Successful companies find the best way to earn long-term loyalty means activating four elements of customer experience: Vision, Empathy, Alignment and Consistency. I say “successful companies” because many companies never get past the point of identifying priorities for CX.
Sometimes companies stall because departments don’t always coordinate their work, technologies don’t integrate, or individual employees take differing approaches to customer experience. Taken together, it can seem hard to craft a great approach to customer experience. In reality, it’s simple when you have the right four elements of a customer experience model.
Providing great customer experiences in technology companies
We have all consumed technology in some shape or form, both professionally and personally. Everyone has probably had some great experiences and some abysmal experiences. What separates the great from the poor? Your success using a product generally indicates a better experience. When a product is quick to implement and addresses your needs or exceeds your expectations, it’s generally considered a success.
This example begs the overall question – how can your company design its customer experience to deliver success? Investing in CX initiatives has the potential to double your revenue within 36 months.
Achieving that kind of revenue growth means cultivating truly loyal customers and high numbers of referrals.
Incorporating the four elements of vision, empathy, alignment, and consistency creates a customer experience framework that ensures 360degree alignment between your leadership, team, and customers. The result is an enterprise-wide CX Strategy that aligns process, tactics, and department goals. Let’s dive into each of the four elements of customer experience to better understand how they impact your company and your customers.
1. Articulate A Vision For Customer Experience Strategy
All excellent customer experiences begin with a well-articulated statement of what that experience should be. At Alignmint Growth Strategies we refer to this as the Bullseye. A Bullseye is a simple statement that everyone in the company can use to guide their decisions related to the customer. When this is implemented, decisions at all levels happen more efficiently, customer-facing processes are in alignment, and the team feels empowered, resulting in higher levels of employee engagement. Vision aligns your leadership with the employees who engage directly with customers.
2. Add Empathy To Your Customer Experience Framework
Empathy in CX means understanding how your company is experienced from your customer’s perspective. Many companies claim they are “customer-centric” or “customer-obsessed” but never fully bring customers into planning and goal setting. Without a clear vision, it can be challenging to discern which voices to prioritize. Internally, customer success team members might deal with operational teams across several customer segments. Your sales team might deal with buyers who differ from those users. Your executive team may have even more contacts, perhaps in the C-suite.
Whose voice matters most? Too often, the customer that complains the loudest is the one who is heard. But listening to the loudest voices can be harmful.
Instead, you must listen to the customers that drive the most value for your company. Those customers deliver revenue, referrals and engagement. At Alignmint Growth Strategies we call these customers your Lucrative Loyals. Understanding your Lucrative Loyals means you know how they found you initially and what’s important to them. Empathy means you understand how customers think, feel, do and say. When you listen to your customers’ wants and needs and prioritize delivery to your Lucrative Loyals, you can find others like them more effectively.
3. Ensure Alignment For Internal Communication
Your CX Strategy must incorporate alignment between the activities of your customer and your company. A customer journey is an important tool for delivering consistency. But without a clear plan for your employees to deliver that journey, you’re likely to end up with an empty strategic idea that looks cool on paper but fails in reality.
You have to align the customer’s journey with your team’s action steps.
This alignment includes every department that touches the customer. This does not just mean customer-facing functions like customer success. Your customer experience framework also needs to include sales, product communications, customer marketing and leadership at a minimum.
With alignment, the company communicates more effectively with customers. That communication continuously reinforces a vision that encourages customers to become increasingly invested in their relationship with you. Adding alignment to your customer experience strategy improves long-term value
4. Build Customer Loyalty With Consistency
When your company articulates a vision, then adds empathy and alignment, you’ll already be on your way to a better customer experience. The last key piece of the model is consistency. Consistency is the foundation for customer trust.
Customers expect companies to meet their commitments and address needs throughout the relationship. However, companies often fall short of customer expectations because they don’t give their employees adequate paths to success. As companies go from startup to scale, they need to create tools & processes so that employees know what’s expected of them.
What we often see is leaders who don’t have time to articulate their expectations clearly. And even if they are clear at some point, they don’t reinforce their expectations often enough – that’s especially true when new employees come on board.
Ensure all employees are armed with processes to successfully deliver on the customer experience framework by giving them a clear playbook. At Alignmint, Playbooks provide the instruction and process so team members know what to do across the customer’s journey with your company.
Our Playbooks enable consistency.
When designed correctly, Playbooks apply all four elements of the customer experience. They apply the vision to a Playbook’s process. They incorporate empathy by reinforcing what we know about the customer and what motivates their loyalty. Playbooks align action across the company by incorporating all departments that engage in that particular process. And they enable consistency by delivering a clear set of steps.
Build Trust and Win Loyal Customers By Applying the Four Elements to your Customer Experience
At Alignmint Growth Strategies, we help companies architect a strategy that delivers on all four elements of customer experience. Learn more about ways Alignmint Growth Strategies can help you apply these practices in your company. Let’s talk!