For all the talk about customer-centricity, some businesses ironically downplay the actual voice
of the customer. They chase trends and make investments without fully considering how these
initiatives will transform the customer experience.
That’s how CCW starts their latest report, the 2023 CCW MARKET STUDY | CX Trends, Challenges, & Opportunities. I can’t tell you how much the statement that companies chase trends and investments based on lord-knows-what resonates with me. You cannot be customer-centric without bringing the customer voice into all you do. After all, that’s what it means to be customer-centric.
CCW polled 517 adults in the United States about their expectations, goals, and sentiments when interacting with brands via customer service or the contact center only. The report talks about outcomes and the impact on customer experience if the voice of the customer isn’t infused into designing and delivering a great contact center experience.
Key findings from the report include.
- Only 4% of consumers feel that their experiences have improved over the past year; 57% feel they’ve gotten worse!
- Only 13% of consumers feel brands are delivering highly personalized experiences, and 25% feel brands are failing to deliver quick, easy, and convenient interactions.
- Sixty-six percent of customers endure long wait times. Pain points like answering repetitive questions or difficulty reaching a live agent are also disappointingly common in today’s customer engagement landscape.
- Consumers have yet to witness any major improvement on the frontline. They don’t feel agents are becoming more adept at communicating warmth, knowledge, or empathy.
- Experiences are not simple or frictionless. The majority of customers experience more difficulty receiving a refund or make-good – and more trouble reaching a live phone agent.
- Nine out of ten customers are more likely to support brands that offer easy experiences, and nearly as many gravitate toward those that display personalization.
- Brand values matter; two-thirds of consumers care about a brand’s public stances on hot-button issues, and 84% consider a brand’s reputation for employee-centricity.
- Customers of all age ranges continue to place more trust in phone calls than any other brand communication option. About 95% still expect access to a live agent for some or most issues.
- Many brands are failing to personalize their outbound texts and emails. To correct this, they will have to cultivate more customer trust in their data and security initiatives.
- Online reviews and social media discussions do not shape every consumer’s perception, but they have enough of an impact to warrant a prominent place in any company’s customer experience strategy.
Are you serious about calling your organization “customer-centric?” Do you listen to the voice of the customer? Are you working toward using that voice to design and deliver a great customer experience? How are you personalizing the experience? How well are you meeting customer expectations? I’m guessing you, like many others, have work to do.
What can you do? Read these posts to find some direction.
- Listen to customers and act on what you hear. Solve problems for your customers.
- Customer understanding is critical to designing the experience customers expect. Understand your customers, who they are, what they expect, the problems they are trying to solve, and more – and then design for that.
- Customer understanding is also the cornerstone of customer-centricity. Deliberately design a customer-centric culture that ensures the customer (voice) is at the heart of the business.
- Communication is one of the most overlooked parts of the experience. Map the journey to find out where communications are lacking.
- Data is at the heart of designing and delivering a great experience. Use the right data.
- Orchestrate the journey for personalization that helps customers achieve desired outcomes.
- To better meet expectations, it might be time to think beyond personalization to hyper-personalization.
- Are you keeping tabs on your online reputation? What are customers saying on social media and online reviews?
- What are your core values? Do customers align with them? Values create value.
- Are you using automation and AI to reduce employee effort and customer effort?
There’s more to read and to do, but that will get you off to a great start. I think you’ll find that there’s one bullet point in that list that nicely sums up where the work lies: data is at the heart of designing and delivering a great experience.
We had clients that wanted kitchens and we were selling them pots and pans. ~ Eric Murphy
Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. In 2019, she published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. In 2022, she published her second book, Built to Win: Designing a Customer-Centric Culture That Drives Value for Your Business (Advantage|ForbesBooks), which is available to purchase on Amazon, Books A Million!, Target, Barnes & Noble, and thousands of other outlets around the world! Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your EX and CX game.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.