BOLD Learning Nugget 32 - CX Innovation
If a regular reader of these learning nuggets you would have read an underlying theme where customer experience, be it B2C or B2B, we consider is a major battle ground for competitive advantage.
As technology sales professionals helping customers to improve, transform or innovate their customer experience, especially in a mobile, digital first world is a crucial and highly profitable endeavor for successful sales outcomes.
So what are some of the interesting innovations that are being deployed by leading companies with amazing CX strategies?
#1 - No Silver Bullets
First and foremost leading CX companies don't rely on a single model, single measure or single focus to drive their CX. They employ many models, measures, insight and guiding principles. For example there is significant popular "buzz" around Design Thinking and Net Promoter Score. Both awesome models in their own right, but one their own woefully insufficient to create an environment for CX success. The leaders use many different models for;
Execution road map
These models include but are not limited to;
Jobs to Be Done Theory
10 Types of Innovation
Voice of Customer
Net Promoter Score
Customer Effort Score
Kotter 8 Steps
#2 - They don't rest on their laurels
Behind every new CX strategy, activity, interaction, engagement is a thousand more waiting to be deployed.
The leaders try many things, and have a highly refined approach to relentless innovation. Each and every month they are trying something new. If it works, they scale it, if it doesn't they refine it, after which if still no value they kill it.
Using the model mash-up approach in #1, they don't seek to invent the next big thing in CX, they merely focus on customer expectations, both meeting them and creating new ones.
Too many companies think it's about "wow"ing the customer. It's not. It's about meeting the expectations they have. often quite basic and simple. Whilst at the same time creating new expectations that they never realised they had.
#3 - They are principled
The CX leaders have a very very common outlook. One that is so simple, so obvious that it's hard to ignore. But for many organisations that are mired in bureaucracy extremely hard to emulate.
They tend to follow they same key principles;
Everything, and I mean everything is about the customer outcome
Simplicity rules everything. Do whatever it takes to make it simple for the customer
Proactive is their motivation. Don't wait for the customer to need service, provide it before they need it (think digital)
#4 - They do things that others don't think of
Crowdsourcing is becoming a popular method of providing support to customers. The simple definition is customers supporting other customers. Typically this is deployed along side traditional service methods such as company provided contact centre support, web pages, smart device apps etc. In this scenario the customer provides support to other customers for free. Usually via a company provided community forum.
Good, but now no longer differentiating. Hundred's of companies are doing this.
However a few companies are now taking this to the next level.
Needle for example provides a service called Fansupport. This is where your best customers are paid to provide service and support to other customers. the passionate customers who probably know more about your products than many of your employees do, who are raving fans, and who are so incredibly passionate, are the best ones to deliver service and support to your customers. Why not financially compensate them for that. Like crowdsourcing the company still provides internal company delivered service and support as well.
Unsourcing is also a new trend. GiffGaff in the UK is an early pioneer in this space. In short the company provides NO support of any kind other than web based documentation. All other support on all topics from billing, to service, to tech support etc are provided by customers. Customers who provide service to other customers are offered discounts on their ongoing monthly bills. GiffGaff is a mobile phone plan reseller.
#5 - They actively seek new ideas and new thinking
They recognise that for many of their employees their thinking will be limited by the boundaries of their operational processes. As such they actively seek outside thinking, ideas, inspiration. But in doing so they are very focused. They understand they know their customer better than anyone else. They understand their principles and their strategy. Yet they also realise they don't know what all the amazing trends are that are going on globally. For example some areas that the CX leaders are all exploring right now include;
Augmented and virtual reality
Internet of Everything
Consumer driven / dictated security
#6 - Ecosystems
Probably the single most significant thing the CX leaders do however is recognise in order to give a customer what they expect, what they want, or even what they don't even realise they want yet, can only be done via and ecosystem.
Ecosystem experiences is the next big think in CX innovation.