“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” so said Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th president. His words ring especially true today with the heightened and acknowledged importance of customer experience.
Exceptional customer experience has been acknowledged for a long time by all marketers but many still fall short of this goal. 92% of the 5,000 CX specialists surveyed by Pegasystems, a customer engagement software company, said customer service was a high priority. However, only 35% said they had someone at a senior level who championed and recognized the value of great CX.
A Champion is Needed
Not having a senior manager to champion and steward CX within a company is distressing because the likelihood of interdepartmental collaboration and success is extremely small. These five success factors comprise the most critical parts of great CX: facilitating sophisticated interactions, supplying fast service, guaranteeing that consumers feel heard and understood, ensuring that pertinent information is easy to locate, and being consistently reliable and connected across all networks.
Hardest Hit Industry
Of the seven industries surveyed before the pandemic, aviation identified CX as its top priority. Great CX will obviously be even more critical coming out of the pandemic. Several stories of just the opposite have detailed the negative CX publicity garnered by some carriers and will slow down their economic recovery. One involved a carrier that filled middle seats despite saying it would keep them open to practice social distancing and another which offered to sell middle seats for an additional fee to guarantee travelers that they would have social distancing.
In no other industry is competition as fierce as in aviation. It will be further heightened coming out of the pandemic. A recent McKinsey study estimated that the industry could lose as much as $18 billion annually without personalized CX in their industry.
IT is not THE Answer
Although 65% of CX specialists surveyed identified IT as being an answer to the problem, employing the right IT is only part of the answer. Investing in the right IT will provide brands with appropriate data platforms and real time decision engines that can assess a customer’s summary and make appropriate recommendations and suggestions.
Many channels are declining in use. Reassess the effectiveness of each. Begin aligning the internal ones. They can still provide brands with good behavioral data for the outbound channels. Then align the outboard ones.
Consider replacing old techniques like A/B testing, customer journey mapping and micro-segmentation with ones that will generate more results. Consider including propensity modeling, lifetime value projection, and performance simulation.
Speed in gathering and analyzing data, as well as making split second decisions has also grown in importance and more brands are investing in AI to assist in making complex decisions right away. 70% of respondents are already using AI and 90% of the rest said they expect to have AI within the next two years.
The Main Issue
All these points are meaningless unless brands recognize that improvements must also be made internally. 81% of those surveyed acknowledged this, agreeing that people issues were the biggest CX challenge. Securing a champion among the senior team, arming staff with the needed training, and possibly reorganizing departments so there’s better collaboration and communication are also all critical to a brand’s success.