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Agile Customer Experience Strategy - Why you need one
Customer behavior is changing at a cracking pace. With ongoing digital advancements, experiences outside traditional boundaries are stimulating customer expectations.
As Gartner says, “Customer Experience is the new battlefield,” more and more business leaders are focusing on creating great customer experiences to stay relevant.
Companies are exploring new methodologies to form a customer-centric strategy that meets the customer demands quickly and efficiently.
However, there are some roadblocks that seem difficult to overcome.
- How to build and cater services and solutions that customers really want?
- How to improve customer journeys and touchpoints, involving all departments and breaking down silos?
- How to reduce the time to market and implement ideas that stakeholders have?
Companies must adapt, be flexible, multi-skilled and open-minded to achieve customer centricity. They need to shift their focus from a historic way of working to create an agile customer experience strategy.
What is Agile Customer Experience Strategy?
Some businesses think of it as a way to make the changes fast and get the results. Others, who are keen to learn and develop, consider it as a way of creating an environment to fail fast and succeed even faster.
When we say agile customer experience, it means going a long way than having quick fixes. Implementing quick things may not drive any value for the customer in the long run. For example, stopping those angry customers who choose to give negative comments or reviews about a service or product. However, employing agility to introduce and develop small changes would have a profound impact in the customer world.
Agility Implies Moving at the speed of Customer Expectations
West Monroe Partners recently finds that 71% of CX leaders expect greater agility to achieve improved customer experiences.
The above finding suggests that greater business agility is a strategic priority for businesses to translate into enhanced customer experiences.
An agile approach to customer experience makes businesses move forward with greater customer centricity. Also, it focuses on driving customer intelligence rather than quick fixes.
An agile customer experience can be defined as changes or improvements that can be easily implemented. When agile efforts are applied, benefits can be realized promptly, and the entire process seems inclusive of different teams and their multi-disciplinary skills.
Why Agile Customer Experience Strategy Matters
Today, customers want to be heard first. They expect companies to deliver quality services in the fastest way possible, making agility an inevitable business strategy.
In fact, a recent report by Scrum Alliance finds that 87% respondents believe that agility is the key thing that leads organizations to become champions.
They know how important the customer experience is to compete. Still, many businesses experience hurdles in their current CX strategy. The problem lies in using traditional approaches, employing rigid corporate hierarchies to respond to any customer requests. Though they gather ideas about ‘customers wants’ but don’t keep up with the changing customer preferences. An agile business mindset would help business towards excellent results.
Here’s why your customer experience strategy needs to be agile.
Better Predict Customer Needs
An agile approach to customer experience encompasses powerful tech capabilities to change focus quickly by predicting how realities may change over time. Leveraging the power of customer relationship management (CRM) software, for example, helps companies communicate with customers effectively. With CRM software, companies can record customer communication, watch their activities, and then use the data to drive meaningful insights. This process gives a better understanding on customer needs.
Moreover, with powerful analytics, companies can see forthcoming issues and help customers in advance. In this manner, companies can bring more to each customer, which in turn, leads to a stronger customer relationship.
Adapt to Change
Agile customer experience is about being open to change. In the digital age, where customers’ needs are changing every minute, companies must be flexible to adapt the change when needed. Embrace new technologies, new methods, and channels to serve their needs better. Do not get stuck in conventional business ways. Applying agility means thinking about innovative ways to better engage customers in real-time.
For example, Opun’s Limited, a home improvement company, is using a chatbot system to handle a variety of customer requests on home improvements or designing in no time. By using this ML based chatbot setup, the company has achieved greater customer satisfaction.
To allow change, agile method provides enough freedom within the organizational framework. Teams focus on critical things to deliver customers and sync daily to inform and update all the stakeholders about what value they are delivering. This is how a business can become a truly customer-centric organization that is ready to adapt changes as happens.
Stay Up to date with Customer Preferences
With greater agility, companies can create buyer personas to keep up with customers’ behaviors and their preferences. By using AI-driven analytics, organizations can go deep into customer interactions. For example, Xpresspa, the world’s largest airport spa company, has been using business analytics tools (Power BI) to forecast sales of any given day . The company, which was once affected by the unpredictable footfall of customers, is doing great by getting better forecasted data about customers.
Agility is about staying up to date with customer needs. Keep a tab on what do they expect, what are their goals, and what are their pain points. And then further take data-driven actions to adjust their customer experience strategy.
Provide Consistent Customer Satisfaction
No doubt that content customers are more loyal to the brand and speak positively about that brand. Customers are always looking for values in terms of getting their problems fixed. They want everything now and are willing to pay. Improving customer experience does not necessarily mean that a customer is right. In fact, this means developing products and services that meet customer needs instead of quick wins or fixes. Add value to their journey and to their world.
An agile approach involves sharing ideas early through MVPs and mockups to ensure investment to be made in viable products. The products which are built using customer experience in mind.
In agile customer practice, the cross-functional team works together on high value work. For example, adaptable number of initiatives that will truly mark a difference in customer journey. There are tangible targets and clear customer benefits associated with each goal or initiative. An agile approach makes teams more motivated by adapting to their environment as per their needs and equipping them with the right tools to get the work done efficiently. Agility also involves catching up with teams where things are not moving in the right direction. Subsequently, providing iterative feedback to not let customer experience suffer.
Being ‘Agile’ is the Key to Build Customer-centric Processes
What’s good today may be unacceptable tomorrow. In the fast pacing business world where customers behavior is changing as fast as technology keep evolving, it is important to operate with greater agility. Be nimble, adapt, and flexible as new challenges come forward along the way. Focus on critical things to deliver to your customers, think what adds value to their journey to build unforgettable customer experiences.
Companies can always do better by constantly improving and keep evolving with change.
As it goes “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
This is the way forward to bring agility to your customer experience journey.
If you are facing any difficulty in delivering value to your customers in your CX efforts? Agile should be your priority to keep evolving at the speed of customer. We at Icreon work on creating digital customer strategy focused on agile best practices to create adaptive advantages for businesses. Consult with us today.