Customer experience strategy (CX Strategy) involves defining the foundational building blocks of who the customer segments are, their preferences and proclivities, how they wish to engage and transact, and based on such data, formulating a game plan on how to engage with the customers (and prospects) across channels and shape experiences that delight and ring the digital register.

Customer engagement and experience is one of the pivotal digital transformation areas, and one may ignore it at their peril. For all the hype and hoopla, customer experience strategy is rooted in a fundamental premise – treat others as we want to be treated ourselves. So, instead of policies, procedures and convoluted processes making the engagement and the experience of a person disjointed, the customer experience should be built on how a prospect or clients want to be engaged throughout the research, pre-purchase evaluation, purchase, post-purchase, and repeat-purchase lifecycle.

Customer experience strategy also is not just limited to digital interactions. In the years of yore, when retailers in the mall were the only game in town, the customer experience in Nordstrom versus a discount store was very evident. It is not what you buy; it is how you feel about the whole episode of thebuying process and beyond. Now, with digital technologies, the customer experiences can be and need to be seamless across mobile, online, brick and mortar and call center experiences.

At the end of the day, it is not altruistic motives that are at the core of customer experience transformation. It is rooted in need to survive, and if executed properly thrive. It is about redefining and refining the sales and services processes with a balance between reducing costs, increasing revenues/profits, and fostering innovation. A tough balancing act indeed!

Customer experience strategy (CX Strategy) involves defining the foundational building blocks of who the customer segments are, their preferences and proclivities, how they wish to engage and transact, and based on such data, formulating a game plan on how to engage with the customers (and prospects) across channels and shape experiences that delight and ring the digital register.

Like every business now is a digital business, every company is also in the customer experience business. Perhaps, the local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) may be an exception.

Automating and digitizing an existing process is NOT the basis of a customer experience strategy. Each customer interaction and transaction should be considered carefully, and each step analyzed properly to create a process that is based on “minimalistic excellence.”This should answer the critics that say we have invested a lot in “Customer Service.” Therein lies the peril. Customer service is essential to customer experience, but both are not the same. The customer experience is a higher order of magnitude concept that includes the “feeling and being” across the gamut of interactions, some of which may not be even with the company.

The 7-Steps to Customer experience strategy definition:

  1. Executive buy-in to the need for and the urgency of transforming the client’s experience and willingness to embark on a multi-phase transformation program with adequate funding and ongoing commitment.
  2. A thorough understanding of the client and their journeys by not only with focus groups, but data analytics offering deeper insights. This should not be limited to cursory items relating to an NPS (Net Promoter score) but the complexities of overall buying behavior and client motivations.
  3. Reimagining the future blueprint of customer (and prospect) interactions and transactions.This should include not just the who and the what, but deeper level what ifs.
  4. Eliminating and minimizing unnecessary steps and pain points in customer journeys. This is where “Minimalistic Excellence” should be a constant mantra.
  5. Identifying the necessary capabilities, data/information, technology, and people (capacity, competencies, training et al.) required engendering the customer experience transformation
  6. Define the customer experience strategy and transformation roadmap with a holistic vision, specific strategies, key initiatives and desired outcomes, funding needs and business case, and an18-36-month capability evolution roadmap.
  7. Define more detailed project plans for initial items focused on quick wins and incremental delivery of capabilities across the customer experience spectrum.

Have you defined your customer experience strategy? What are some unique concepts and innovation you’ve considered to transform your customer experience?

Please, checkout CIOPages.com take on transforming customer experience and also how to craft an omnichannel customer experience strategy.

Learn about the pitfalls of defining a customer experience strategy.