What CX Means in 2022 – was up for discussion with Phillip Scroggin, President of Sol Insights, as part of his podcast series. Phillip manages a marketing consulting business in Savannah, Georgia – whose mantra is “Data Driven Growth”.
You can listen to the whole thing by clicking on the image. For those wanting more detail – the transcription is below:
So what was on the agenda? And what did we chat about?
The discussion centered around some central CX questions for 2022:
Question 1: What is Customer Experience (CX) and how does it differ from Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty
Defining CX is tricky. It is similar to defining ‘Culture‘ in that its facets can be identified, which include, myths, beliefs and ideology. However, the sum of these is still not an adequate definition. In the same it is best not to deconstruct CX, rather view it as the visceral reaction to a complete end to end transactional process. How it makes you (the customer) feel, act and how it impacts your attitudes and behaviors from interacting with a brand. Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty, on the other hand are more straightforward.
Specifically, Customer Satisfaction is the outcome, (at any point in time) when measuring customer contentment towards a business. It is usually measured on some form of Likert Scale. We like a five point scale from Very Dissatisfied to Very Satisfied. Think of this more like a balance sheet – measuring satisfaction at any point in time.
Conversely, think of Customer Loyalty, more like a profit and loss account. It is another outcome, but this time of the accumulated customer satisfaction. If the latter is high enough then it will lead to higher loyalty, or at least higher wallet share.
Question 2: When you look around at the US today, what has stood out to you as the biggest change in customer interaction?
Right now we have the holy trifecta of 3 negative phenomena converging at once – that are causing many businesses some real harm:
Expectation: As COVID recedes more and more customers are venturing out and wanting to spend. This is great news, but these same people have increasingly high expectations of the business. Rising expectations after the COVID muzzle removal – means businesses must deliver on these higher expectations
Switching: BUT high inflation means everyone is price cautious and definitely not profligate. This means that canny customers will switch more quickly if the price or service do not deliver
Staff Shortage: Added to which the above chronic staff shortages – that are everywhere, makes it harder for the business to perform, let alone deliver to higher expectations
What all this means is that CX had better be good so the management of expectation needs to be the No. 1 attribute, otherwise defection will follow. However, for those businesses who get it right – they will pick up the defectors from those who cannot perform.
Question 3: What is the one thing a business can do to improve customer experience
Get the basics right! We know from the last answer that businesses face challenging times. This means there needs to be a focus on operational efficiency rather than starting a whole bunch of new initiatives. After all, the business wins or loses in the trenches.
We see too many business focus on CX strategy including journey maps, extravagant segmentation and profile analysis. However at the same time find their basic execution is the worst. So fix this first. This is important as we know that customers more often defect because of a service issue rather than anything else, including price. This means the basics of prompt service, clean location, friendly staff, and flawless restrooms become top priority.
In addition, we recommend an emphasis on setting expectations. For example, if the business is short staff then state this at the time of customer arrival – letting them know that wait times might be a little longer.
Question 4: Is there a book you have read that has influenced your CX perspectives?
Sure. It is a bit dated now, nevertheless The Loyalty Effect by Fred Reichheld remains a classic for those getting started, and others who want to see the data. You will recall, that he introduces the “Net Promoter Score” here. This is as a key metric for any business to understand CX health.
It was a great chat with Phillip and suggest you subscribe to his podcast, blog and check out the site. He can be reached on Facebook and YouTube.