Why CEOs Prioritize CX Now More Than Ever
By Megan Freshley
Sure, most tech CEOs barely have time to focus on their company’s big picture and all its moving parts. When they consider what will grow their profits quarter after quarter, their attention is drawn to product improvements and weeding out internal inefficiencies. But as increasingly sophisticated metrics help the C-suite get a clearer idea of what really drives success, an emphasis on maximizing the beneficial effects of solid customer experience (CX) is coming to the forefront of their strategies.
Better CX really does drive better results
So what’s causing this sweep of renewed interest in CX among high-level executives? Data, of course. Hank Barnes, Research VP at Gartner, recently shared some insights after a poll revealed 58 percent of CEOs reported that the “focus on innovating in the way their companies engage with customers” was a top priority — even more so than investing in new technology.
The way Barnes sees it, this is all because of the results CEOs are discovering through CX improvements. They’re opting out of the ‘back of the house’ mindset and honing in on using their unique position to further CX development that leads to positive experiences far from their corporate desks. After all, we know as consumers that our brand loyalty, like everything else, is relationship-driven. Each CX experience amounts to an overall opinion, and CEOs do have a role in shaping that opinion through the way they manage their priorities. Improved CX isn’t just about making nice. It’s about learning what’s critical to a brand’s success right now.
Customers have more than just buying power
Rather than only the end-result of their dollars going toward a purchase, customers are co-creating every step of the sales process thanks to social media marketing and reviews. They no longer make the same distinctions between online and in-store shopping, but expect an integrated CX experience through growing trends like mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) and location-based marketing services. The bottom line is that customers are playing a more active role than ever in their journey to checkout, and that adds a lot of complexity for businesses to face.
Not only are they more active — their expectations have also changed. The corporate feel of impersonal information-doling appeals to few millennials, who prefer brands show their human quirk even within a simple troubleshooting call or online return. It’s imperative to identify which key customer journeys are either lacking or undocumented and figure out a way to measure them to produce insight-worthy data.
Product support is a rich CX opportunity
One way to bake better CX into the sales journey is via updated customer and product support. Rather than over-budget for marketing that drops off once a purchase is made, companies could stand to think of customer support as a component of said marketing — it’s a bigger picture view of CX that makes way for the cultivation of brand loyalty and long-lasting customers.
As an oft-overlooked battleground for winning consumer hearts, customer support offers plenty of opportunities for improved CX from savvier community management to more personalized product support. Regardless, it’s about taking advantage of those interactions people seek out with the expectation of stellar CX. And with 66 percent of brand-switching consumers doing so because of bad service, companies can’t afford to spend all their time focused only on product.
Customers still want an authentic experience
Customers are in charge and savvy CEOs are finally taking note. As swift tech development led to more and more automation within the customer experience, we became more alienated than sated (AI phone menus, for instance). Now we realize that a truly memorable customer experience is one that melds effortless technology with a warm human touch. Customers won’t be wowed by generic CX — your company needs its own unique approach to stand out and create an authentic CX signature.