CX Best Practices & Current Trends With Annette Franz
VP of Client Experience at Compellon
In the lead up to the Next Generation Customer Experience (NGCX) conference we caught up with Annette Franz, CCXP, VP of Client Experience at Compellon a leading data analytics solution company to discuss current trends in customer experience and how these trends are affecting businesses today.
NGCX: While organizations look to digital experience platforms as the foundation of their digital presence what would you recommend to someone looking to manage, deliver, and optimize their experiences consistently across all touch points?
AF: In a word, data.
Data brings the organization together, which is necessary to optimize the experience across all touch points. Ultimately, the data, the need to make sense of it, and the actions to be taken on it drive the breaking down of organizational silos and facilitate developing a single view of the customer. Those are two critical outcomes needed to optimize and to deliver a consistent experience.
The customer experience is complex and comprised of multiple touchpoints; it’s rarely, if ever, a simple, straightforward journey. If you want to optimize the experience, analyze your data to identify the most impactful combination of touch points. And then focus on those to begin with.
NGCX: How do you know whether an existing customer experience strategy needs improvement?
AF: In order to measure the success of any strategy, you need metrics. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, right? You can’t track success – and, hence, know when it’s time to pivot – without identifying metrics that define and measure success. Define those metrics early on so that you can pivot, if/when needed.
One of those elusive – yet most-sought-after – success metrics is ROI. ROI is important to understanding and measuring success, not just to building the business case. If, in the end, you make improvements, and there are no benefits, financial or otherwise, then the effort was wasted. No executive wants to (or will) support that.
NGCX: How can a company lacking good CX practices begin to improve their customer’s experience?
AF: The first step always is to recognize and acknowledge that there’s a problem. Those success metrics mentioned in the previous question will be a critical part of that process.
Make sure you’ve defined metrics that:
- Align with your desired outcomes
- Are truly relevant and actionable
Then it’s time to re-evaluate to determine where things are failing or flailing. There are a lot of different strategy assessments openly available for CX professionals to use. You’ll want to revisit things like your vision, brand promise, listening efforts, desired outcomes, organizational alignment, improvement efforts, hiring practices, and more to identify where you’ve fallen short.
And finally, when you restart, focus on the things that matter.
What are the things you can do to impact the experience easily? Out of the gate, don’t try to boil the ocean; instead, focus on simple things first that can make a difference for the customer.
The Advisor feature in Compellon’s platform tells you what to do first and what the impact will be on your outcomes. That’s important to consider and to know. Show some quick wins to get people behind it, and the efforts will balloon from there. Success breeds success.
NGCX: In your opinion, what are the most important components of a successful customer experience strategy?
AF: There are several foundational elements to a customer experience strategy, including: executive commitment, a cx vision (that aligns with the corporate vision), organizational alignment, customer listening and understanding (feedback/data, personas, mapping), data-driven decisions and improvements, and employee experience initiatives.
NGCX:What has been the most memorable CX project that you have been a part of?
AF: One recent project that drives home the point about using various types of customer data to better understand customers and to not only improve the experience but to also personalize it is with 1-800 CONTACTS. They listen to their customers and have a ton of transactional, psychographic, and demographic data. The 1-800 CONTACTS Insights Team combines and analyzes these data together, and profile their customers (highlighting that not all customers are created equal) for the rest of the organization. This project demonstrates how data brings the organization together and gets everyone on the same page about customer needs and expectations. The Insights Team was able to outline what to do and how to do it and brought clarity of direction to the entire organization.
You can catch up with Annette and her team next month at NGCX. She will be one of the exhibitors onsite who will be on hand to provide advice and support about using data analytics to carefully put together your CX strategy.