CX Challenges of Today
To get the negative out of the way, it is important to acknowledge that CX is still not great. There are a lot of challenges that the field has been and continues to face as companies learn just how important it is to understand what their customers are thinking and feeling holistically.
In the past few years, CX as a discipline has not improved much. From surveys carried out by Forrester, around:
- 45% of CX professionals cite a lack of collaboration as their biggest obstacle to transforming customer experience within their organizations. This problem still persists, as this number has only increase 9% since 2017.
- 31% of CX professionals cite a lack of a customer-centric culture as their biggest obstacles to spreading CX within their companies.
- 27% of CX professionals cite not having a clear CX strategy and/or vision as their biggest challenge to improving CX within their organizations.
What is holding CX back?
The best way to look at this is by inverting the problem - so what causes the challenges described above?
Our guest speaker, Faith Adams of Forrester describes 5 key causes:
- CX as a discipline remains in silos.
- Companies do not put the customer at the center of their operations.
- Companies do not know where to begin with their CX strategy.
- Companies just focus on technology as a solution for customer experience.
- Companies are afraid of change.
What is a company to do about it?
Unify teams & processes
The first problem is one of process, and perhaps the most taxing. Each different team in a company - be it Product, Growth, Data & Analytics or Customer Service - has its own priority. They gather their own data and carry their own analysis, and make decisions on this basis. With this autonomy, comes a few issues. Companies must bring together disparate feedback sources and unify all the vital data to get a holistic understanding of their customers.
This unified view delivers more punch than siloed views, given that it results in lower costs and risks as data collection and aggregation becomes more systematic, as well as increased consistency in how teams collect and measure feedback data. These efforts combined drive systemic CX changes across all teams, which result in better business results over time.
Put the customer at the center of every decision
The second is a problem of strategy. Some teams might have the customer in the center of their analytical and decision-making processes. However, others might not. Naturally, it is positive to have teams carrying about and operating for the customer. That has been a consistent signal of business success and sustainability. But if some teams do not follow this ethos and strategy, then the company suffers. Where does one begin to deal with this challenge? It all starts with understanding. It is crucial for companies to understand how not to get their organisation in the way of excellent customer experience analysis. To do so, companies must make intentional efforts to understand stakeholders’ wants, needs and goals, and measure the best approach against the ones they have been currently employing. On top of that, it is important to assess the work being done by more mature and advanced organisations, as a benchmark of how we could be strategizing.
Start with the low hanging fruit
Thirdly, many companies have the problem of not knowing how to reignite their CX efforts. The best course of action for these organisations is to start with the information that’s already being collected. One of these great sources is contact centers. Therefore, companies could make contact center data the focal point given that it houses a lot of data about the challenges customers are facing and showcases a lot about the kind of customer experience that companies are delivering.
Empower and leverage your people
The fourth problem is one of priorities. Many companies go straight to technology to solve all of their CX woes. At the end of the day, a combination between people, process and technology is required to solve customer experience problems. To be successful, CX professionals must connect CX improvement efforts to what is important to their executives and tap into those “C-suite hot buttons”. By doing this, professionals are able to build and maintain that support that the best-in-class voice of the customer programs have. One must also be able to identify internal disruptors to this process, and turn them into VoC and CX “champions”, leveraging their desire to change and incentivising them to become the company’s advocates. That way, these advocates can get stakeholders on board and spread the necessary culture of customer-centricity across the firm.
The key takeaway here is to make the most of where support already exists, tapping into the power of psychology and incentives when it comes to the right people, in order to drive engagement and action from there.
Finally, the fifth problem speaks to people’s lack of flexibility and unwillingness to change. Building and maintaining a best-in-class CX program takes time, and during that time, lots will change. So a prerequisite for excellence here is being comfortable with change.
In order to make others comfortable with change, Adams proposes teams to:
(1) Share data and analytics via storytelling, to really captivate and get stakeholders on board.(2) Enable and empower employees to become advocates of their CX programs and truly foster the necessary customer-focused culture.(3) Continue to take a look in the mirror and be honest with yourself, by consistently reviewing and assessing what is and is not working, and adjusting the strategy accordingly to avoid these five challenges.
To learn more about what was discussed at our webinar, please check the slides below: