Customer Experience Optimisation: a structured approach
Introducing the Customer Experience optimisation model
- Customer Experience
More and more organisations are aware of the impact of the customer experience on business results and competitiveness. Research shows that 84% of organsations prioritise customer experience more than they did two years ago. In fact to 76%, it is high or top priority. Further research shows that the customer experience is essential to the marketing strategy according to CMOs.
Thinking in, among other things, personas and customer journeys, and creating related roles such as customer journey experts, customer experience (CX) analysts or CX managers is becoming more and more common. And that is much needed because customer expectations are growing and changing. For example, the customer experience expectation of Generation Z has increased by 23% in the past two years. In the US this is even 26%.
Investing in customer experience pays off
Investments in customer experience strengthen your competitive position. 84% of organisations working to improve the customer experience, see revenue growth.
77% of consumers choose a product or service because they had a good customer experience with the organisation. 64% avoid a brand after one bad interaction or experience.In fact, according to that survey, 66% of hotel guests select their hotel based on customer experience, the most important criterion in the decision-making process. Followed by price (51%) and location (48%).
Adobe came to the same conclusion and has established CX as the main focus area for all communications and events since last year.
Outdated mindsets and processes are an obstacle to developing extraordinary experiences
However, it appears that only a small part (23%) of the companies achieve a significantly positive result from CX investments. This is due to outdated mindsets and processes. Read more in this article.
The main reason that the CX optimisation results are disappointing is that there is still little awareness of the added value. There is a lack of vision on customer experience and knowledge of matters that impact the customer experience. For example, research shows that only 19% of the 1,300 organisations surveyed worldwide have transferred CX activities to a central customer experience team or manager. Almost half see it as part of the Customer Care department.
Improving CX optimisation
In practice, we see a number of points for improvement in many organisations:
- The focus is too much on specific conversion optimisation (CRO) activities. Think of A/B testing on specific touch points.
- Too much emphasis is placed on customer journey analysis and mapping.
- The process is placed in one specific department, for example Marketing or Customer Care. This makes an omnichannel approach impossible.
- Employees without a CX background, but only with specific knowledge of A/B testing or survey tools, are seen as CX experts.
How to become customer-driven
A small group of organisations processes customer experience optimisation thoroughly in the organisation. They work on this from top management up to and including the most specific processes and roles. They are also implementing drastic changes that enable the transition to a customer-driven organisation.
Some of the organisations in the Netherlands score well when it comes to customer experience excellence.The Top-3 in 2018 consisted of Lush, Simyo and Bol.com.
A customer-driven mindset starts with the mission and vision. Followed by the Key Performance Indicators and department goals. A Chief Experience Officer (CXO) can make an important contribution to this. To be truly customer-driven, the customer must be represented at the highest level.
A new plan of action: the Customer Experience Optimisation Model
It's time for a structured approach. For this we developed the Digital Power Customer Experience Optimisation Model ©:
The 3 phases of the Customer Experience Optimisation model
This model ensures that step by step, as an entire organisation, you work more effectively on a better customer experience. It consists of 3 main stages:
Customer Experience optimisation is a continuous process. Nevertheless, the analysis phase is an essential starting point. The basis of all improvements is an extensive analysis of the total customer journey. Then you zoom in on pain areas and impact moments. You can view these per touch point or web page, for example. You segment by device, channel or persona.
For a complete picture of the customer journey and customer lifecycle, you need to do this over a number of lifecycle phases. Consider, for example, a Facebook campaign that may or may not lead to more conversions, or a mailing to customers that could influence customer turnover. Only if you look at the entire customer journey, you can discover the causes of your challenges and how you can improve them.
Persona building, customer lifecycle mapping and customer journey mapping are methods for clarifying insights. They help to clearly communicate these insights internally and thus create support.
Pain areas and impact moments are mapped out and prioritised. These are therefore highly dependent on the analysis that precedes them. Without good analysis, it is impossible to clearly visualise the customer journey.
A multidisciplinary team is crucial to properly carry out the activities in this phase. Think about:
- an optimisation expert with a background in consumer psychology
- a user experience designer who can also code
- a user experience researcher with strong analytical skills
Currently, many organisations do not go beyond A/B testing. By also using user tests, in-depth interviews, card sorting, surveys or heat maps, you learn a lot more about your customers. In addition, good preliminary research and well-considered hypotheses are very important.
Customer experience optimisation: 5 things to keep in mind
When you look at the CX optimisation model, the process seems very logical. Yet there are very few companies that have actually set up a similar process and execute it correctly. So it's not just about devising this model, but also about its actual implementation. A big challenge in itself!
Do you want to get started with this? Take advantage of this handy download and remember 5 takeaways:
Our Customer Experience Specialists will help you improve your customers' experience. Find out more here.
This is an article by Gökhan Arslantas, Customer Experience Specialist at CXOCO
Gökhan is our former colleague. During his time at Digital Power, he fulfilled various lead and product owner roles at Philips, Nuon, Virgin Media Ireland, Rabobank, ABN Amro and Essent, among others. He is now an entrepreneur dedicated to Customer Experience.
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