Customer Experience is an oft-overlooked source of competitive advantage. Increasingly, empowered buyers have come to expect certain levels of service and support from the brands they frequent. Businesses that register this and scale with customer-centricity in mind will naturally develop a competitive advantage both within and beyond the brand’s industry.
While nearly half of CX professionals believe their company stands out, research suggests that consumers don’t agree and that many companies are struggling to execute on their lofty ambitions. The most recent round of Forrester Customer Experience Surveys found that both US and UK consumers rate even the most major brands as delivering experiences that range from “poor” to merely “okay.” Despite increased expectations, low customer experience delivery is the current baseline.
Yesterday we hosted a webinar on this important topic featuring Forrester Senior Consultant Jonathan Browne who fully explored the state of CX and shared tips to help companies improve their strategies. He outlines a winning strategy in four stages:
- Repair: halt outdated practices, identify weaknesses, and coordinate CX strategy across organizational silos
- Elevate: introduce customer-centricity as a primary goal of company culture and assign clear CX behaviors to employees
- Optimize: invite customers into the design process and develop a tool kit to design more sophisticated experiences
- Differentiate: use deep customer insights to actualize an experience that answers unmet needs; rethink the entire CX ecosystem to deliver truly differentiated experiences
Browne’s parting example is with a CX leader, the airline Emirates, which constantly goes above and beyond to deliver experiences that surprise and delight. After hearing customers say that following a flight they simply wanted to feel “refreshed,” they reframed the boundaries of what’s possible in air travel, and installed showers into its first class cabins. Delivering this unparalleled customer experience resulted in tangible business results: in a notoriously unprofitable industry, Emirates has been profitable for 26 consecutive years, and saw a 13% increase in both revenue and number of passengers flown in 2013.
To learn a lot more about these strategies for success and to encounter examples of companies reinventing their practices in order to elevate their CX, access a recording of the live event here.