With 2014 just a little over halfway behind us, it’s an ideal moment to step back and take a big-picture view of customer experience management as a discipline, to see what forces are coming together to influence customer expectations and best business practices for driving loyalty.
Without a doubt, technology continues to provide both the incentive and the tools to improve customer service across all channels.
Consumers are usually faster to try, adopt and master new technologies than businesses are. Few organizations were prepared for the mobile explosion, and even now, several years into the “smart device” age, many are still catching up to what consumers have come to expect.
It’s not just the mobile platforms themselves that merit attention. Because of them, consumers have grown accustomed to new habits and behaviors – swiping and tapping instead of pointing and clicking, cameras that do much more than snap a photo, and thumbprint-based identification, to name a few.
Suddenly, a typical ATM interface feels about as sleek, sophisticated and modern as an Atari.
This shift in customer expectations and behaviors outside the walls of your business is one of this year’s major motivators to be proactive in improving the customer experience.
On the other side of the technology coin, though, is data. All of these interactions across the different channels produce an abundance of information that enterprises can use to identify, measure, and track the key drivers of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Leadership and shareholders alike are beginning to see voice of the customer research as a must-have, enabling them to turn all this data into action steps like customized employee education programs and initiatives to align the organization’s sales approach with the overall culture.
Basically, they are realizing what we at CSP have touted for decades: The better the understanding of the customer at the enterprise level, the better equipped the enterprise is to deliver the optimal experience at every touchpoint.
It seems simple, but it takes the right combination of tools, resources and expertise to create the bridge from research to results. While the marketplace at large is showing more proactive interest in the voice of the customer, there’s still a lot of room for improvement over the rest of this year and beyond.