What Makes for an Exceptional Customer Experience and How You Can Provide That?

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffet. 

A great customer experience (CX) is, affirmatively, an aggregation of empathy, innovation, responsiveness, reliability, and convenience. 

Imagine a customer who walks into a retail store and is greeted by staff who not only helps them find whatever it is they’re looking for but makes them feel genuinely valued. 

This customer feels like a VIP, and the staff seems to echo that sentiment. Result? Their apprehensions about spending money in the store vanish. They can’t wait to come back and tell their friends.

Manifesting such an experience across all digital touchpoints is no easy feat; however, it does mandate adhering to a procedure:

  • Listening carefully to understand the customer’s perspective
  • Collaborating internally to produce a solution that meets the customer’s needs
  • Responding quickly and thoughtfully to address the concerns
  • Personalizing the experience to make it memorable

A field that consolidates all these practices is that of “customer delight.” Its roots are grounded in customer service management (CSM), for it enables a “communication continuum.” 

Fostering this delight means you’re delivering an exceptional CX. But it takes some work. 

That said, let’s segment this “work” into manageable and achievable to-do themes. 

Emphasize Customer Delight and Organizational Vision

Chasing high-quality CX without the backing of a strong organizational vision is like hammering nails with a shoe. It works (i.e., you can do it), but it sure is an inefficient way to get the job done. 

Insist that your communication strategy and messaging (internal and external) align with your organization’s values. Once those are set in stone, you can implement a number of tactics designed to produce a delightful CX. 

“A good place to start is with listening projects, where customer data and analytics are used to find the voice of the customer and identify where they are satisfied and dissatisfied,” says Jenny Sussin, VP and CX lead at Gartner

Dive Deeper into Customer Needs

You can’t disregard the tangible needs of your audience and expect to cultivate a long-lasting relationship. You have to meet them where they are and acknowledge their wants, needs, and expectations. 

That’s why customer surveys, for instance, are instrumental in CX development. They can help you pinpoint where the customer journey is most in need of improvement and innovation.

More so, leveraging technology – like ServiceNow CSM – to organize your customer information can help you see the big picture. Such a solution empowers agents with guided resolutions and makes them aware of the customers’ interactions across all touchpoints.

Develop an Emotional Connect with the Customers

A “306% higher [customer] lifetime value” — that’s what emotional connection can do to your bottom line. The more customers feel cared for, listened to, and valued, the more likely they are to keep coming back.

Developing an emotional connection with employees is equally important. Favorably, technology can help you get there. One such example revolves around using CSM to provide customer support agents with AI-based recommendations, training, and feedback.

Put in Efforts to Help Customers Achieve Their Objectives

Optimizing a customer’s experience comes down to providing the right tools or services at the right time. This, in turn, requires you to understand your customers’ objectives and, most importantly, help them attain those goals.

For instance, directing them to a knowledge base via a chatbot or a customer service representative that can offer real-time feedback on their needs can do them a world of good – and you a world of profit.

Perform Root Cause Analysis of Issues

“Finding the root cause ensures that you have a durable solution, not a Band-Aid that treats the symptoms,” writes Daniel Markovitz in Harvard Business Review

The same sentiment applies to CX. When you take the time to analyze the root cause of a problem, you can devise a sustainable plan that targets the central issue, not just its symptoms. That’s how you make a difference in the lives of your customers.

Develop a Communication Continuum

Your company will accomplish a lot if you can develop a clear flow of information across all touchpoints. An example of such a communication continuum is a customer journey map.

It breaks down the various points in the customer experience from one touchpoint to another and highlights the flow of information – from where you are to where you need to go. As a result, you can:

  • Get a clear picture of the journey
  • Reveal potential breakdowns in communication
  • Anticipate where problems might occur and how they can be solved
  • And most importantly, adopt omnichannel strategies for seamless experiences.

Collaborate and Connect to Speed Up Resolution

Departmental fragmentation kills innovation and slows down the process. If a customer communicates their issue with you, but nobody picks up on it, and the problem remains unsolved, what good will it do to the customer?

What you need is a cultural shift and an underlying framework like ServiceNow CSM that can bring the front, middle, and back offices together.

Measure the ROI of CX Improvement Initiatives

Most companies don’t measure the return on their CX initiatives. This is a mistake for two reasons:

  • First, you are obscure about “actually” hitting the KPIs
  • Second, it gives you a false sense of security

You can’t achieve breakthrough results if you aren’t bothering to track your ROI. Measuring the return on your CX initiatives can be done using a variety of methods, including internal surveys and external benchmarking.

Such techniques could be supported by the data that CSM provides, enabling the usage of predictive models so adjustments to service can be made earlier and more efficiently.

In a Nutshell

Delighting a customer requires a full-circle approach to customer engagement and one that follows this sequence:

  • Emotional: Get the customer to feel valued, appreciated, and respected 
  • Dialogical: Give the customer control over an experience
  • Evidenced-based: Show by evidence that your service has had the desired impact

The more strategically you think about this sequence and the closer you adhere to it, the more likely it is for your organization will succeed.
The good thing is that you don’t have to get your hands dirty in organizing assets and technology to make it happen. ServiceNow CSM does that for you. Get in touch to find out how.

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