Customer experience is still important during a pandemic. Businesses must listen to what their customers say they want now more than ever.
Customer journeys are more dynamic than ever, with multiple touchpoints across online and offline channels, a lot more information is available at the touch of a button than ever before. How many of us use online reviews, for example, before making a big purchase? Since COVID-19, online reviews may become even more important as we settle into the next phase of the new normal. Our personal safety and that of our families and friends is on our minds. Likely, we will look to reviews differently, and seek out what others are saying about our favorite restaurant, hair salon or retail store to understand to what extent they are following CDC guidelines. Or we may leave a review to help guide others, because we are all in this together, and it’s in our best interest to keep each other safe. Besides, who doesn’t like to talk about an enjoyable experience or inspire others to have their own?
Customer Expectations and Customer Experience During COVID-19
All this is coupled with the complexities of constantly changing customer expectations. COVID has not only changed the ways in which customers are ABLE to purchase and engage with your brand and business it’s shifted their expectations about HOW THEY wish to buy and engage. The same as before COVID, over time, customers mature in their relationship with your brand, and their needs and expectations evolve. Your customers may be new to your brand but need not be new to the category that your brand serves.
How much of your focus should be on designing the best experiences for your customers, keeping the monetary impact of customer experience (CX) and the return on customer experience (ROCX) in mind?
An Effective Customer Experience Strategy Leads to Better ROCX
While most organizations plan to include some level of CX in their growth strategy , the burden of implementation commonly falls solely to the chief marketing officer (CMO). However, a highly effective CX strategy is best executed when the effort is brought at an organizational level from the top down.
Leaders must be clear about what are the company needs in order to both design the right CX program and understand how to monitor its impact on business metrics. In today’s volatile market, leaders are responding to changes, seemingly daily, brought on by COVID-19. This is a difficult time, yes, with unique challenges, but it’s also an excellent time to re-evaluate how company needs align with customer experience strategy.
Market research is a great tool that companies often use for product development to increase quality and value , for bringing innovative products and services to market and for understanding what customers really want. Companies such as OSG Analytics, use advanced technology (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning) to help businesses understand what their customers really want. Leaders who can out-innovate their competitors will stay ahead in the market by delivering what their customers say they want.
However, it is quite understandable to have reservations about how much time, effort and dollars you should spend on improving customer experience, if you don’t know the exact value of returns your company will derive from it. This apprehension can lead to a lack of 100% dedication to revamp the CX infrastructure, and half-baked efforts won’t deliver full scale results.
A truly effective CX program should provide your business with organic growth from within the existing customer base while also acquiring new customers.
With that in mind, your CX program must be able to answer the following questions:
- How do we continuously improve CX?
- How do we address the changing needs and expectations of customers?
- How do we estimate the Return on Customer Experience (ROCX) from all the investment that is pumped in year after year to improve CX delivered by our brand and organization?
With changes in the economic environment, increase in public safety concerns and fluctuations in product availability due to COVID-19, customer expectations are changing at a rate that match their fluctuating needs. Therefore, as customers engage with your products and services, they will likely expect brands to raise the bar in serving them.
The 3E framework for improved customer experiences
The 3Es of Customer Experience is a simple three step framework that helps brands to develop superior experiences for their customers.
A brand or business can improve customer experience [RW4] only when they gain a deep understanding of what their customers really want and expect and only after they have identified where are the needs gaps. That is the foundation for an effective CX program. Once identified, companies can then design experiences based on what matters most to their customers. CX initiatives created with a deep understanding of the needs and expectations of your customers are better set up to yield significant ROCX.
Behavioral Analytics and Artificial Intelligence for Customer Experience
Behavioral analytics is an excellent CX tool that helps businesses uncover and understand what drives customer decisions, it and can help you to understand how well your CX program is working and where to make changes.
Behavioral analytics examines the “what” and “how” of consumer behavior data to inform the “why” of customer behavior and motivations. When you understand what motivates someone to purchase, use and engage with your products, services, brand and business then you can design an effective CX program which should yield a better ROCX.
Companies such as OGS, who work in the field of and deploy artificial intelligence (AI) and behavioral analytics to understand what are the deeper drivers and motivations of consumers’ choices, assess the needs of each individual customer to understand what is most important to them.
Customer Experience Metrics Define the Value of ROCX
It is imperative to identify the metrics that represent the customer experience delivered and the impact on overall business goals. Some of the key areas you will see an impact on as you focus on CX are as follows:
- Repeat Purchases (loyal customer)
- Value of Purchases (customer trust)
- Reviews (positive reviews)
- Cost of Acquisition (retaining a customer saves money which contributes to overall)
- Customer Support Costs (satisfied customers lower costs; dissatisfied ones increase costs)
A well-thought-out CX program which highly considers the needs and expectations of the customer will save a business money while also increasing revenue. Even though COVID-19 has changed how your customers shop and what they expect, the same holds true, uncover what your customers truly want and fulfill their expectations and you should see positive results and an ROCX that proves CX is worth the effort, time and money invested.
OSG’s technology incorporates behavioral analytics and provides continual cost-effective monitoring of all customer touchpoints, both online and offline, to track all of these kinds of metrics and to model market changes, helping organizations to adapt to the new world.
For more information, how OSG can help you improve your customer experience program reach out to OSG here.