managing expectations

Posted on March 12, 2018 in Marketing Thoughts

Improving the Customer Experience By Managing Expectations

CX, or customer experience has changed dramatically even over the last five years.  Tou provide incredible CX one must realize we now live in an instantaneous, instant gratification, information era. Today’s tech-savvy online internet customers have, as the saying goes, ‘come a long way baby.’ With that growing sophistication has come increased expectations about the quality and timeliness of the services being provided by their online suppliers. CX is all about managing expectations of the customer. Their perception of your company is now your reality-if it fails short, your customer will go somewhere where CX is met.

You would think that managing those expectations should be the role of the entire company, not just some isolated specialist. In that mode, continuous improvement and involvement in the customer enhancement experience would be every person in every business’s imperative; an integral part of the business model and culture. However, recent performance statistics indicate that the opposite has taken place.

In his online article, Joe McKendrick, independent researcher and speaker, exploring innovation, information technology trends and markets, as a contributing writer to the Forbes website, questioned the validity of the customer service specialist. “Whenever I hear about an organization with a ‘chief customer officer,’ my first thought is, well, shouldn’t that be everyone’s job?”

Concluding that it is an increasingly dire situation and a growing problem, he cited data from a recent study by Forrester Research, an American research company providing advice on the potential impact of technology to both its clients and the public, who confirmed today’s negative customer technology perception trend. “The data also shows that trust in companies has dropped precipitously,” according to a report in Marketing.

This same report “urges companies to engage their employees more intimately with the CX (customer experience) process and even make it ‘an integral disruptive force’ within the organization, with plenty of corporate culture consideration.” It concludes, “CX teams have implicitly covered culture change in the past, but it’s becoming more enshrined in their roles. That’s because the CX skill set transfers well to employees.”

So, is it all gloom and doom or is there actually a light at the end of this service-oriented tunnel that is not an on-rushing train? Another study McKendrick cited suggests that all is not lost. A survey conducted by another research firm, UserTesting, among almost 4,000 product managers, designers and market types paints a more optimistic picture about employee involvement in the customer experience process.

“There’s even strong support for ‘democratizing CX research’ with 90 percent want to empower other employees to conduct their own research, enabling everyone to add fast human insight to every business decision,” the report concludes.

Another optimistic indicator of what may be a positively shifting, future trend is the amount of money being earmarked for research to improve the customer experience. McKendrick noted that, “for the fifth year in a row, the survey shows, CX research is increasing; and about half reported that CX research budgets increased, and only five percent said it declined.“

What, then, is leading to the precipitous decline in the service sector? McKendrick suggests that product complexity is the likely culprit, citing an article in Eglobalis: “If you are a leader at a company buying hardware or software, just spent millions potentially, and it’s too complicated for everyone to use and adopt it. You’re having problems with the basic usage and the on-boarding programs are not enough to generate adoption.” The  article concluded that “complexity is hard to eliminate but it’s worth it to achieve it.”

The bottom line is that the ‘bottom line’ must be protected through an enhanced customer experience. Whether your company employs mobile phone interface, improved voice interaction delivery or any of the myriads of artificial intelligence options available today, it will only work if its primary focus is your customer and continuously improving your customer’s online experience.

BirdSeed was created in mind to address both improving the customer experience and being simple to integrate and use by both the company and the customer. Our customer engagement platform allows the customer to click one button and interact you how and when they are most comfortable. The one line of code being adding to your website or app makes BirdSeed incredibly easy to integrate and only take a few minutes to customize to your brand and preferences.

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