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Overcome the 4 Challenges of Delivering a Great CX

Delivering a great Customer Experience (CX) is top of every forward-thinking company’s agenda. Quite simply, delivering excellent customer service pays.

Research by Forrester shows that businesses focussed on enhanced customer experience have:

  • 1.6x higher brand awareness
  • 1.9x higher order value
  • 1.7x higher customer retention
  • 1.9x return on spend

The need to present a quality, consistent CX has spawned an entire new genre of customer service roles. A quick glance at LinkedIn shows over 15,000 Customer Experience Manager/Director and Customer Experience Analyst jobs in the UK. Tasked with ensuring customer service is on-point, CX champions are responsible for optimising each step on the customer journey to ensure it fulfils customer expectations. 

In our Customer Experience Research (CXR) to help CX managers gain a 360-degree understanding of their customers, we often hear about the barriers they face in bringing an effective strategy to fruition, including: 

1. Removing personal experience

Many businesses, especially smaller and medium size companies, recruit CX managers internally. Typically, someone who knows the company well with customer-facing responsibilities. The challenge is separating what they *think* their customers want, from what they actually want. While it may be relatively easy to pinpoint customer dissatisfaction triggers within areas you have direct experience of, it’s harder to know where and why customer pain points occur with other functions, such as finance, operations, customer complaint handling.

Similarly, although well intentioned, management teams and company cross-function consumer groups can also introduce bias by introducing initiatives that they *think* will enhance customer experience. The first step in developing a successful CX strategy is rooting it in hard data about customers’ actual wants and needs.      

2. Uncovering what customers value the most

Customers’ attribute value to a wide range of company characteristics. For products, it might be value for money, product performance or longevity. For services, it might be frictionless transactions, convenient self-service options, or helpful customer service agents. Today’s customers are also increasingly prioritising corporate values, such as sustainability, diversity and community support in choosing who they do business with. Quite often it’s not one thing but a blend of value-drivers that come together to form a single satisfying customer experience. An initial stumbling block is that many CX managers are unsure where to access latest accurate information about what practices and values their customers’ desire the most.  

3. Managing CX across multiple channels

Customers expect the same seamless service whichever engagement channel they choose whether physical or digital. The challenge for CX managers is that while many organisations have taken steps to deliver channels that customers want, such as problem-solving chatbots and apps for streamlining account management, how these channels interact with each other presents a minefield of issues that impact the perfect CX.

Common customer issues our customer satisfaction research reveals include:

  • Inconsistencies between information provided depending on channel used
  • Problems swapping channels from online to real life interactions (and vice versus)
  • Customers having to repeat steps – either by needing to call back (phone or in-person), re-send emails or re-enter information online

For CX managers, whose primary responsibility involves mapping customer journeys and making touchpoints effortless, getting a handle on multiple different customer scenarios across multiple different channels is a daunting task.   

4. Overcoming company silos

Departments, regional operations and channels are headed by different managers, and even different companies (for example, outsourced call centres and social media channels) with their own KPIs and goals to attain. When silo mindset sets in – where functions work to their own agenda rather than the wider company’s – it can result in misalignment of company goals. The challenge for CX managers is successfully breaking down silo mentality with a strategy that’s capable of aligning everyone’s efforts around customer experience. 

How to implement an exceptional CX

An effective CX strategy that brings about true transformation in company thinking needs a progressive customer experience research system that examines customer touchpoints in the round and delivers actionable data across each company function. 

Recognising the challenges of gathering meaningful customer data in an omni-channel environment, we’ve developed CEQA (Customer Experience Quality Analysis), a breakthrough CXR management system capable of tracking and analysing customer journeys in omni-channel settings.

Custom CX survey

The CEQA survey collects valuable customer feedback at defining touchpoints along the customer journey – however disjointed – enabling companies to design and implement interactions that align with customer expectations.

As well as tracking the end to end customer experience, CEQA can hone-in on specific touchpoints, such as onboarding, billing and purchasing, and complaints resolution, as well as evaluating specific channels and channel transitions, generating real-time insights into what is working and where action is needed.

Unlike a lot of CX survey platforms, CEQA’s questionnaire design and questions sets are derived from dedicated gap analysis research into what an organisation’s customers want, giving unequivocal and prioritised views of the service factors customers care about the most.

CX data dashboard

CEQA works as an effective stand-alone CXR tool, as well as providing baseline measurements for a comprehensive Customer Satisfaction Index allowing customer satisfaction (and improvements made) to be tracked over time.  

The CX survey can be issued as and when needed with live CSI scores fed direct to managers’ dashboards. This provides overall and cross-functional views of customer satisfaction, enabling managers to pinpoint precisely where satisfaction declines and its root cause.

Dashboards can be set according to role, so that relevant customer feedback is fed to the right function heads. Customising the data in this way shows managers where they need to focus and improvements actions to pass to teams.

CEQA reporting turns the data into clear, easy to understand analysis, including:

  • All pertinent customer experience scores, including common metrics such as CSAT scores, Net Promoter Scores (NPS) as well as indicators such as, Customer Effort Scores (CES) and loyalty and recommendation scores  
  • Translating free-form customer comments into sentiment analysis scores, enabling quick identification of subjects and themes such as ‘billing’ or ‘call waiting time’ and whether customer feeling around that subject is positive or negative – sending a red flag to where attention is needed
  • Indicators of what customers want to future proof CX, including what technology and tools they want to solve their problems quicker.

Company-wide focus on CX

CEQA has been used by companies worldwide to help bring about deep transformation in company thinking. With the ability to set and track measurable customer satisfaction goals across different functions and areas, it encourages every team and individual to think in terms of customer experience and how their role impacts the customer view.

Benchmark evaluation offer

Do you want to know the reality of your CX? Our CX research solutions are personalised so you get unique understanding of your customers’ needs and where to focus effort for the best ROI. To test the health of your CX, we’re offering a free sample of your sector’s customer satisfaction scores and other relevant benchmarks from our latest data set. To find out more about this or any other aspect of our CXR, contact us today.

About the Authors

Glyn Luckett
Glyn Luckett is Director of our Research practice and joined GP Strategies in 2018 through acquisition of TTi Global. He is a Certified member of the Market Research Society. Glyn previously led the commercial team at Maven Research, a private equity backed business and one of the Top 10 UK Research agencies. Glyn has effective experience applying research to support business management challenges and objectives. His experience developing and managing customer, employee and stakeholder research supports the delivery of insightful research that drives outcomes supporting strategic decision making. Throughout his successful research career, he has built a wealth of qualitative and quantitative research experience, supporting clients across Utilities, Manufacturing, Automotive, Construction, Financial and Business Services sectors, as well as working with public sector organizations and regulatory bodies.

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