Customer experience (CX) is currently in the middle of a tech boom. Changing customer trends drive the rise in modernizing ways to deliver what most customers want: a more personalised service. One expert can’t put it any more concisely: CX should ‘differentiate, not commoditize,’ ‘personalise, not over-automate.’
It’s easy to think that CX is a big-company thing, but that can’t be further from the truth. In a survey of over 4,000 startups, those that have enjoyed fast growth put customer service at the heart of their business strategies. They also use close to three times as many support tools as their lagging competitors.
Startups should all the more employ a sound CX strategy to help them grow out of the difficult part of running a business. This comprehensive guide for startups will discuss the key elements of a CX strategy, the necessary features in the tools, and how to put the strategy into action.
The Winning Formula
Business experts have their take on the things that comprise a winning CX strategy. However, putting them together boils down to four elements.
- Customer – self-explanatory for the most part, the customer should be the core of any CX strategy, especially sustaining customer loyalty
- Agent – arguably just as important as the customer, agents should have access to the right tools and skills to contribute to the customer experience strategy
- Commitment – businesses must commit to improving their services and keeping the quality consistent across the board
- Data – a strategy is only as good as the information it has to work with, so effective data gathering and analysis is crucial
It’s impossible to have a CX strategy in place if one of these elements is missing. A startup may have the right people and tools for the job, but it won’t matter if it doesn’t have the all-important customer in mind. Similarly, a startup may have the customer’s best interests at heart, but a lack of data means it can’t fulfil its obligations.
Tools Of The Trade
Given that the CX management market was worth USD$8.29 billion in 2019 and is expected to almost triple by 2027, CX is crucial to businesses. They’re investing in the necessary hardware, software, and training to execute their strategies.
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Modern technology has allowed CX suites to integrate various essential functions, making them an all-in-one solution. They’ve also grown more user-friendly, enabling teams with little or zero technical experience to use them to the fullest. With these advances, even startups can give the big companies a run for their money.
While there are many CX suites to choose from, the right one should have at least some of the following features:
- Inventory Management – monitoring the current stock of goods and tracking and creating tickets for customer grievances
- Web Content Management – delivering quality content through multiple channels like the website, mobile apps, social media, etc.
- Workflow Optimisation – identifying aspects of business processes that need changes or improvements
- Marketing Optimisation – creating various personalised experiences in promoting the business’s products and services
- Analytics – collecting and tracking real-time data to help in formulating insights and making informed decisions
Relying on technology is no longer an option in this fast-paced world. But as mentioned at the start of this piece, CX strategies should be distinct and keep the human agent relevant. Business owners should take time to think about what makes their strategy stand out from the competition and how they can offer a more personalised experience. (5)
From Plan to Action
Drawing up the best possible plan is one thing, but putting it into practice is another. A team can keep on talking about the most effective ways to promote their products and services or address issues. But will they remain just ideas, never to get off the drawing board?
Executing CX strategies requires commitment on the business’s part, fully understanding what it plans to do and why it would do so in the first place. A supermarket announces that it will allow customers to bring their plastic containers to reduce waste. It may not result directly in a spike in sales, but it speaks volumes in improving its CX (which will improve sales in its own way).
Technology will be an immense help, but its purpose is only to provide the means to draft a plan. Business owners must be confident about taking the next step, no matter the risks involved.
There’s no doubt that CX will get a boost from state-of-the-art solutions, especially in an era where it’s no longer optional. However, to bring out their fullest potential, the end-user must have the correct mindset.