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Bec Loves CX

Customer Experience Strategy: Building the boat!

By Bec Loves CX, Homepage, IndustryNo Comments

Before we can steer the ship, we must first build the boat!

Last month, we worked on coming to terms with how clients truly perceive us, and we’ve got a pretty good understanding of what remarkable experiences are. The next question we need to ask ourselves is “What’s next?”.

Before we can steer the ship, we must first build the boat! This is where your Customer Experience Strategy comes into play. Call me a CX nerd, but I absolutely LOVE this part of the process as it’s where creative freedom is your friend and you start to bring CX to life.

The CXPA defines the CX strategy as “… our intended Customer Experience, how it links to our overall organisation strategy and objectives and how it aligns to our brand values and attributes.” This will build the foundations of your approach to customer experience and give your team direction.

We need to create our vision, values, and branding, centred around CX and aligned with the business direction. This will build a foundation for realistic expectations of experience for your staff and your clients.

For some inspiration, The Ritz Carlton Hotel penned their CX vision as “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen”. When I read this, I would assume that as a customer of the Ritz I could expect an experience of a glamorous standard, to be wined and dined. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hector Elizondo from ‘Pretty Woman’ was there, ready to teach me which fork goes first. I drew this conclusion from one sentence, powerful right?

Once you have your vision, you can build on this with values. These are generally short points outlining the core values that support your vision and sets a standard of what you might look for in potential applicants that join your team in future. For example, if I were tasked with writing the values that underpin The Ritz Carlton’s vision it would comprise of words such as:

  • Opulence
  • Exclusive
  • Personal
  • Refined

Now that you have your vision and values, we need to consider what implicit and explicit promises your business is making to the wider audience. Below are some questions to ask internally and externally – Remember, we can never assume we know the answer ourselves!

  • What are our clients’ expectations of the experience we should be providing, based on the impression our brand portrays?
  • What specific promises are we making? 
  • Are our clients’ expectations of CX, and the promises we make around CX, align with our CX and business strategy?
    • Are they realistic expectations? 
    • How can we make sure we get this right from the very beginning of a client’s journey?

Now you are armed with this information, the boat won’t build itself! Block out some time to meet with your team and brainstorm how you could approach this.

CX is Far from a Fad!

By Bec Loves CX, Homepage, In the Media, Industry3 Comments

You may have heard word on the street that Client Experience (CX) is the new industry fad and that if you don’t embrace it, your business is setting itself up for failure. This is a controversial opinion among critics however, only one part of this is true and I can say with confidence, CX is far from a fad!

CX has been around for decades however, it has commonly been mistaken for customer service and pumping valuable dollars into the latest and greatest technology. Although these are contributors to CX, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The expectations from our clients to deliver on CX is growing day by day. 

CXPA refers to Client Experience as “the perception that customers have of an organisation – one that is formed based on interactions across all touchpoints, people and technology over time”. 

I interpret this as an emotional connection you form with a business based on your experiences with them on all levels. It’s that heart-fluttering nostalgia you get when Mr Whippy drives by playing music, in the middle of summer – Doesn’t that take you back to some fun memories? And Mr Whippy generally drove a beat-up old van and his ice cream machine was probably older than your parents, but the experiences and memories that it gave you evoke a fuzzy feeling every time.

The first question to ask yourself is this: How do our clients perceive our business? 

Many of us have been guilty of drawing off assumptions however, the key to CX is facing the hard facts of what clients really do perceive or feel when they think of your business. The biggest mistake business owners make is assuming their business is perceived a certain way and implementing changes based on this. This is self-sabotage!

Hearing and seeing hard facts or data on this matter can be a hard pill to swallow for some but if you have a genuine understanding of your client’s perception, you’re already on the path to CX success and can start implementing meaningful change.

I could go on about CX for hours and hours and don’t worry, I will! But before I flood you with what I have learnt about the six competencies of Client Experience (and work to convert you into a CX superstar!), I’d like you to think about the following points:

  • Mr Whippy was delivering Client Experience to children decades ago, it’s not a fad that will fade away and it doesn’t mean you need the latest and greatest of everything. 
  • There are two types of business owners in the world, the ones that have already embraced CX and the ones that will be forced to embrace it in order to survive. Which one do you want to be?
  • Client Experience is a genuine feeling and perception of your business.

Let’s make a start on this journey together and pick one point from this post that you can apply in your everyday life. It will make a world of difference and allow you to get a feel for what it is to live CX.