CX Digest - 9th April 2019

Welcome to another CX Digest. In the current climate with budgets being squeezed and every bit of spend needing to be justified, selling a customer experience (CX) programme internally can be tough. Numbers drive investment and board members need proof that investing in customer experience will boost the bottom line.

It's now almost a given that bad CX will turn customers off and good CX will keep customers happy and loyal. However, deciding what to prioritise and translating the cause and effect into calculable financial terms can be complex. As a start, expectations and an understanding of what you want to achieve from your CX programme must be made at the outset. Decide what financial KPIs should be measured and define your measurable goals such as monitoring customer churn, customer satisfaction rates, repeat purchases, referrals increase and customer spend. Then set realistic timeframes and continually monitor and measure so as to identify potential issues as they arise. Easy to say, harder to do - but critical to long-term growth.

Investing in CX is a long-term, continuous process. Seeing results won’t happen overnight but it is proven that CX focused businesses are more successful. As you will see from the chart in this months 'From the IIC assessment archive' below, our client has been able to correlate an increase in year-on-year profits with a progressively higher score in their annual IIC CX assessment. In our continuing series on helping you to communicate CX internally ('One for your CX slide deck'), we've included the first in a mini-series that will detail our process and its underlying theory. The methodology we use to uncover CX insights is unique and built around four principals. This month we look at 'Principal 1 - Understand Customer Needs'. Finally, a very well done to Glide UK and QuestGates for great results on their recent IIC assessments. Fantastic work by both.

I hope you enjoy the read.

Tony Barritt, Managing Director

Our MD (Tony Barritt) was recently privileged to be one of the judges for The National Innovation Awards (the Nationals). These awards have been designed by the Directors' Club to recognise business technology innovations and their impact on customer experience, employee engagement, operations performance, product creation and profitable growth.A huge congratulations to all the winners! You can find out more about the awards and who won here

Watch this space for future IIC events.

The chart above shows the business performance of one of our long standing clients vs. their IIC CX scores over 6 years. The actions this client has implemented as a result of the insight and feedback we have uncovered include enhanced relationships with clients, partners and shareholders and increased staff engagement. They have de-mystified the products on offer and maximised the company’s USP. Client centricity has now become part of their culture.  

"The IIC feedback enables us to identify specific weaknesses and address them to enhance our offer. That leads to better service, better relationships and better retention." - CEO

They can directly correlate the increase in their CX scores with their profit margin increase. Proof that continually making CX a priority has a positive impact on long-term business growth. 

In fact a 2018 Forrester study of global enterprises found that experience-driven businesses grow revenues at 1.4x the rate of other companies and enjoy significantly higher customer retention rates. And according to recent McKinsey & Company research, organisations that leverage customer insights outperform peers by 85 percent in sales growth and by more than 25 percent in gross margin.

Businesses that take a holistic and long-term approach to their CX programmes will undoubtedly be the ones that survive and reap the rewards.

Please  click here  for more information on our assessments and accreditations.

"To design an experience that keeps people coming back, focus less on wowing the crowd and more on creating a plan that consistently delivers satisfying results." 

It's impossible to wow and delight every single customer all of the time. You'll see better results in your CX if you aim for consistency and sustainable customer loyalty. To reiterate what Tony talked about above in relation to setting realistic expectations and appropriate goals, here's a great article that explains why it's best to strive for a consistently good customer experience rather than perfection every time.

The Perfect Customer Experience is Not What You Think - Inc. 

The IIC success framework

Our assessments are unique and built around four principles of customer experience, which are divided into 16 themes.

The first principal we're going to look at is 'Understand Customer Needs'. Production led companies sell what they can make whereas customer focused companies make what they can sell. In order to do this, organisations need to know what their customers want and what they'd like in the future. At IIC, we break this down into four key areas:

Know your customers
Knowing who your customers are is a basic necessity and ensuring this information is shared throughout your organisation is equally important. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than having to continually explain who they are and what they want every time they contact you.

Understand their needs
Looking at a customer's buying history is a good starting point but equally important is to ensure you understand their individual needs. Customers are not numbers – they have a unique DNA and increasingly demand to be treated as individuals. There is no such thing as “one size fits all” in the Age of the Customer. 

Anticipate future needs
Predicting the future isn’t easy but it is a vital requirement for every business. The best way to discover what your customers may want is to ask. It is also vital to be proactive and make helpful suggestions. Not every organisation is equipped to make suggested purchase recommendations in the way that makes Amazon so successful but looking for signs and seeing what similar groups of customers are doing can help you predict what may be needed in future.

Communicate effectively
In an online world, communication is a challenge. Customers are overwhelmed with information, so it is key to understand what channels they want to use and how and when they want to use them. Making it easy for customers to reach the right person in your organisation – someone who can help them straight away -  is a big differentiator for a lot of businesses, as is communicating with them in a language and style which they feel most comfortable.

Breaking down our assessments in this way allows us to delve down into each area of our clients' CX, pinpoint any issues and identify areas of opportunity.
Look out for our email next month where we'll be talking about 'Principal 2 - Meet Customer Needs'. 

If you would like us to send you this slide in PowerPoint, then please just email: anthony.tuite@investorincustomers.com

Fantastic achievements for these organisations, leading the way in putting their customers first. Please  click here  for more information on our assessments and accreditations.

We're benchmarking customer experience perception. See how you think you're doing versus everybody else. Here's how it works:

1. Follow this link to our CX perception survey. Or scan the QR code with your smartphone.

2. Fill out the short questionnaire (your perception of your organisation).

Receive your perception benchmark (based on everyone who has filled out the questionnaire). We will update you as more data becomes available, so you can see how you're doing against an ever-growing data-set.