The 7 Key Pillars Of CX Maturity
Customers typically make purchasing decisions based on the prior experiences they have had with a brand, product, or service. While it may take a few good customer experiences (CX) to build trust with a brand, just one bad experience can leave a big dent in the relationship.
Digitally mature companies have a leg up. During this time of COVID-19 and social distancing, people are moving to digital channels more than ever—and they have heightened expectations for a superior, connected, and consistent experience.
What does it take to become digitally mature and succeed in CX? Granted, most organizations understand the positive impact enhanced CX will bring to their top and bottom lines, influencing customer behavior and driving repeat business. But to provide a truly differentiating experience requires a hard, honest look at other factors, too.
Here are seven key pillars to gauge your organization’s CX maturity.
Leadership, People & Culture
People are the most valuable asset of any organization, and happy employees lead to happy customers. It falls on executive leadership to foster a culture of collaboration among their teams, filled with digital-first employees who are well-versed in the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence/machine learning, chatbots, cloud, and hyperpersonalization, to name a few. Among the ways leaders can build and operationalize a customer-centric culture is to share its positive impact on company performance and business growth.
Right Content Strategy
Content, we know, is king. That, of course, means having a content strategy in place to deliver a consistent, coherent CX across channels. Such a strategy should factor who the content is targeting, which channels the content will publish on, and the different formats content could take. In addition, defined content life cycle processes that ensure the right content is being used in the right channel, and can be leveraged across different teams, will go a long way. Teams should collectively work to create a content strategy and content to ensure optimization of effort and cost.
User experience (UX) is a subset of CX: Whereas UX is about a customer’s interaction with a product/service, CX is at the deeper relationship level. Both are crucial. Organizations can help improve the human experience they offer with a well-defined UX design process, factoring in business needs and user research–consumers’ likes and dislikes and how they think and behave—that help them define user personas and user journeys. This will help drive decisions that take customers’ views into account, leading to better CX.
Data & Intelligence
Data is one of the key pieces of the CX puzzle. The proliferation of channels and devices, including the Internet of Things, has brought with it a flood of data. It’s crucial to be able to identify what data is most relevant—which will differ from one company to another—and in as close to real time as possible to keep pace with shifts brought on by the current pandemic. Tools that capture and store data, with the ability to stitch it all together for a comprehensive view of customers, provide these insights. That way, organizations can understand every aspect of customers’ behaviors, preferences, and what triggers their actions–what they buy, their preferred channels to purchase, their capacity to spend, etc.
From there, organizations can build new and better experiences that lead to higher conversion and retention rates.
More so now than ever, customers expect their experiences to be seamless, from one touch point to another. If they research a product on their smartphones, they want to pick up where they left off when they move to their laptops or desktops. Brands must meet these expectations by reducing friction along the customer journey. According to a recent survey, 72% of consumers are likely to choose a brand that offers the ability to purchase/return across channels, emphasizing the need to simplify experiences along the customer journey.
Personalization At Scale
In order to deliver the right content through the right channels at the right time, organizations need to apply the insights and intelligence they have gathered and have a feedback loop that continuously enriches the data to fashion 1-1 personalized communications in real time, or near real time. One other key component is the agile management of the ever-changing landscape of data and segmentation. Especially now, organizations must be able to pivot the data sets for meaningful insights and drive personalized messaging at scale. This will take an organization to the next level of personalization.
Continuous Experience Optimization
As the current environment continues to evolve, companies that are more digitally mature can instill higher trust and ease the pain their customers are going through as they navigate through the pandemic with relevant and compassionate messaging that evolves along with what customers want to hear. This is why companies need to have “experience optimization” as part of their overarching strategy. This is shaped by clear KPIs and measurement criteria against their goals, e.g. conversion rates, average order value, and engagement and campaign metrics. These insights can be applied to understand which journeys, pages and their components are not working. Clear test goals and test plans need to be put in place, along with a culture of always-on testing, such as A/B and multivariate testing.
Taken together, these seven pillars can show organizations where they stand in terms of CX maturity—and where they might need to improve to better differentiate the experiences they provide.