Digi Digest with Daniel Maclaren – The Importance of CX
Customer experience (CX) is a topic that’s been thrown about a lot, but it’s time to get serious. Grasp it with both hands and hold onto to it as it’s crucial for your businesses growth and success. As Customers are at the forefront of what we do it’s time to understand how to utilize your interactions with them. With brands like Uber and Airbnb setting the standard for what customer experience should look like, it’s time to re-think and re-strategise your CX. We sat down with Daniel Maclaren, Senior Customer Experience Architect at Westpac to find out why it’s worth investing in CX and how it will benefit your business in the long run.
What is CX and why is everyone investing so much into it?
We live in the “age of the customer” and the thing about customers is that they have a choice as to who they’ll spend their hard earned money with. All companies have a Customer Experience (CX) some good, some bad and some great. The quality of a company’s CX is the single biggest indicator of current and future growth or even viability, so there’s currently a scramble for organisations to get the best CX consultants, implement the best CX strategies and integrate CX as their business and operating model as quickly as possible. The purpose is to secure as many customers as possible from their competitor by offering a service so delightful that they’ll obtain those customers for life.
On the surface, the concept of having a great CX seems pretty straight forward “understand your customers so well that you provide them with what they want, when they want it and how they want it” whether that’s the new products you bring out tomorrow or how you interact with your customers and how they interact with you today. The goal is to make a customer want to be with you for life. Whilst the concept is easy; gaining this understanding and then using it to your full advantage is where the challenge lies.
So, why is CX important?
Your organisation is better off financially in both the short and long term by an order of magnitude, which is why CX has become the defining strategy for modern, thriving organisations. Perhaps the better question is why is it important for your organisation to have the best CX of anyone? Simply: competitive advantage. If you completely understand, measure, adapt to, and exceed the expectations of your customer, not only will you receive more customers but you remove any room for a “disruptor”, startup, innovator, artificial intelligence product or competitor to solve a problem that you have unwittingly created.
Look at Uber as a perfect example – “I just want a taxi where I am, when I want it, and I want to know where it is” Any taxi company that paid attention to their CX could have discovered this problem and solved it as they were the ones who unwittingly created it. As we have seen with Uber, customers will switch to the smarter new option because, as designed, it makes their day easier and nicer with much lower friction. Once they find this better option they will not return. As if that wasn’t enough they will strong arm friends and peer groups to support this new, smarter discovery. Everyone wants to help their friends out, right? The detailed insight that CX gives you into your customers creates opportunities to increase products and services which are guaranteed to land well with your market and improves operational efficiency by tactically curating your internal processes to measurably target your customer’s satisfaction.
CX is as important to the growth of an organisation and the profitability of a company as the Sales Department or your Corporate Tax Advisor. First some clarification, a great Customer Experience means that the customers’ perceived experience and outcome during all points of contact with your company exceeds their expectations in a sustainable way. This requires the obsessive study of your customer, their needs, wants and unexpressed desires in a systematic and regular manner.
What value does it add to a business?
What value doesn’t it add to a business? – A growing body of customers who are with you for a lifetime, actively marketing your company and its products and spending more at a higher margin. Add to that, efficient, happy staff, reduced waste with dramatically lower operating costs. If that isn’t enough, when your new products/services are rolled out you know there is no doubt as to how the market is going to embrace them. In short you know why and how you are successful, and where and why you’re not successful in very specific measurable terms. The embodiment of your Business Strategy and Operating Strategy rolled into one yet at a fraction of the traditional cost, time and effort. CX is the defining strategy for disruptive startups, massive thriving brands, governments and even NASA .