts as a hub. Others allow anyone from the organization to submit ideas and recommendations to their own customer experience hubs.” This provides a balanced approach to your initiatives with input from all departments.

Don’t forget the customer.

Forty-six percent of operations leaders say their customer experience initiatives need to further involve the “voices of the customers.” Don’t become so hyper-focused on what you think customers need that you fail to acknowledge what customers actually want. Whatever you’ve got in place to gather this information (e.g., surveys, analytics tools, etc.), use it.

Analyze the initiative, not just the customer experience.

Don’t become so fixated on looking outward at the customer experience that you forget to look inward at the effectiveness of your initiative. Remember to begin with the end in mind: establish a set of end goals up front, create standards by which to measure progress towards achieving those goals, and then analyze initiative performance against those standards.

Enhancing the customer experience isn’t so much about how quickly you can change, but about how effective your changes are and whether a company’s commitment to customer service stands the test of time. These five tips can help you create a successful initiative for long-term improvements.

Lisa Durant is a Research Analyst at Nemertes Research. She has written this guest post for the Networking Exchange Blog; all opinions are her own.


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