ICMI is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Even If Your Customer Experience Isn’t Broken, Fix It

Why not follow the engineer’s motto when it comes to serving customersIf it isn’t broken, take it apart and fix it! If your contact center is working at peak efficiency, here’s your chance to take it to the next levelI know it sounds strange but are you sure you’re delivering the kind of experience your customers expect from your organization? Are you content with your existing CX approach despite significant shifts in what customers expect from organizations today versus a year ago or even a month ago?  

You may think your experience is keeping pace with the dynamic shift in how customers view your organization but if you haven’t asked yourself these questions, perhaps your experience needs a refresh. In a previous article, I talked about how great technology is until it isn’tTechnology is a great enabler for contact centers and both employee and customer experienceBut when it breaks it can quickly become an inhibitor to a better experienceIt can be especially an issue when it fails, and we don’t know about it until our customers tell us.  

Frequently, organizations need a reason to do better such as a competitor invading their marketplace, satisfaction levels taking a dip, contact centers having long hold times, product quality is failing, or customer retention is spiraling downward. If none of these things are happening in your organization, should you sit back and relax and reap the benefits of creating and executing an effective customer experience? I wouldn’t recommend it. 

The reality is your competitors are working twenty-four hours a day looking for a crack in your experience armor. Your customers are actively seeking lower prices, higher quality, new suppliers, faster shipping, better service, and quick responses to their inquiries. They aren’t sitting back, why are you? To be a customer experience leader and stay a customer experience leader, you have to be constantly assessing your market dynamics, your customer expectations, your competitors moves and your employee engagement to avoid complacency and ultimately a loss of revenues and profit.  

Many companies spend days and weeks preparing 1, 3 and 5-year strategic plans. Often these plans are assembled by the greatest minds in an organizationYet many of these plans are rarely looked at beyond the completion and distribution of the reports. As the intensity of the business increases on a daily basis, the plans can be forgotten or tossed aside as if they were a flavor of the week.

Still more concerning, is the lack of leadership discussion on how effective their established experience management strategy has been at improving revenues and profitsLast but not least, if a strategy doesn’t exist, is there a desire to develop and execute one as part of the planning process. Let’s add to this scenario an unending focus on quarterly results, especially in public held entitiesWhen earnings are threatened, out goes the plan and in come the firefightersAll the more reason to get ahead of the game and identify your strengths while addressing your weaknesses before they become a burning platform.  

If you’re going to take this “engineering” approach it’s important to start at the right placeThe right place is a focus on your customers and their expectations of your products and servicesHearing the voice of your customers first during these annual corporate strategic planning rituals ensures your plans are as up to date as possible in meeting their expectations and addressing their concerns. Here are some questions to ask:

  1. Does your customer have a voice in your annual planning process?
  2. Would your customer agree with what you’re planning to do now and in the future?
  3.  Is the customer in agreement that their current experience with your company is a good one? 
  4. When was the last time you evaluated the effectiveness of your CX strategy at delivering the anticipated results you had when you implemented it?
  5.   And speaking of metrics, are your key benchmark measurements performing at a level that adds value to both the organization and the customer?
  6.  Is your technology keeping pace with the way customers want to interact with you?
  7.  Have your websites been analyzed and updated?
  8.  Is your mobile application working as desired to the satisfaction of your customers?
  9.  Are your ancillary services like invoicing, shipping, warehousing, distribution, etc. evaluated for performance against specified customer expectations?
  10.  Are employees fully engaged at delivering a better customer experience? 

Addressing these questions before they become irritants for customers is what I mean by “If your customer experience isn’t broken, fix it”. Continually addressing your processes, systems, technologies, and people ensure your customers’ experience keeps getting better and better with each passing day. Your employees will appreciate your willingness to address issues they have in delivering a better experience as well. By giving them better tools, customer-friendly policies, and the authority to manage the customer relationship from end-to-end promotes higher engagement, lower attrition and happier employees.  

If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a hundred times…CX is a journey, it’s never-ending. I agree. But if it is a journey, why do we sometimes implement and forget about it as if it were on cruise control? When you’re on a journey, you’re constantly monitoring your progress, checking your location, ensuring you have enough supplies to make it to your destination. It’s no different with your CX journey. Creating a stronger, more agile organization that distinguishes itself from the competition starts with a better experience – a better product experience, a better sales experience, a better marketing experience, and so on.  

Taking on a mantra of fixing what isn’t broken, helps challenge the organization to constantly raise the bar of expectations and be ahead of the game rather than playing catch up. So, the next time you decide it’s time to relax and smell the roses, take another look at your customer experience, and make sure “If it isn’t broken, fix it.