The world of Customer Experience Management has changed a lot over the last 10 years.
Prior to 2010, long market research surveys and customer focus groups were the closest most companies got to “listening” to their customers.
Since then two major trends have pushed the space forward into the world of “Experience Management” (XM) which we see today.
Firstly, the role of “the customer has changed”; thanks to social media and the popularity of online review sites, customers have more power than ever to make or break a brand through their online mentions. Coupled with this, their expectations of what constitutes a good interaction has also increased as companies like Amazon, AirBnB, Uber have set a new standard in what it means to seamlessly interact with companies; fulfilling customer needs with a mere few clicks within an app. Therefore listening to the individual customer and acting on their feedback on a continuous basis has never been more important.
Secondly, technology has progressed to the point where all companies, regardless of size or budget, have the ability to monitor customer feedback in real time whether that be through email surveys, SMS, online reviews or voice/video feedback channels. Experience Management SaaS vendors, like Medallia and Qualtrics, have continuously pushed the limits of what is possible in terms of feedback collection, coupled with advancements in Martech and Digital platforms which allowed communications to be personalized in real time. This has led to a world where a customer’s journey can be orchestrated on a 1 to 1 basis based on a customer profile, past interactions and recent feedback, to provide a truly personalized experience.
The Keys to Success
Having worked in the space for more than a decade, we witnessed these changes first hand.
We saw the “early adopters” who were able to quickly realise the potential of new technology and role of the customer to use it to their advantage, crafting more customer centric offerings. And also helped change the mindset of many companies who were slightly “late to the party” with an over reliance on older tools and approaches.
Over time we have seen some incredibly successful XM programs which go on to contribute millions to the company’s bottom line, and some programs which have promising starts but unfortunately languish post implementation and never provide any tangible results.
There are many factors which contribute to a program’s success, but we started to see some common themes arise in truly valuable programs:
- They see the software as an enabler, rather than a solution in itself
- They appreciate that experience management is a journey, which begins with the implementation rather than ends there
- They recognize the need to engage their organization (beyond their specific team), establishing initiatives such as cross functional committees to drive change
To be clear there are more contributing factors (tying the program to business KPIs, strong executive sponsors, ability to move/innovate quickly, a culture which emphasizes the importance of the customer…and more), but we highlight the three listed above as core mindsets which will often form the foundation of successful programs from Day 1.
We setup Higher Oak in 2017 with the aim of helping companies design, build and run customer experience programs that can truly deliver value for their customers, shareholders and employees.
Whereas many partners in the space focus on a quick implementation, getting a survey built and out to customers as quickly as possible. We wanted to perform implementations that were not only efficiently deployed, but also challenge our customers to think about the bigger picture and long term success of the program.
That’s why we developed our advisory framework (below), which helps our customers focus on success criteria for the long term, rather than seeing the program as a one off technical implementation.
Across our implementations, we find that companies who are able to take this “more strategic” mindset, see a much quicker (and larger!) ROI on their Experience Management Program. Additionally we have found that discussing long term aspects (such as: which teams will be conducting customer callbacks, what are the underlying business objectives), can lead to a more efficient technical implementation, with much less rework down the line.
Tailored to Your Journey
Finally, we know that each company’s Experience Management journey is unique.
As a boutique consultancy, we take the time to understand your specific stage of the journey (whether you are starting a new implementation, or re-igniting an existing program) and also the industry wide factors which impact your position.
From there we can recommend a tailored approach for your specific circumstance and select a team which complements your program. Whether that be a complex implementation requiring technical resources, or an ongoing strategic advisor to help with organizational engagement throughout the program’s first year, or combination of skill sets; we have the expertise to partner with your teams.
For more information on our approach and services we offered, please get in touch here to set up an initial discussion.