The previous article I wrote was the very first in the series that examines the three foundations of the customer experience human experience, employee experience, or as I prefer to call this, CEHX. I will discuss how incorporating the human experience into the well popular but still naive notion of employee and customer experience can create a unique difference in how you conduct business. In this piece, I’d want to simplify what is commonly thought of as the essential skills that every company must master to deliver customers’ trustworthy and value-driven experience.

The Customer Experience Professionals Association, or CXPA for short, has discovered by conducting an extensive quantitative and prescriptive study that there are five main disciplines essential to the creation in the field of customer satisfaction. They include:

In the same way that Neil deGrasse Tyson might say: “Let’s go deeper” into the first area of understanding and gaining insights from customers to understand what it means for your business.

This first method of analysis is best when you have a system that will assist you in learning about your clients. It could be a voice-of-customer system like Qualtrics and SurveySensum. It could also be something more simple, like the customer-focused groups listening to social media and support center call records and customer feedback (one of my personal favorites) or a feedback card located at the cashier for customers to fill out and then hand in.

Understanding your customer’s needs can increase your customers’ perceived value. This leads to a higher retention rate for customers and increased sales. So why not start to be aware?

The “fun” aspect is the after. It’s also where most companies I’ve worked with have been at sea or have lost interest in analyzing the data, sorting through the results, categorizing feedback, and attempting to figure out your customer’s perspectives and how they translate to actionable steps. The ability to gain success from your customer insight comes from asking clear, concise, and focused questions. Please don’t ask them for a rating of their cleanliness in your bathroom. One, you should keep them clean. Number two, it’s an unattainable standard which means you’ve wasted a lot of time and energy on a question that isn’t worth asking. Instead, focus on open-ended, behavioral-based questions (ones that aren’t answered by simply saying”yes or no”). Here are some examples:

  • What is your primary purpose when shopping with us today?
  • And how do you define your success in achieving that goal?
  • What’s something you think could have made a difference to your experience now?
  • What attracted you to purchase from us today?

The nature, amount, and number of questions you ask will help gather valuable customer insight. The higher the quality of responses, you receive deeper insights and are more likely to discover patterns and trends that are common to all. If you don’t receive many responses or notice the same pattern in one feedback mode, determine whether you’re asking the appropriate questions to the right people in the correct mode. Are there any areas that require some rethinking? If so, rethink your VoC strategy and then try again.

Today, I believe in having a list of options available that the company can consider instead of simply showing that you have the information and listing the issues. Before you submit your latest information about your customers to anyone for them to consider, be sure to consider one or two possible customer-centric solutions or suggestions that could be used to further improve your customer experience for your business by focusing on one contact point at a time.

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