CX Strategy

CX Strategy

Customer experience strategy

At Think Wow we love having satisfied customers and winning awards for the customer experience strategies we’ve created for our clients. We know that the secret to a successful customer experience strategy lies in many ingredients, all perfectly balanced and timed to lead the businesses we work with not only to award-winning strategies, but to happier, more engaged, more loyal employees and customers.

With Customer Experience now a key brand differentiator predicted to overtake both price and product when it comes to both B2B and B2C consumers making purchasing decisions, there’s never been a better time to review your cx strategy and make sure it’s working as hard for you and your customers as possible.

Did you know that 86% of businesses active working on their customer experience report an increase in revenue?

If you’re considering a transformation project, we’d love to help!

Still on the fence?

Let’s take a deeper look at customer experience strategy, measuring customer experience, and how you can drive increased customer satisfaction and loyalty with a more deliberate approach to your customer journey.

Did you know that loyal customers spend on average 67% more than new ones?

So what makes an effective customer experience strategy? Asking that question already sets you apart from a lot of businesses, but what next? How do you create customer initiatives that your teams will embrace, that your customers will love and that will increase customer loyalty and reduce customer churn? That’s where we can help.

Our process helps you create an approach to your customer experience strategy that’s tried and tested, but at the same time is personalised to your business, you customers’ and your employees’ needs.

We work with you in partnership through the discovery and strategy creation process. We can be as involved as you want in the implementation and ongoing delivery of your strategy, whether you need mentoring, the occasional sounding board or full strategic steering of the project.

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customer experience strategy
CX Strategy from Think Wow
customer experience important
CX strategy

Why is a positive customer experience important?

When was the last time you paused and considered how critical your customers are? Your business exists solely because your customers enable it to. Without happy, engaged customers choosing to spend their money with you, you would simply not have a business at all.

There are so many reasons to improve your customer experience (from staff engagement through to increased revenue), but when push comes to shove, the biggest reason to improve your customer experience is because without customers you wouldn’t have a business.

Still need convincing? Okay, here goes!

Statistics show that a loyal customer is more likely to spend more money with you, more likely to refer you to others, more likely to not look at competitors as an alternative, and more likely to leave a positive review. All of those aspects add up to create business success, and underpin any growth you’re planing. Leading companies don’t leave that to chance – they deliberately create customer experiences that give their employees the building blocks to feel empowered, deliver great customer service and that make their customer interactions as effortless as possible.

Ideally you’ll want to assemble a cross-functional steering group made up many different job roles and levels of experience from across the organisation. Their role will be to assist with problem solving, data analysis of customer experience metrics, insight analysis, and to ensure that there is a constant focus on human centred design and a clear customer experience vision shared across the business.

What happens once you’re ready to get started on your customer experience strategy?

We start with your business goals. Before you try and create an approach to your customer experience strategy, pause and make sure that everyone involved understands what you’re trying to achieve, who you want to achieve it for, and why. The chances are that whilst you might be aiming to become more customer centric, you may well be looking to drive change because the wider business goals demand it. Objectives like hitting a certain revenue target, reducing avoidable customer churn, increasing spend per customer, and reducing employee churn may all be relevant.

We work with you to ensure that strong cultural foundations are in place from the start of the customer experience strategy process, we can even help with values creation and roll out to help drive increased engagement in the new customer experience, and give the experience strategy the best possible chance of helping you achieve the right business outcomes.

Still have questions? Check out our FAQs:

Don’t forget that despite all of your best efforts, or the most creative design thinking, without a team who are bought into the importance of great cx and who enjoy turning up to work each day, your initiative could fail.

You need to make sure that key team members are empowered to help with the project, that they see the value in the culture change, and that they know how important they are to the success of the overall transformation. Bringing your team along and involving them in the process is a tried and tested way to drive engagement and you can’t do that with a team who are left out or feel undervalued. That’s why we recommend the cultural assessment is one of the first stages to the project.

