Great customer experience (CX) is not the same experience for every customer, every customer will have preferences vital to delivering a great customer experience.
In B2B, B2C and everything in between, customers have readily available options to meet their product and service requirements. Understanding and delivering on a customer’s CX preferences is not an option in today’s business environment, it’s an essential competitive differentiator.
To develop successful customer-specific standards of performance employees must explicitly understand that all customers will have different requirements with the same ‘customer-facing functions’ (e.g. Customer-facing functions from delivery, billing, customer service, sales, bid response, contracting, and ordering) Success is found in understanding that different customer preferences are opportunities to grow customer retention and build customers that are passionate about your brand rather than a burden that gets pushed into the too hard basket.
We’ve said it before and we will say it again, integrating Voice of the Customer (VoC) performance expectations is a pivotal opportunity to enable employees to better serve customers.
Employees want to be able to serve customers well, so if an employee does not know what a customer wants or worse, tries to guess what the customer needs, then they are destined to provide a poor or at best a mediocre Customer Experience interaction.
Abstract internal measurement goals are of no benefit when it comes to Customer Performance Expectations. Instead, customer-facing work processes and the employees that support them should be guided by a curated ‘customer-specified standard of performance’ as this provides direct indications towards successful Customer Experiences.
According to Gartner, to successfully implement customer-specified standards of performance it is recommended that CX leaders consider the following:
- Conduct VoC listening and journey mapping activities to identify precise customer performance expectations: Customer journey mapping and evaluations can provide greater value than trying to manually understand how the customer interacts with your organisation. Valuable customer insight occurs when the VoC journey interaction demonstrates specific examples of poor, average and outstanding customer touchpoints with the organisation. When the customer establishes what made their journey stage or a journey activity successful that specific experience touchpoint can be developed up until the point where it’s universally replicated by the organisation.
- Understand that different consumer personas often have different performance expectations for the same customer-facing activity: Consumer personas are designed to help an organisation understand how the brand can best meet interaction needs. Tailoring standards of performance through VoC insights surrounding unique consumer persona requirements will help to strengthen the delivered CX.
- Improving employee experiences by incorporating customer performance expectations: Employees want to deliver great CX and are often tasked by business leaders to always be working harder for the customer and to improve customer experience, however, they can often struggle with understanding “how” to deliver great CX when they do not know the customer’s expectations. So how can ‘you’, as a business owner/leader help? – Capturing customer performance standards through consumer personas along important stages of the customer journey produces a rich, available and immediate insight source that can guide employees on how to deliver excellent CX.
- Share CX performance reports with customers: Customers, nationwide, constantly volunteer, guide and aid organisations in their CX insight efforts (e.g. VoC sessions, customer forums and journey mapping sessions) The difference for successful organisations lies in their ability to regularly report back on their performance against the precise standards discovered in the VoC sessions.
- Continue to listen to VoC feedback – consumer expectations constantly change: VoC is an ongoing, vital and ongoing process that requires regular attention.
Great CX begins and ends with listening to the customer. If your organisation needs assistance with listening and defining customer expectations for customer-facing processes the HOED Research Team is experienced and readily available to help.