Even before COVID-19 hit, the CX world was changing fast. Companies were already investing heavily in digital transformation to become more efficient and flexible. At the same time, customers were increasingly demanding a convenient, seamless and emotionally engaging experience across multiple online and offline channels. In this article, I share simple techniques of how to improve customer experience in the new normal.
The social and economic disruption of the pandemic has accelerated these trends. We are seeing significant shifts in what customers value and expect from the companies they interact with. As it’s a complex situation, we can’t simply assume that COVID-19 has affected all customers in the same way.
For example, some customers, particularly those in vulnerable groups, may now be more driven by factors such as convenience and health and safety. For others, the pandemic has highlighted ethical issues around inequality and the environment, and they are increasingly seeking out companies with a strong purpose and social mission. Many have been adversely affected financially and are looking for practical advice and emotional support.
These expectations will continue to change. That’s why the best way to improve CX in this new normal is to continually track your CX metrics. Then, you can adjust your CX efforts to take account of the current pulse of your customers.
Here are three effective ways to track your CX:
Conduct regular customer surveys
In these uncertain times, you really need to keep asking your customers what they think about your CX and what you should be doing differently to meet their changing needs. You can’t just make assumptions about this – you need the data. It’s essential to survey your customers regularly and adjust your strategy to take account of what you learn.
Collect Omni-channel data
Not all customers will answer a survey (although there are plenty of ways you can incentivise them to do so). What’s more, surveys are only one source of customer information. You should also collect data about your sales, in-store traffic, website visits, marketing campaign responses, and social media engagement for informative clues and a more holistic picture of your CX performance.
It’s also important to track your entire customer journey map. This can answer a lot of questions. For example, are you losing online customers at the checkout point because your delivery fees are too high or are they frustrated with your delivery time slots?
Connect the dots
Many businesses collect lots of customer information. But, that data is only valuable if it’s co-ordinated and easily accessible. That way, you can analyse all your data and turn your insights into useful and profitable CX actions.
Finally, keep your CX management agile. External events are still moving fast; for example, at some point, we’re likely to see a return to more in-person activities, such as shopping, eating out and live events. It’s always worth bearing in mind that the customer data you collect in the weeks and months ahead is likely to be vastly different to the feedback you’re getting right now.