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KT Prasad

KT Prasad is the Country Sales Director for Zendesk, India. Since joining the Indian office of the San Francisco based SaaS Company in September 2016, he has been responsible for Business growth with a focus on helping customers transform their customer service into meaningful customer engagement with beautifully simple solutions.

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Customer Experience Strategy as a Game Changer for Growth

According to an IDC survey, over 72 percent of the respondents agreed that their customer experience management approach was owned by the company’s senior directors and executives.

Market dynamics are constantly changing and along with it is the growing clamour for better and improved customer support experiences. Irrespective of the size of an organisation or its history, formulating a well thought out customer experience strategy could well be the determining factor for success amidst today's competition. Needless to state, one should be receptive to change and be open to radical shifts in one’s business model to embrace such disruptive trends.

According to a report compiled by ‘International Data Corporation’, regarding Customer Support Experience Initiatives, the study found that customer support experience strategies shouldn’t just be limited to customer facing agents and employees, but should rather factor in back office support processes and departments. The process needs to work towards aligning them all into a singular and seamless all-encompassing strategy. 

In fact, this would come as a wakeup call for many companies to look at the long-term picture rather than focus on short term gains when it comes to choices in customer engagement. While this may appear to be a tough ask, this is a necessary feature that a company must accept in the interest of growth and in staying relevant with the times. 

Now let us look at some of the factors that will help in building an effective customer-experience strategy.

Leadership

At the heart of the initiative lies the resolve and the commitment of the company’s leadership in making this a reality. The leadership will need to drive the vision of the company in line with its aspirations to build better and improved customer experience strategies. According to an IDC survey, over 72 percent of the respondents agreed that their customer experience management approach was owned by the company’s senior directors and executives. This comes as no surprise as this is fundamental to sustaining the growth and vision of a company.

Collaborative effort

It is pivotal for every team member of an organisation to buy into and to contribute to the success of new customer experience processes being introduced. This cannot be restricted only to the sales and support division but rather straddle every department within the company. If there are barriers or walls between departments, it is the onus of management to educate and streamline these divisions into a common goal integrating new and improved customer experience management.  

Consistency

It is imperative for organisations today to provide a uniform and consistent experience across channels. This would in turn require cutting edge processes that are integrated across the board along with its reach permeating all departments. However, it is no easy task for complex organisations that already run multiple processes to manage their customer service data to cohesively sync while retaining legacy systems. When you are developing your strategy, the question that you need to ask yourself is whether the software solutions are helping employees access customer data more easily and if the system provides the necessary flexibility to help them adapt to the change. 

Although most organisations may feel that it is practical to incorporate low cost channels such as self-service or live chat to communicate with their customers, one must also be prepared for the implications that come with it. According to a recent IDC report, companies that have been pushing low cost avenues have ironically been witnessing longer resolution times with their tickets. This has resulted in the need to deploy more numbers of agents to address concerns. The fact being that while more customers do solve issues by self-service, it also results in a steady stream of unresolved and complicated issues landing on the agent’s plate. 

It demonstrates the importance of ensuring your support channels are serving their intended purpose. Sometimes, like with self-service, it’s about having relevant, easy to find and informative knowledge based articles for customer to use in order to resolve queries. 

Employees

Every employee is pivotal to a brands intrinsic value and towards the success of an organisation. And hence synergizing them with the customer experience strategy of the company is paramount. Adequate measures should be taken to train and retain employees and to secure their loyalty in the long run. Well-motivated and enthusiastic employees will prove to be game changers in the successful adoption and implementation of these strategies. Integrating your HR goals with a Customer Experience vision will only help establish the Foundation of a strong company with vibrant credentials. 

Truth be told that Customer Experience is a fairly new concept and most companies are only now warming up to its nuances. But business markets are dynamic and unforgiving and one must constantly adapt to stay ahead of the times. Who would have ever imagined a decade ago that companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon will be the market leaders that they are today? Customer Experience is easily at the heart of these companies servicing millions of customers every minute of the day across the globe.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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