For some, you might need to present a business case for the project, for others having a clear vision of what great cx looks like will be enough to guide them.

How you track customer experience with your target audience and measure your success is important, and whilst your metrics may evolve as your CX strategy unfolds, it’s beneficial to have some measurements in mind before you start your project. This way you can capture the current ‘as is’ performance from your current customer experience and compare it to your future results to track the impact of any changes to your customer experience.

Create both short-term and long-term metrics if possible and make a concerted effort to capture the data you need to know if your CX strategy is working. Giving your leadership team some quick wins they can celebrate with employees is a great way to generate more enthusiasm and commitment to the cx transformation in the early months. The longer term measurements may well take time to get to and the best companies recognise that keeping employees engaged and enthusiastic will be key to long-term successful adoption of any changes or continuous improvement plans within the customer experience strategy.

Caution: It’s worth avoiding aiming for metric improvements in isolation (such as an increase in your Customer Satisfaction Score) because focusing purely on one number can result in customer support team members and wider employees forgetting the bigger picture and making changes that negatively impact your long-term goals. Remember: customer experience management isn’t about chasing numbers, it’s about making your customers happy – and keeping them that way.

Instead, set long-term goals like increases in revenue, reduction in avoidable customer churn and increases in the average spend per customer. Keep an eye on your customer satisfaction, customer effort score, or NPS alongside these metrics and it will give you a more reliable and holistic method to assess whether you are on track.

Do you know what your customers need? Why exactly they come to you to get it? Have you got a clear view of customer expectations? Hopefully you can answer ‘yes’ to some or all of those questions and also know what sets you apart from your key competitors, but it’s important to recognise that not all customers are the same. What motivates your customers to use you and to continue to do so (to the exclusion of any other business) may well evolve over time.

If you’ve heard the age old saying “treat others as you wish to be treated” try to forget it. Whilst it’s a nice idea in general, when it comes to customer experience, personalisation and personalized service are becoming more important to a customer’s experience. You can’t tailor your customer journey to your customers if you assume they all want to be treated the same or that they want to be treated as you would like to be. For ultimate customer success you need to remove the element of assumption from your customer experience strategy.

Instead, get to know your customers with customer feedback. Ask them what matters to them, why they use you and how happy they are with their customer experience with you. If you enable your customers to feedback in a way that’s as convenient as possible and empower them to feedback easily, you are more likely to engage them. They will want to share the things they have loved about their customer experience and you will get great quality customer insights you can use to inform any strategic thinking – and you could even generate additional positive reviews off the back of this.

The first rule in customer experience transformation is to never assume you know what your customer wants. Always check in. Check before you start, check part way through your project, and check at the end to make sure you have understood your customer needs and that your new customer strategy is truly customer centric. A customer feedback strategy will cover all of this, as well as who should own the customer feedback, how it’s used once it’s collated and even how it can be utilised in marketing efforts to try and attract more or your target audience.

You can never have too much customer feedback but you do need to close the loop with them to ensure they know their feedback is valuable and appreciated.

When a customer raises a complaint it can be tempting for most companies to see it as a failure; to try to squash it before it can go any further. It’s easy to forget the customer perspective and either become defensive or subconsciously view the customer as a trouble maker.

Please don’t panic if that sounds familiar – we are hardwired to want to win arguments, to feel defensive when we are attacked, and to avoid unpleasant situations. In fact, if you think of some of the synonyms for complaining, you get words like whining, whinging, bellyaching – we’re programmed to see complaining as a negative thing.

Once we recognise that instinct in ourselves and our teams and we combine it with the fact that most customers just want help, we can start to move past the basic instinct to win the battle. We can see the complaint as a potentially rich source of business intelligence – a fantastic opportunity to learn from what’s causing your customer base to be disappointed, and do something about it.

See complaints as an extra chance to collect feedback across multiple channels. Use focus groups to analyse complaint trends and customer data, then feed all that valuable information back into the wider CX strategy.

