Implementing an effective customer experience strategy

Today’s customers want businesses to deliver rapid and reliable services and demonstrate an in-dept understanding of their needs. They expect to access information about products and services from any device anytime, and they want the experience to be integrated and seamless. This creates challenges for organisations that need to ensure they’re consistently delivering a highly-effective customer experience.

To stay competitive, customer-centricity is essential. While traditional customer relationship management (CRM) technology fills an important need, many legacy systems can’t fulfil complex customer expectations. CRM can no longer operate as a silo. Data insights need to be integrated, systems need to work together, and interoperability is key.

Organisations need to adhere to four key principles to successfully achieve a customer-centric strategy:

1. Attunement to customer needs

To develop a competitive edge, customers’ needs must always be the priority. A deep understanding of customer needs, empowered by data, should sit at the centre of any effective customer experience strategy. Only with the right technology and culture in place is true insight possible: a clear, in-depth understanding of customer needs.

Automated tools can provide a much richer understanding of customer touchpoints, so organisations can use this information to deliver better customer experiences.

2. Be aware and agile

It’s important to be aware of competitors’ customer experience strategies, as this provides understanding of how the business measures up and where it could stand out from the crowd by offering something different or better.

Businesses also need to know what’s happening in the technology space. For example, investing in a CRM system requires a significant commitment, so it’s important that the chosen system supports the flexibility that the business will need to continue to adapt and innovate to meet customers’ changing needs.

3. Align strategies with customer requirements

Business strategies can be interchangeable from business to business, especially within industries, so there’s not a lot of differentiation. However, when a business strategy is informed by the very specific needs of customers, organisations can make a real impact in the market.

4. Put collaboration at the core of operations

An effective customer-centric strategy should have collaboration at its core. To respond to customers in a timely and cohesive way, organisations need to enable their people be able to share information and work together anywhere, at any time, and from any device to deliver on customer needs.

Organisations need to look at intelligent business applications that can help them grow, evolve and transform. Look for systems that offer unified capabilities to help manage functions across customer insight, sales, customer service, operations, financials, field service and project service automation.

Grant Barker, Director Advisory & Project Delivery Services, State of Matter

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