Customers view experiences in surprisingly simple terms. Whether you’re dining out or calling a customer service hotline, everything can be boiled down to a five-star rating system. It’s an effective and concise way to sum up a single interaction with a business.
In the Experience Economy, five-star experiences aren’t a luxury – they’re the expectation. Every organization is challenged to deliver bold, exceptional touch-points at scale, and failing to act on this can and will drive would-be advocates to the competition.
But businesses struggle to provide a five-star experience because they still lack a complete, accurate view of how well their customer experience strategy is performing.
In fact, 80 percent of CEOs believe that they deliver a superior experience to customers, but only 8 percent of their customers agree. That’s a massive disconnect, and we call it the “experience gap.” Everything the IT industry has done so far to close the gap gives siloed answers.
5 principles for a five-star customer experience strategy
To consistently craft five-star customer experiences, there are a few guiding principles businesses need to embrace:
1.) Personalization: Across all channels, physical and digital, every engagement needs to feel perfectly crafted to the individual on the other end.
2.) Trust: Bold customer experience starts with a strong foundation of data collected from customers, and brands need to treat that data respectfully.
3.) Empathy: It’s what makes the human connection so powerful, caring about the voice of the customer and ensuring their feedback is addressed proactively.
4.) Deliver in the moment: Technology enables businesses to create value for customers in real-time, and that starts by connecting your demand chain to the supply chain.
5.) Engagement: Engaged employees create engaged customers. It’s all about people.
The formula for bringing these to life is simple:
- Get strong commitment from the top. CX programs need to be led by the CEO.
- Share data across the enterprise.
- Choose a platform that allows you to connect your marketing, sales and service activities.
Good isn’t good enough: A CX strategy must rely on data
The foundational layer to delivering a five-star customer experience strategy is data, shared freely across the enterprise.
First, you need experience data (X-data). This is what the customer feels about your business, or how many stars they’re giving you.
Then you need operational data (O-data), the by-the-numbers breakdown of what makes you earn your rating. Together, understanding your X and O data creates the foundation for delivering five-star experiences. This complete view helps close the experience gap and aligns expectations between employees and customers alike.
In short, good isn’t good enough anymore. In a world of continuous connection, if you don’t get five stars, you don’t just lose trust – you lose customers.
Learn more about the Experience Economy, the role of X and O Data, and how to be a five-star business. Watch Alex’s Customer Experience LIVE keynote session here.
This post was first published on LinkedIn, and is syndicated here with permission.