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What CX Leaders Are Prioritizing to Improve the Customer Experience

“What is customer experience? It’s the sum of all interactions a customer has with the brand and how they feel about those interactions,” says Justin Robbins, Chief Evangelist at CX Effect.

While one negative customer interaction can seem harmless, it happens across thousands or millions of interactions in a business. These small things compound and “erode the foundation of CX.” This is why every single touchpoint with a customer is incredibly important and why customer experience (CX) is top of mind for business leaders.

We recently talked to leaders at AAA, HomeAdvisor, and CX Effect on what they’re prioritizing today in customer experience and how to succeed with a customer experience strategy.

Conversational self-service is becoming increasingly more important for AAA

For Lisa Rivier, Director of Sales and Road Service Strategy Operations at AAA, member experience is always number one. “Everything we do is for and by our members, so we always put ourselves in their shoes.”

Aside from that, they’re focused on optimization, business process improvement, automation, and containment. They want to empower members to resolve issues themselves, especially on the first call. Not only does self-service reduce the number of calls that come back into their contact center, but members also get what they need the first time. It’s a win-win for the business and customers.

AAA is focused on offering self-service through the phone and SMS, since they’re seeing their members move away from web-based chat. Members either want a phone call or a text message because it’s the easiest way for them to engage and get help. They also want conversational experiences that are instantaneous. Rivier explains the importance of this:

We know that our members and customers fumble as they’re trying to get the information that we’re asking from them, so the natural language has to be acknowledged. We have to be able to move through that process and understand how people actually converse and talk, which helps us increase our containment rates and get back to that one-call resolution.

HomeAdvisor leans into omnichannel experiences and self-service

HomeAdvisor is a digital marketplace that connects homeowners with local service professionals. As a marketplace, they serve two customers: the professionals who offer home services and the homeowners.

In 2021, they’re focused on improving the onboarding experience for professionals by educating them and providing business help. To measure success, they’re looking at professionals’ attention and engagement with HomeAdvisor. For homeowners, they offer three different verticals, so they’re focused on making all three services accessible to homeowners — regardless of the brand website they’re on.

Sean Miller, VP of Operations at HomeAdvisor, also sees self-service being a key part of their customer experience. There are plenty of ways that self-service can make both homeowners and service professionals happier. If homeowners can call in, request the service they need, provide their location, and get immediately matched with a local professional, it becomes incredibly easy for homeowners to find and schedule the service they want. For professionals, the ability to add service locations to their account without having to talk to an agent creates an effortless experience.

Where to start with improving your customer experience

Identify your biggest problem, get data to build a business case, and align your stakeholders

Customer experience encapsulates all parts of a customer’s lifetime with your brand. With so much opportunity to make a difference with your customers, where should you start? Robbins asks, “If you could snap your fingers and solve your number one problem today, what would that problem be?” Your answer is your starting point.

Most business leaders know their biggest problem. However, they can’t solve it due to one of three reasons. The first is they don’t have access to the data that proves their problem and validates their business case. The second reason is they have too much data, so identifying what’s most actionable is difficult and requires a lot of work. Lastly, they have access to data but they lack stakeholder alignment.

If you’re overwhelmed and need guidance on where to start, Robbins summarizes what to do in three steps:

  1. Can you identify your number one problem?
  2. Do you have access to the data that you need to build a business case?
  3. Do you have the right stakeholders at the table?

When setting KPIs, you need both lag and lead measures

Once you’ve identified your problem and what needs to be done, Robbins believes success comes down the KPIs and measurements you set.

There are two types of measurements: lag and lead measures. FranklinCovey defines these as, “While a lag measure tells you if you’ve achieved the goal, a lead measure tells you if you are likely to achieve the goal.” Robbins says:

Look at our contact centers. How many things do we measure that are after the fact? They’re all lag measures. We get caught in the whirlwind and we don’t look at the lead. We don’t look at what’s predictive of if we do this, we can expect this to happen on the other side of it.

When Robbins works with business leaders, he asks them how they define success today and how they’ll know it when they see it. By identifying both lag and lead measures, you’ll not only know when you’ve reached success, but also that you’re on your way there.

Even with these steps laid out, transforming your customer experience isn’t easy. It also often involves introducing cutting-edge technologies and implementing significant changes internally. Get more guidance from ADP’s Director of Digital Transformation in our on-demand webinar on “Championing Innovation and Disrupting Customer Experiences.”

And if you’d like to engage with and learn from more customer experience leaders, sign up to be notified of upcoming Replicant events.

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