Thursday, December 15, 2016

Three Simple Actions To Improve Customer Experience in 2017

Source: Pixabay
Just two weeks to go before it is 2017--good riddance, 2016!--and that means it is time to start making your professional New Year's resolutions. At the top of many marketers' lists of goals is to improve their brands' customer experience (CX), but just like my annual January commitment to exercise, that can fade under the intense pressure of daily demands and expectations.

Fear not, because there are simple (but not necessarily easy) actions you can take to ensure your customers will be more satisfied, more loyal and sing your praises next year. Here are three:

Listen to your customers

Listening to customers has not traditionally been a strength of the Marketing department. Marketers tested creative in small focus groups and tracked consumers' clicks, but most of that "listening" was designed to recognize what got people to click and buy rather than what got them to love the brand and remain loyal to it. That is changing as more marketing leaders adopt customer experience management as a strategic imperative, and this means marketers are making greater use of Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs than ever before.

You cannot improve your CX if you don't understand your brand's experiences from the perspective of the customer, and you cannot know that unless you listen. Chances are your firm already has a VOC or feedback platform in place, so in 2017, make better use of it. Get to know the platform's analytics capabilities or import data into business intelligence tools to get more insight from the data. Consider new listening posts to track consumer sentiment at different stages in their journeys with your brand. And expand your feedback mechanisms across the entire range of direct, indirect and inferred data to better understand drivers of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. (Gartner subscribers interested in digging deeper will find our Market Guide for Voice of the Customer platforms helpful.)

For two more easy actions (plus two difficult but important things you can do) to improve customer experience in 2017, please continue reading this blog post on my Gartner blog. 

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