Customer Service is at the Heart of CXM

Customer Service is at the Heart of CXM

It can be easy to lose track of one of the fundamental truths about CXM at times, so it is important to remember that customer service is at the very heart of Customer Experience Management. We take a look at some ways to keep this central.

Customer Experience management (CXM) is a very broad reaching business methodology. It can touch every department, and effect every employee when it is done right. However, there is a danger to forget where the heart of Customer Experience lies, and this is with a great Customer Service offering.

So how can we ensure that the customer service we provide is the best that it can be? How can we keep customer service aligned to CXM best practices? Let’s take a look at a few ideas.

Employee Engagement is a Must

This is a bit of a no brainer these days, we all know the major benefits of ensuring that employees are engaged, no matter their job role. When it comes to customer facing staff, then this is never truer.

Engaged staff are generally happier, and this comes across when they are communicating with customers. What is even better, is when customer service staff are engaged and proactive about the company’s Customer Experience Management program itself.

Act on the Voice of the Customer

When customers take the time to give feedback, either positive or negative, then it is critical that the business is seen to listen. VoC data is incredibly valuable as a potential source of actionable business insights, and failing to exploit this value is a waste.

On top of this, customers like to know that making the effort to give the company feedback, actually has an effect. We sometimes forget that customers have to spend their own valuable time giving feedback, and it is entirely optional. So make sure that when they do, it is appreciated and used.

Get Off the Back Foot

So many enterprises seem to work in disaster mitigation mode when it comes to delivering an exceptional customer service. Only reacting to customer issues that are causing a catastrophic problem.

There is no excuse for not working in a more proactive fashion these days. Social media, customer review sites, and a host of other sources of the indirect Voice of the Customer, allow us to monitor and react to the issues that customers might be facing, even they have not told us about them.

Death to Departmentalization

As we mentioned right at the beginning of this article, Customer Experience Management can span multiple departments. So it is vitally important that an investment in both technology, and changes to business processes is made, to ensure that the Voice of the Customer is available to every person or department that can benefit from it.

This will most typical involve a significant investment in VoC technology. What is needed, is for separate departmental data silos, to be amalgamated into a single repository. This will make all VoC data available for analysis by every department. This is of major benefit to CXM projects, as it means that the right people, have the right information, at the right time, and can act upon it.

Omni-channel but with Bias

Much is spoken about providing a full omni-channel and cross-channel customer journey for consumers and of course, this is one of the targets of any Customer Experience Management project. But, there is something to consider, all channels are not equal.

Some channels, such as the telephone, will always be more popular than others. Alongside this, some newer channels such as live web chat are increasing in popularity each year. Others, such as SMS, are only tertiary channels.

So whilst it is definitely a CXM best practice to strive for an omni-channel customer journey, this should not be done at the expense of providing a lower quality service across the most weighted channels.

Stick to your Guns

Remember that original CXM strategy you developed after completing a Customer Experience Management maturity assessment? Have you taken it out and dusted it off lately? Because it contains the raw CX goals that were first defined, and these were likely to be the most important. Sometimes, as we progress with e CXM project, we lost sight of those goals.

It is critical to keep an eye on the long-term, even though the short-term can potentially reap quick win benefits. All CXM activities need to be in line with the original CX strategy. If this strategy is no longer relevant, then step back, review the current CX position, and develop a new one before continuing with business/process changes based on the Voice of the Customer.