November 28, 2016 | Jason Veenker

Like golf, there are 3 key components for improving your CX game


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CX and golf

I’m a horrible golfer. Despite there being a golf course that shares my name, there is no metaphysical transcendence happening that improves my game. Regardless of how many rounds I take a swing at, I’m not getting any better. And I know why — I haven’t taken a disciplined approach to getting better at golf. I don’t do the things I know are necessary to truly get better, including perfecting my swing (process), choosing the right gear (technology), and enlisting a golf pro with plenty of experience (expertise).

The same could be said for 71% of organizations failing to improve their customer experience. And while I don’t necessarily have to get better at golf to survive, businesses that expect to compete on customer experience must get it right. According to a Gartner report, a whopping 89% of companies are competing mostly on the basis of customer experience, while CX is set to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

Simply put, CX isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. And much like improving your golf game, three core components must be in place to achieve the goal of running CX as a strategic business discipline…

Nail down your process

How are you capturing and interpreting CX data? Achieving a successful CX strategy requires having a process in place that is reliable, rigorous, proven, and consistent across all channels and touchpoints.

Any undertaking in customer experience must have an underlying process and methodology that enables the capture and the analysis of CX data that can be trusted. In doing so, this process will minimize risk in decision-making, as potential costly outcomes rely on this data. Furthermore, inconsistent processes and methodologies result in severe limitations in using CX data to understand the customer journey.

Having a process to help you identify the signal from the noise is paramount. Customer feedback can result in a tumult of competing voices and it’s essential to know what to focus on and why. Ensure the process you choose for customer experience measurement, analysis, and decision-making is as reliable as possible.

Utilize the right tech

The technology chosen to help manage your CX strategy must be able to implement your entire process. Preferably, it must be a robust, scalable suite of technologies that allows for the capture of the full customer journey.

This is where many organizations get caught. We as vendors have delivered beautiful products to make lives easier, more productive, and more impactful. Unfortunately, many buy the technology and fail to account for the process — and these technologies can then lead to knee jerk reactions and mistakes that otherwise wouldn’t have been made. In other words, many technologies merely help you automate your mistakes.

Any technology implemented must scale across the organization — from the executives all the way to operations — and the discrete customer experiences (such as mobile banking apps or call centers). The right tech must be able to carry and deliver the process with it. Otherwise it’s a fancy piece of software collecting uninspiring data.

Recruit expertise

For any core business function to be run in a strategic, disciplined manner it must have access to guidance, as well as proven, vetted expertise from outside the organization. This expertise should include published, vetted research, thought leadership with established history that challenges the status quo thinking, and insights derived from various industries and markets that demonstrate its credibility and authoritative voice in customer experience.

Too many organizations make the mistake of partnering with technology experts to improve customer experience, rather than customer experience expertise with advanced technology. Without expertise, organizations are liable to spend a lot of time and money tracking metrics, rather than providing meaning to them. In golf this would mean hiring a Golf Pro (aka a coach). For CX, it would mean partnering with an organization like ForeSee that provides its clients access to over 600 categories of benchmarkable experiences as well as dedicated analysts.

In conclusion

The unique combination of all three components can bring success to customer experience improvement efforts (it’s been proven), and result in delivering a core strategic discipline to an organization’s operations. However, the absence of any one can derail even the best efforts of a business. So while I continue to hack away on the course, don’t take a lesson from my golf game. Instead, learn from those who have achieved some pretty impressive results by making their customer experience a strategic discipline.

Interested in learning more about how ForeSee can help you improve your CX game? Read about the ForeSee CX Suite which allows companies to manage all of their customer experience needs from one place, capture the entire customer journey, and prioritize their most critical CX issues.

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About the Author

Jason Veenker is a passionate advocate for customer experience measurement and serves as a trusted adviser for improving financial customer experiences with ForeSee. He brings over 13 years of partnering with Fortune 500 organizations to help maximize their technology investments. Prior to ForeSee, Jason supported organizations with their strategic business and technology decisions, most recently with Gartner. He earned both his BS in Marketing and MBA through Azusa Pacific University.

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