Customer personas are a detailed snapshot of a particular customer type, their motivations, their frustrations, what they’re trying to achieve and their particular interests. We’d always recommend that why you map a customer’s full journey, you do it with a clear customer persona in mind, ideally the persona that fits most of your customers, or the proportion of your customer base that you’d most like to grow – whichever fits your wider organisational goals most.

We can provide support and training to help your teams understand the importance of embracing core values and give them all the confidence they need to go extra mile when it comes to inspiring confidence in your brand.

Training can either be delivered remotely or in your workplace, or for anyone based near West Sussex or East Hampshire, we can train at our own offices set in the heart of Stansted Park.

We often get asked, where should I start with my customer experience initiatives? Well, once you have a strong feedback strategy in place, looking at your customer’s journey can be a great starting point. Journey mapping is a way to break down your entire customer experience, look in detail at customer pain points, key moments in your customer experience where your customer will make decisions, and make sure that you analyse your current customer journey in enough detail to spot any weaknesses.

Once you’ve mapped your ‘as is’ journey, you can then use customer feedback, any best practices or digital tools you are hoping to use to improve processes, and any company data available to design your future state customer map. This is sometimes referred to as an ‘aspirational journey map’. Use the two customer journey map outlines together to highlight gaps in your customer experience strategy and help to drive that all important customer centric mindset within your customer service teams and the wider business.

Likewise, if you had all the ingredients, but not a clear method you might end up with a sunken mess of a cake that’s not even cooked!

Values are a little like the ingredients, with the strategy forming the method. The two combine to give you the best possible chance of creating a brand identity as delicious and attractive as a red velvet cake.

Rebecca knows that preparing a business for rapid and sustainable growth doesn’t happen by accident. She’ll help you design a consistent approach to the customer that you can communicate to your team with processes that are built to scale as you grow.

The goal is to remove the element of chance from the customer experience wherever possible, and to use a combination of new processes, design thinking and cross functional expertise to close any gaps between your current ‘as is’ journey map, and your ‘aspirational’ one. Focus on each stage of your customer experience, breaking it right down into who is involved, what the customer wants and needs at that point in their journey, and what their expectations are, what their emotional state is. Then look at the biggest areas of pain, the frustrations your customers have with your support team, services or processes and try and fix those pain points wherever possible.

This is where customer experience management can come into it’s own. If you’ve mapped the entire customer journey, highlighted pain points and you are in a position to use this new insight to drive positive improvements, you can create a customer experience that matches customer expectations, or even exceeds them.

It can take time for people to adjust to change, and we’ll support you through that time with our expertise and knowledge of stakeholder management, change management and our empathic approach to both.

We’ll also be on hand to support you in making any tough decisions for the good of the organisational growth and new brand strategy should that be required.

Likewise, if you had all the ingredients, but not a clear method you might end up with a sunken mess of a cake that’s not even cooked!

Values are a little like the ingredients, with the strategy forming the method. The two combine to give you the best possible chance of creating a brand identity as delicious and attractive as a red velvet cake.

Rebecca knows that preparing a business for rapid and sustainable growth doesn’t happen by accident. She’ll help you design a consistent approach to the customer that you can communicate to your team with processes that are built to scale as you grow.

Some aspects of your customer experience transformation may happen quickly, you might spot quick wins you can implement immediately. For some aspects of change such as with technology or artificial intelligence you will want to take time to research the best options for both customer and the business.

Many leaders find it helpful to create a roadmap to help keep their transformation on track. A roadmap outlines the key milestones, what’s required to achieve those milestones and the ideal timeline for the project implementation.

It will help maintain momentum and focus, ensure that C Suite and other key stakeholders have something tangible they can use to follow any decision making or progress, and it can be so motivating to the project team to not only know exactly where they are heading, but to also be able to look back on what they have already achieved.

Consider building a roadmap to guide your customer experience transformation, and settle in for the long haul. Whilst a lot of specific initiatives may be quick to implement, wide-scale customer experience change can take two to three years by the time you have addressed any cultural barriers.

