5 Ways to Upgrade Your Customer Experience Strategy

Senior managers in an office talking about their new customer experience strategy

Not all CX strategies are created equal — take these five steps to improve your customer experience strategy for maximum impact.

Launch a customer experience (CX) program already? Now you’re wondering what you can do to take things to the next level. After all, CX and all that it entails is an always-on effort.

Everything you want to accomplish by delighting customers doesn’t happen overnight, and taking your foot off the gas might result in the quality of experiences dipping below your customers’ expectations. And if expectations are missed, customers will move over to the competition. It’s why you need to recognize customer experience is a top priority.

How to Improve an Existing Customer Experience Strategy

Brands with an established customer experience strategy keep up with trends and insights as they emerge in order to drive decision-making. It’s this agility to analyze and adapt in real time that maintains their positioning as industry leaders.

When every employee from the front lines to the boardroom comes together and collectively invests in CX, a successful CX program is within reach.

So, what should you do if your CX strategy is struggling? You’ve taken a look at customer experience metrics, and you’re noticing that experiences just aren’t hitting the mark. Customer loyalty doesn’t seem strong, and revenue is stalling.

No, it’s not time to sound the alarm (at least right now). It’s likely that your customer experience strategy is missing a few things that would greatly improve CX. Organizations in this situation need to experiment, test hypotheses, track performance, and iterate over time. Once all the improvements are in motion, CX should return to excellence across every touchpoint in the customer journey.

Here’s an overview of what leaders like you should do to enhance your customer experience strategy and deliver even greater results from your CX efforts.

#1. Capture customer experience signals across channels

When brands first get started building out their CX strategy, they may have limited or no historical customer experience data to analyze. If that’s the case, initial customer experience efforts often involve launching customer surveys to create a baseline understanding of CX.

But as an organization expands its commitment to CX, it should begin to tie in a variety of customers signals from all interactions to form a complete picture of the customer journey. Only a customer experience management (CEM) platform packed with the top features accomplishes this. You’ll capture, analyze, and act on the signals explaining the meaning behind all types of customer feedback.

Both direct and indirect feedback are integral to understanding how customers feel about a given brand and its products or services, what their needs are in the moment, and how to meet expectations efficiently. Capture a wide range of signals — beyond what’s available only in surveys — and earn the comprehensive view representative of every touchpoint and interaction on a segmented basis for demographics and individually for each customer.

#2. Leverage customer journey mapping

Consumers are choosing digital channels to interact with their favorite brands more than ever before. In 2021, 60% of customer-brand interactions were online rather than in-person — and that figure is only expected to increase as digital experience (DX) continues serving as an integral part of CX strategy.

Digital interactions across websites, mobile applications, email, live chat, and social are all preferred today, so why avoid optimizing these channels for a seamless omnichannel experience?

It’s important for businesses to take the time to understand what these journeys look (and feel) like for individuals as they move from awareness and consideration through conversions, repeat purchases, and long-term retention. The goal: To identify and remove points of friction preventing customers from successfully completing conversions, becoming repeat customers, or recommending the company to their friends and family through referrals.

You’ll need to conduct customer journey mapping, which charts the touchpoints of a customer journey to assess what customers experience. It leads to journey orchestration, and this is the process in which brands redesign experiences with personalization based on customer preferences.

As part of customer journey mapping to improve a CX strategy, organizations leverage digital experience analytics tools such as form analytics and heatmaps to monitor behaviors.

#3. Build out a social listening strategy

One of the easiest ways to unlock timely customer insights that reveal how consumers feel about a brand, product, or service without having to ask directly is to see what individuals have to say about the company in public channels, such as social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook and on review sites like Google Reviews and Tripadvisor.

Most customers want to provide feedback after interacting with a brand, so they’re prepared with a wealth of invaluable feedback. This can be tapped leveraging social listening, a process of monitoring and analyzing everything that’s said about a given brand’s products, services, industry, and competitors via public social channels.

An effective social listening strategy includes keeping real-time tabs on social media conversations about a given brand and relevant keywords and phrases. Using artificial intelligence (AI)-powered text analytics and speech analytics and social listening tools, companies make sense of all of this unstructured data (such as social comments, mentions, messages) and synthesize this information into the top topics and trends people are talking about.

#4. Measure customer sentiment in real time

Listening to customers across channels by capturing signals helps brands not only know what customers are talking about in relation to the business but how they feel.

The way to do that is by measuring sentiment using AI-powered text and speech analytics, as mentioned above, which are instrumental in automating the process of analyzing massive amounts of unstructured data. These technologies can evaluate whether an individual comment about a business is negative, positive, or neutral and whether customer conversations about the brand as a whole are leaning in one direction or the other.

Not only can these technologies be used to analyze social conversations, as described earlier, they can be used to transcribe voice conversations, such as contact center phone calls, and text responses, such as contact center live chat sessions or open-ended responses to customer feedback surveys. This analysis saves brands from having to have employees manually read through and analyze every comment, providing instant insights.

#5. Democratize access to CX insights to employes

Studies have found connections between CX and employee experience (EX). It’s no wonder then that improving the experience for employees — by giving them access to information that will help them work smarter and feel better about their jobs — is a powerful tactic companies can use to improve their customer experience strategy.

Actionable customer feedback can enhance employee training by helping workers see what they’re doing well and where they can improve to better serve customers. Real-life customer praise about employees gathered from customer listening efforts can also boost employee satisfaction and engagement by letting team members know the work they’re doing is meaningful and having an impact.

Ultimately, the right customer insights can help employees address the underlying cause of frustrating issues that create stress for workers and customers. Together, improving employee training, engagement, and experiences helps organizations strengthen employee retention, which is linked with improved customer outcomes.

Continuous Listening & Innovation Improves a Customer Experience Strategy

Brands with the most successful customer experience strategies have one thing in common: They’re invested in listening to their critical segments continuously across channels in real time, and this in-the-moment analysis allows them to uncover the timely insights necessary to effectively innovate and meet customers’ changing needs faster than the competition.