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.
Shine in the moments that matter.
Download our report on the future of customer experience.
This post was first published on LinkedIn, and is syndicated here with permission.