Whiskey & CX – Speaker Series 2020, Nashville!
ibex Financial's first Speaker Series of 2020 = VICTORY
Most organizations will look back on 2020 as a time of intense upheaval in all aspects of business. COVID-19 has rapidly accelerated shifts in consumer habits and technology that were already happening before the pandemic, forcing companies to quickly rethink their customer experience (CX) programs.
Over the last year, we’ve seen a greater shift to cashless transactions with physical currency being linked to potential virus spread. We’ve watched bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies skyrocket in popularity as an appealing alternative for investors. And when it comes to CX, we’re observing a rapid shift toward an end-to-end digital experience that accommodates the expectations of the 37% of customers who prefer to meet core consumer needs while staying home.
Months into rolling lockdowns, stringent public health measures and widespread virus fear, organizations are facing a future in which uncertainty will be the only constant. If you’re looking ahead and wondering how your CX can keep up with the pace of change, you’re not alone. Let’s take a look at some strategic ways you can make sure you’re equipped to rapidly understand and adapt to ongoing CX disruption.
Developing the strengths of your team is one of the most effective ways to future-proof your organization’s CX program. The best way to do that is to ensure an integrated, customer-centric approach to recruiting, training and operations. When your approach is coordinated, you can infuse every level of the organization with a strong customer focus. And you can ensure your teams have the appropriate skills and mindset to deliver on customer expectations as they evolve.
Building a strong customer focus could involve asking every candidate, regardless of role, interview questions designed to evaluate their level of customer orientation. Or it could mean giving staff in every part of the organization access to customer interactions so they can better understand their needs and challenges in real time.
In addition, implementing closed feedback loops between and across teams can help you make ongoing process improvements and calibrations, while developing the right people for the right roles. Delivering a strong customer experience can, in turn, strengthen your recruitment activities, helping you attract the best and brightest talent to your organization.
Putting digital tools into the hands of your team is non-negotiable if you want to create more positive customer experiences and connections.
For employees to truly understand your customers, they need direct, easy access to customer insights through a central dashboard. In addition, automating CX-related tasks and information – through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology, for example – can empower your team to be more effective in their roles. Leveraging an AI-powered chatbot to field quick-resolution customer queries lets customer service agents focus their skills on more complex issues and complaints. Plus, unlocking access to robust customer data allows employees to deliver the highly personalized experience today’s consumers expect.
Delivering a robust digital experience improves the experience on the customer side, too. When it comes to the contact center, more and more customers prefer to use self-serve options and communicate through digital channels. Above all else, customers value a quick and frictionless process – an experience that can only be achieved through a seamless digital solution. Having digital systems in place allows you to meet customers where they are and more nimbly adapt to change in the future.
Employee satisfaction and strong CX go hand in hand. When employees are engaged and happy, they’re more likely to be invested in the success of customers and the company. But how can leaders develop an engaged, customer-centric culture? On top of hiring the right people and giving them the best tools to do their jobs well, leaders have to inspire connection to the brand and belief in its purpose. The strength of your brand is just as important internally as it is for customer-facing channels. The brand story and values should infuse every interaction with employees, and leaders should give as much thought to the employee experience as they do to the customer one.
We also equip our agents and supervisors with coaching and performance tracking technologies, to ensure every employee has the resources and knowledge they need to deliver accurate and timely customer experiences. Of course, making the employee experience a priority only happens when managers are on board with consistently nurturing engagement, performance and recognition. Actively measuring the connection between employee engagement and CX can help motivate managers to understand the value of a strong corporate culture and how it correlates to customer satisfaction.
If social media is one of the main ways that customers interact with your brand, it’s worth considering how employee advocacy on social channels can strengthen your organic reach, while improving both employee and customer engagement. Social media advocacy can take a few different forms, from promoting your products to sharing brand content to celebrating your company culture.
This kind of reputation building can help with issues management and even result in stronger customer retention. That’s because it provides current and potential customers with a new entry point into your brand, boosting your reach, reputation and revenue.
Business leaders are getting used to the idea of continually adapting their processes to accommodate emerging customer expectations, preferences, habits and spending patterns. That requirement—to continually pivot and transform to keep customers happy—becomes a whole lot easier when organizations already have a deeply customer-centric culture. Organizations that are primarily product- or sales-driven will be constantly stumbling as they race to keep up with what customers want. Those that align the entire company culture with customers’ evolving needs, across all levels of the organization, will cultivate that philosophy in their strategy, operating model and employees for far greater long-term success.
ibex Financial's first Speaker Series of 2020 = VICTORY
Learn how we help blue chips & new economy clients to rethink & redesign their customer experience.
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