If it’s not possible or realistic to get everyone involved in that stage, then the training and rollout of the values can still be a team effort which will help to drive maximum engagement and respect for the new values.

It can take time for people to adjust to change, and we’ll support you through that time with our expertise and knowledge of stakeholder management, change management and our empathic approach to both.

We’ll also be on hand to support you in making any tough decisions for the good of the organisational growth and new brand strategy should that be required.

Likewise, if you had all the ingredients, but not a clear method you might end up with a sunken mess of a cake that’s not even cooked!

Values are a little like the ingredients, with the strategy forming the method. The two combine to give you the best possible chance of creating a brand identity as delicious and attractive as a red velvet cake.

Rebecca knows that preparing a business for rapid and sustainable growth doesn’t happen by accident. She’ll help you design a consistent approach to the customer that you can communicate to your team with processes that are built to scale as you grow.

Your support team and front-line customer service colleagues will have a huge amount of knowledge about your customers perception, their expectations and where most of your customers feel frustrations. Whilst your support teams are usually too busy on a day-to-day basis with the more reactive elements of the service, they can be hugely influential when it comes to designing a more proactive customer experience strategy if you empower them. For example, they can help to collect data, and create buyer personas based on what they see each day. Whilst you’ll need to validate these to remove the element of assumption, it can go a long way to get the input of those employees who talk to customers all the time.

The more you involve key stakeholders in your project from the start, and the more you communicate to them throughout, the more likely they are to not only help you create a great customer experience strategy, they’ll also be engaged and care about the outcome of the project.

Stakeholders will often have different personalities, motivations and needs from the project. It can help to create internal customer personas to help you cross reference and keep track of the different needs and ensure that when you make iterative changes to the CX strategy, you won’t alienate any colleagues or key stakeholders along the way.

If you reframe these corporate values as guiding principles, or even just ‘values’ then they can still be just as impactful in your workplace, just as useful for your managers to help roll out new processes, and just as helpful to your sales teams when it comes to making sales with integrity. The bottom line is that any business can benefit from a deliberate move to set strong foundations for its culture and recognising the importance of core values to your business is a great first step!

The first thing to say is that a customer experience strategy should never be seen as a destination. It’s very much more an ongoing, iterative journey. What you’re essentially doing with your CX strategy is preparing your organisation to become agile, to be ready for the continuous change required to keep up with evolving customer expectations. As such, you’ll know your customer experience strategy is as complete as it can be for now, if it includes room for that continuous evaluation. You can also set clear metrics and goals to hit along the way to ensure that the strategy you are building helps the wider business meet it’s objectives and is maximising return on investment.

If you want to add in one or two that feel like they might need some work before the whole team sees their importance that’s okay, but it’s also a good idea not to completely overhaul how you want your business to behave in one huge change programme as this can feel very unsettling and demotivating to existing team members.

At Think Wow, our values are To Empathise, To Add Value, To Put You First and To Make it Easy. Notice how they are all in the same style and tense?

Personalisation is becoming increasingly important to customers, but it doesn’t have to come in the form of you using their name in emails, or tailoring marketing preferences to their needs. Sometimes the best way to personalise a service is to enable customers freedom to choose the service that works best for them. Omnichannel experiences offer this ability, but they are best implemented when it’s easy for a customer to use any channel, and switch seamlessly and easily between channels to suit their requirements.

If they started off using a chatbot, but couldn’t get an answer, it should be easy to switch to talking to a live agent, or to be called back or given an alternative email. Likewise, if they’ve called, but don’t want to have to wait in a lengthy queue, then provide customers with an offer to call them back, or alternative contact methods at that point can make their life easier and increase satisfaction.

There are tools available to help you monitor channel preference, and design a CX strategy that meets your customers needs.

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When it comes to strategy, is yours winning loyal customers…
or sending them running into the arms of your competition?