Forrester found that while most companies pride themselves on their forward-thinking, customer-first experiences, only 11 percent of consumers actually think companies succeed.
So that means 89 percent of companies are not differentiating themselves from their competitors in one of the very few ways that a business can stand out nowadays.
And of course, if you’re not standing out from your competitors — or if, worst of all, you deliver a bad-to-mediocre customer experience, consumers know they’re spoiled for choice, and they’re happy to take their dollars and their devotion elsewhere, quick as a click of the mouse.
Poor service experience has driven 64 percent of consumers away from a company — and once you lose a customer, six times out of ten, you’re not getting them back.
But when you get it right, you can hit the hat trick: increase customer satisfaction by 20 percent, lift revenue by up to 15 percent, and lower the cost of customer service by as much as 20 percent.
So what does that mean, if not that companies need to prioritize customer experience (CX). Unfortunately, the companies that make the CX pledge don’t go far enough. To be truly successful, CX needs to be a company-wide priority, living at every level from the top down.
Here are the four key, essential steps for infusing CX as a value and a priority into the DNA of your company.
1. Unite your employees behind a CX vision
What’s your customer experience vision? What’s the experience that you want your customers to have at every touchpoint? Your CX vision has to inspire your employees and be a guide for all their actions. Without guidelines, you’re dealing with inconsistent, unpredictable CX metrics and ideals — or in other words, poor to middling CX.
And get your employees involved in the vision, too. Show them how everyone fits in, along the customer journey, ask for feedback and insight from those in the trenches, and rely on employees to help develop solutions to issues that customer feedback surfaces.
2. Solve problems quickly and offer self-help options
Speed and convenience on the customer’s end is what matters when it comes to solving customer issues — and that resolution should happen on the very first try. You need to make sure your customers can reach you in whatever channel they prefer, whether that’s online, mobile, on the phone, in messenger apps, or an easy-to-access self-help database. You need to put the decision in their hands, making them feel empowered from the first moment they decide they need to contact you for any reason.
3. Provide consistent, personalized experiences
All those channels that you’ve provided to your customers to reach you? It’s essential to ensure that each and every one of them offers the same experience. Gather all these touch points under one leader, in your organization, and make sure you’re present in each and every one of those channels. And most important of all, personalize every customer contact to the fullest extent possible, leveraging individual as well as historical customer data to make every experience as smooth and well-tailored to their needs and interests as possible.
4. Measure CX to improve and iterate
How are you doing now? And what do you want to look like in the future? If you’re not starting right out of the gate with the metrics you want to hit, and what the ground floor looks like, then you’ll never achieve the heights you want to reach — as well as zero in on repeatable successes.
Collect feedback from inside and outside your organization, keep on top of the issue with dashboards and reports, and act on that feedback immediately, once you’ve identified areas that could stand a little improvement. And while you’re bringing your company up to speed, and launching it rocket-powered the rest of the way, keep your customers informed about the process, so you know that you take their concerns, and their patronage, seriously.
This post originally appeared on Venturebeat