Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to attend and speak at two customer experience events: the Customer Experience (CX) Strategies Summit in Toronto, and the Argyle Customer Experience Leadership Forum in San Francisco. I met and chatted with CX leaders from different industries, as they shared best practices and insights into transformational shifts in the CX battleground.
There’s a ton going on in CX right now. I’ve narrowed down three key takeaways from my time at these events:
1. When it comes to customer journeys, the struggle is real for CX leaders.
CX leaders from all industries – non-profit, financial services, and retail, to name a few – spoke about how the customer journey has become more complex. Organizations are struggling to keep up with designing the right processes and methods to truly capture the voice of their customers. It’s no longer only about acquisition and retention: it’s about establishing checkpoints throughout the entire journey, and defining an approach and methodology for both executives and their teams.
One talk in particular caught my attention: Tisa Sinclair, Social Response Director from AARP spoke in Toronto about her CX leadership role and her new team. They’re tasked with determining how to best engage members via social media, connecting them to resources around critical topics such as long-term care planning. This is a great example of how new roles – and entire teams – spring up due to customer journey complexity. These vital players need tools and resources that empower the right processes and successes as CX responsibilities expand.
2. It’s not enough to know your customers are unhappy – you need to know why.
A key theme at the conference was the crucial need for customer verbatim feedback. Quantitative data, like ratings and scores, is helpful, yet organizations struggle to uncover and understand its underlying drivers. Sentiment analysis or scores on their own aren’t enough. Many panelists spoke about having more data than ever, but simple readouts on numbers are superficial at best. Knowing the drivers behind scores, or why your customers feel the way they feel, is key to truly delivering great experiences, and retaining and delighting your most loyal customers.
3. Customers aren’t the only ones who matter. Don’t forget about your employees.
At the Argyle event, we heard from Dr. Swati Mehta, Executive Director of Quality and Performance for Patient Experience at Vituity. Dr. Mehta raised an incredibly important point: “Frontline is the foundation” – reminding us all that happy customers are a direct result of happy employees. It’s equally as important to listen to the voice of your employees as it is to be concerned about your customers and their journeys. Focus on employee empowerment, rather than automation, so that your people not only know the right things they can do for your customers, but are also empowered to do them.
It’s been great to meet, speak with, and learn from CX leaders from all over the world. As always, I was excited to share my knowledge and experiences with those of you working through these challenges every day. My next chance will be at Big Data and AI Toronto, June 12 and 13, where I’ll be speaking. I hope to see you there!
Ying Chen is Chief Product Officer at Luminoso. She leads product, design, and development to power the next generation of Luminoso's software. Before joining Luminoso, Ying led Fortune 1000 organizations and VC-backed startups to deliver award-winning product solutions, most recently heading up global product marketing for platform technologies at Pegasystems.