Commentary from Next Generation Customer Experience: Trends & Topics
Last week, we spent three days at the Next Generation Customer Experience conference in San Diego. Senior customer experience executives across all industries gathered at this forum to discuss the latest strategies and tools. The sessions covered all channels and touchpoints affecting customer experience, but even so, there were consistent themes across areas.
As articulated by the conference’s overarching purpose, organizations seek to “achieve a single customer view, cultivate internal customer experience advocacy, and exceed customer expectations.” We believe that by combining customer feedback with CRM, companies can in fact engage customers, centralize their feedback, and respond in ways that satisfy and impress. All of these things reinforce culture change, as happy customers tend to emerge proportionately with happy employees.
Other trends and topics that bubbled up at the event:
- Channel Personalization: We heard quite a bit of discussion on the value of recognizing and uniquely communicating with customers. Of course, there’s a fine line between delivering awesome personalization and being creepy, so be sure to exercise caution when showing customers that you know them and their preferences. They want great customer experience, not Big Brother.
This personalization trend aligns perfectly with our own 2014 theme – Customer Knows Best – which reminds businesses to harken back to a simpler time when personalized service was the only way of doing business. Customers still long to be known and appreciated. Unfortunately, technology-driven, self-service models often leave customers feeling like an account number, rather than an individual with a name and a unique story.
- Strategy for a VoC Program: Many companies are still looking for guidance on how to build a great VoC program – and where to start. One of the best recommendations we heard was to earn executive sponsorship before doing much else. We not only agree with this, but recently blogged about the subject. Please see this post for pointed advice on how to move customer experience to “the big kids table.”
- The link between CX and $$: The Holy Grail for customer experience executives is to show the direct connection between CX and financial performance. This topic garnered much interest among attendees, but generated as much confusion, regarding specific methods to actually do it. We’ve got some good ideas on how! Here’s a paper – Profiting from Customer Experience – dedicated to explaining the relationship between customer experience, customer feedback, and financial performance. You’ll also learn models and measures to track how much you’re profiting from these initiatives.
- Making insights actionable: We spoke with plenty of people who sought help with analytics and how to act on it from a multi-channel prospective. This is key – the shift from just reporting to reporting and insights. We’ve all already evolved dramatically over the years to embrace more and more data. Now, the challenge isn’t simply to see the data points and the trends and info they reveal; it’s to know what we should do as a result of this data.
Thanks to Next Generation Customer Experience for hosting an effective, informative event. It gave us lots to think about as we continue to improve customer experience at Clicktools and to help our customers better understand and serve their customers.