A company often lives or dies by how its brand is perceived by its customers, as well as by other businesses. Valuing the reputation of your company is vital to its success, so ensuring you have happy customers is a make or break activity. However, what your customers perceive your brand to be must be realistic, honest and appealing for all.
For example, car maker Volvo has its Volvo Vision 2020 strategy. It’s public-facing vision is to reduce the number of people that die or are seriously injured in road traffic accidents to zero – predominantly making Volvo the safest car brand on the road.
>See also: AI’s impact on customer experience
Protecting and caring for people is at the heart of the philosophy of Volvo. It has pushed this ethos across the whole business, putting the experience of the customer in owning and using its product at the forefront of it activities.
So, what do businesses have to do in order to make customer experience central to their efforts?
Many companies are unaware of how to deliver customer experience well, and work this around what the customer expects. Gaining an understanding of your audience is essential to delivering good customer service and experience.
You have to know what the customer wants, how to make the customer happy, and how to fix any problems. Also, you have to look at the best way to reach all audiences and ages in your target market.
For example, cloud provider Rackspace has rolled out a new innovative customer service support pledge called The Fanatical Support Promise.
It promises that all staff across the business will deliver a premium customer experience across five factors: responsiveness, ownership, resourcefulness, expertise and transparency. It means that every employee should be “fanatical” about keeping customers happy and satisfied with all the services that Rackspace provides.
This is a great way to measure customer satisfaction through customer experience metrics. It also outlines what a customer can expect in terms of resolution if they feel the company has fallen short.
Measuring performance and satisfaction is a critical tool for companies, as these metrics can flag where clear improvements are needed.
However, many companies tend to take a one-and-done approach when designing these measurement systems, deciding to design these tools without properly re-evaluating them. As long as they garner responses and the scoring remains good, often they are left alone and fail to evolve the scope of what is being measured.
To ensure that customer experience metrics are useful and efficient, we must frequently re-evaluate how we look at metrics. This should be an evolutionary tool that helps us understand the customer experience for overall success, not as just a necessary action to tick off. As well as prioritising customer experience metrics, businesses need to focus on predictive customer experience.
By leveraging deep insights and data analytics, it is possible to predict changes in customer behaviour and anticipate customer needs. Being proactive in helping customers get to their desired outcome can only benefit reputation as well as support positive customer experience.
Many customer experience journeys are damaged through simple tasks, like the use of inefficient technology. Often customer experience is associated with operations. If we take the communications sector as an example, this traditionally has been a reaction to network faults or equipment failures.
Although these faults can cause distress, customer experience can still be positive based on the speed of response to fixing issues, and the ease with which an issue can be reported and queried.
Moreover, it is where analytics can play a major role in anticipating issues and potential equipment faults. Addressing them before they create a customer experience flashpoint can not only improve your reputation for reliability, it can cut support costs too.
Focusing more on the experience customers have using your products and services, as well as their experience interacting with your organisation, will result in more meaningful outcomes. It will also build stronger relationships and greater customer loyalty.
Sourced by Keri Gilder, vice president and EMEA general manager of Ciena
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