Customer experience bar-none is going to be one of the biggest buzzwords we hear in 2016 - and for good reason. As someone who has put in their 10,000 hours, Malcolm Gladwell would hear me out on upcoming digital marketing and social media trends. One concept I can tell you that I clearly see emerging is a focus on Customer Experience (CX).
Today's companies are currently undergoing digital transformation and finding new ways to activate their employees to use social media. Whether you call it employee advocacy, social selling, or social customer support - organizations big and small are using social media to build a closer relationship with customers, help prospects find answers, and address issues in a timely manner. All customer facing roles are now starting to use social media - many businesses now consider a social media communication platform for customer facing employees to be as valuable as a phone and email system.
The below image is one that I use to teach my students how to determine marketing spend and allocation. If you aren't concerned with repeat customers and focus on one-off's, your entire focus and spend would be at the top of the funnel (image B). Conversely, if your business depends on retention and repeat customers then you would be more balanced with far more focus and spend at the bottom of the funnel (image A). When I look at this, I see an exact representation of how organizations are using digital to enhance customer experience. 4-5 years ago only marketing was using social media to interface with customers, that's it (image B). Now we're seeing a balance of sales, customer support, and others using social to post on behalf of the company and interface with prospective and current customers in hopes of enhancing CX.
According to HBR and McKinsey, the number of people who've used Twitter for customer service increased nearly 70% last year and a continued the trend towards a preference to Twitter and other social channels to traditional customer service. There are still some Luddites and older folks who prefer to be on hold for 30 minutes or exchange emails back and forth over a week, believe it or not.
Two friends I had a chance to meet and share the stage with this year: Rani Mani, Director of Social Support for Adobe, and Mark Obee, Global Social Care at Intuit, run two of the best digital customer care and experience programs I've seen and recommend using them as a model for good CX programs.
However, that's where most companies stop. SOME companies are forward thinking enough to incorporate sending out Christmas cards or small tokens of appreciation but few have engrained it into their culture. In a customer's economy, the customer needs to be at the heart and soul of why you're company exists. At rFactr, one of the KPIs for employees is how many of our customers can we get promoted. We use the same reward and recognition ideas that have existed traditionally - except we flip it and use it to promote behavior that focuses on our customer's success - even at the individual level.
Seriously consider how you are going to embed customer experience into your organization in 2016.
Main image via Shutterstock