2021 has been another year full of strangeness, loss, and a new way of working, living, and interacting with others. As a new COVID-19 variant rears its head, it’s become clear that we need to adapt to the new normal because the virus is here to stay. It is evolving, and we need to evolve along with it.
We have drawn a metaphor from this realisation. Customer needs and expectations change continuously, and businesses need to adapt in order to retain and grow market share and stay relevant. Adaptation is seldom a comfortable process, but to help you in your journey to improve CX in your business we have put together some of our main learnings for 2021.
1. The CX metric you chose to monitor doesn’t really matter
This statement may seem counter-intuitive, but hear us out. Whether you chose to measure NPS, CSAT, CES, churn rate, retention rate, or CLV is irrelevant. However, what matters is whether the metric you chose to measure is measured consistently to trend over time. This establishes reliable data that informs strategy. Also, once you have the trend data, the steps you take to improve the CX metric you’ve chosen to measure matter more than the CX metric itself.
2. Employee engagement is a key driver of customer success
CX starts internally with employee satisfaction. Research shows that engaged employees directly impact customer experience. Employees are the ones who interact directly with the customer and a happy employee is more likely to deliver exceptional customer service. Moreover, engaged employees provide important CX insights and make significant contributions to services/products and process improvements.
3. The survey is not dead
Customers want to be able to share feedback and it's important that you give them the opportunity to do so. The survey is one of the best ways to obtain feedback and allows a business to analyse and act strategically on the data obtained. While everyone you meet may claim to never complete a survey, we have data that says millions of people do in fact complete surveys. Part of the reason that we have so much data is because we have invested thousands of hours into developing questions that actually work (for businesses and customers). Our Eyerys post-call IVR software, for example, is a survey that delivers instant feedback to the business after every contact centre interaction – and as many as 60% of all customers chose to leave feedback after a conversation.
4. Empathy is a key driver of customer satisfaction, particularly during tough times
Empathy is the ability to understand, identify with, and share the feelings of another, resulting in meaningful interactions with customers and employees alike. In customer service, empathy is also validating the emotions of the customer so that they feel understood and heard. Empathetic engagement with customers builds rapport and improves relationships. While empathy has always been an important part of customer satisfaction, over the past two years it has emerged as one of the leading drivers of great customer experience – customers will forgive a lot if you show that you care.
5. Customer satisfaction through digitisation has its limits
In most customer journeys, at some point, a customer wants a human connection. For example, digital transactions or interactions in insurance are fine, until the point of a claim – then people want to speak to a person. Benchmarking shows that customers rate experiences with people higher than experiences with processes and findings such as these should be front of mind when crafting wholly digital interactions. Although the world is becoming increasingly digitised, the human element is vital in providing the customer with the type of CX that gives an organisation an advantage over competitors.
2021 has been an interesting year, and our biggest lesson is this: People care about people. An enabled and engaged workforce will deliver against your CX goals, regardless of the metric you are chasing. Your customers want you to care about them - they want to share their feedback and they want you to use it to build better businesses.
As we move into 2022, now is the time to take a moment to reflect if you are getting this right in your own business – and if not, consider changing your approach.