CXPA Webinar Recap: CX Key Themes and Trends
Alongside many organizations, our company celebrated CX Day on October 6. We had cake, talked about our innovations in the field and client success stories, and congratulated our very own Paul Conder, one of the recipients of the CX Impact Award.
To kick the day off, we had a room full of Customer Experience (CX) professionals attend the webinar by the CXPA’s own Jeanne Bliss and Bruce Temkin covering key CX trends and themes. Here are the top three highlights we gleaned from the session:
1. Alignment must start in the C-suite to truly impact the customer experience. C-suite executives have historically provided only transactional approval of CX initiatives. But to really make an impact, active and involved approval from leadership must be gained.
We see this time and again with many of our clients. CX initiatives are becoming more of a strategic business objective across the entire company, so getting buy-in is not as challenging as it once was. However, the internal process often dissolves because the functional silos of an organization are not able to agree on CX priorities during early strategy development. Alignment at the C-Suite ensures that CX initiatives successfully get off the ground.
2. CX professionals must align their thinking to the customer journey. CX professionals must keep the customer at the center of the decision-making process. By asking key questions that align to the customer journey – Who is the customer? What is their goal? What did they do before their interaction? What did they do after? What will make them happy and keep them coming back? – CX professionals can drive a positive journey at each stage.
To expand on this a bit more, we’ve captured common pitfalls CX professionals have when utilizing a tool like journey mapping to visualize the customer journey. The questions outlined in the webinar are incredibly helpful to ensure that your journey map is aligned to the customer’s perspective (versus your organization’s perspective). We’ve found that the following topics are particularly important to explore:
- The overall human journey: life events, life stages, and social dynamics
- Customers’ motivations, needs, and goals before, during, and after they interact with the product or service
- Influences surrounding the customer, including those outside the brand’s control
- Customers’ perceptual journeys in addition to their behavioral journeys
3. A great customer experience doesn’t matter if it’s not repeatable. Customers want to rely on your brand to deliver the same experience time after time. You work hard on establishing trust with your customers and it’s paramount to follow through at every opportunity.
To build on that point, we’ve found that if you cannot repeat it and cannot measure it, it’s probably not worth doing.
In addition to these themes, we’ve seen two additional topics frequently come up in our recent conversations with clients:
- Employee engagement and the role employees play in CX, including developing change-management processes.
- Engaged employees are valuable brand ambassadors, and can ultimately be a very personal anchor to your customers. Ensuring employees feel valued and respected is key to ensuring they accurately deliver the desired experience to each customer they encounter. More than just feeling valued and respected, employees also need to possess a shared understanding of what CX means for your brand and your company.
- Unifying the experience across all customer touchpoints: digital, physical and “phygital.”
- To offer an omni-channel customer experience, brands must think across channels. From in-person to online, from mobile to social, each channel requires specific considerations to ensure seamless experience design.
Looking ahead to the near future, we’re encouraged to see the shift towards emotional + behavioral CX design, and how a positive CX experience can help drive customer retention and improve business performance. It’s exciting to see organizations make real progress towards improving CX, by tightening collaboration between customer services, product design, IT, and marketing teams.
For more in-depth reading on customer experience and how to most effectively leverage customer journey mapping, download these 5 steps to improve customer experience and customer loyalty in an omni-channel environment.