Five Mistakes That Mess up Your Customer Experience Strategy
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There seems to be no dearth of opinions on how to successfully plan and execute a customer experience (CX) strategy. However, a recent report by Gartner shows that only 22% of CX initiatives have met or exceeded customer expectations. In a world where almost 81% of leaders expect to compete and differentiate solely on the basis of CX…there is a definite cause for concern!
While the jury is still out on what really constitutes a successful customer experience strategy, a careful study of global organisations and their failures provide strong and foolproof insights on what needs to be avoided. Here are the 5 key mistakes organisations need to avoid
1. CX as a tactic…instead of a culture - Thinking of CX as a tactic to win over customers is the biggest mistakes any firm can make. CX is not a tactic…it’s a culture that needs to be embedded deep within an organization and only then will it deliver results. Think about Taj Hotels…a premium hospitality brand which redefines great customer experience for all, to such an extent that even in the face of adversity like the unfortunate 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, almost every employee put the customers’ lives before their own. That happens only when the customer experience DNA is ingrained into every employee.
2. The ‘we know better hubris’ - One of the biggest pitfalls of being a senior leader in a business is that you tend to believe that by virtue of experience (in most case 20+ years) you know exactly what the customer wants. Customer Experience strategy coming from such leadership more often than not misses vital behavioural change triggers which are necessary to be addressed. Need some real world validation? Look at what happened to Blockbuster!
3. Assign the responsibility to one particular person/role (CMO/CDO/CInnO) - Most organisations make the fatal mistake of assigning CX responsibility to a particular designation like the CMO/CDO/CIO etc. This results in CX being put in silo-ed sections of the organisation who don’t have complete visibility into the process and more importantly no ‘veto power’ to reject. The person assigned to this role ends up being a scapegoat for a CX strategy which was bound to fail anyway. Customer Experience needs to be everyone's responsibility and driven top down. Period. Unless the CEO himself believes in Customer Experience and pushes towards giving it the importance it deserves, chances are that it will fail.
4. Waiting for that perfect CX instead of ‘failing fast’ - While different firms have different experience strategies, a lot of firms wait for that perfect customer experience before they go live…and unfortunately that moment never comes. One of the main reasons for Amazon Echo’s success is the fact that they released it into the market and iteratively improved the experience with real inputs from consumers. They didn’t wait for that perfect Alexa experience…and it worked great for them!
5. Not measuring the right metrics - One of the key things about ensuring CX success is to identify and measure the right metrics. More often than not there is a need for course correction in strategy, and without the right metrics it is impossible to identify what is wrong. Metrics need to be identified and measured on priority and kept inline with business objectives. Think about it, measuring NPS helps you understand existing customers, but does it help you find anything about the customers you lost?
Avoiding these common mistakes will surely improve chances of delivering successful CX initiatives. There is no set formula for getting it right. Businesses need to evolve their strategy constantly as consumers and technology change. The trick is to understand the customer, create relevant experiences, test it out, and realign when needed.