Where to Start with Customer Experience Optimization
Authored by Tamara Gruzbarg
Customer-centricity Is The New “It” Term, But…
Customer experience optimization is a frequently stated goal of modern customer-centric organizations. You hear about it across industries: leaders of marketing, technology, product, and operations functions (to name just a few) often consider it as one of their main KPIs.
However, is there an agreement about the definition of customer experience, and, more specifically, how to measure baseline experience and ongoing improvements? Without this understanding, “customer experience optimization” remains a catch-all term, not providing any meaningful business impact.
Any organization that truly wants to be invested in customer experience needs to answer these three questions first:
- Who owns CX in our organization?
- How is the current state measured and how are improvements tested?
- How are the results of these tests evaluated, shared, and rolled out?
CX, by definition, is a cross-functional responsibility within any organization. A customer does not care that website KPIs are different from email KPIs, that online and offline divisions have separate P&Ls, or that content creators get their information from different sources than marketers. With that in mind, it is imperative to establish a truly cross-functional process to manage CX—either through a formal organizational structure or through a well-represented CX committee. Members of this team or committee should ideally have access to centralized customer data and be able to measure the current state of customer experience.
CX measurement should include overarching KPIs, as the “North Star” for the entire organization to focus on. Many options, such as retention rate, NPS score, and revenue per customer, exist depending on the type of business the company is in. However, it is also important to establish a link between function-specific KPIs (email engagement, frequency of visits to the store, time on site, etc.) that help each and every member of the organization to understand how their specific efforts impact CX. After all, good CX is the sum total of all customer interactions. Behind the scenes, it’s people, systems, technology, and processes that enable and power those experiences.
Build testing into your earliest efforts at CX transformation. This helps refine future iterations of your strategy. Just as important, it helps demonstrate the business value of this new approach to key decision-makers—critical in winning their buy-in to scale customer experience initiatives across all your activities.
I worked with one brand that established a cross-functional team that ensures every CX strategy has a specific KPI goal, every test is set-up appropriately, and all results are transparent to key stakeholders. This helped turn an academic exercise into a powerful tool to drive the business.
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