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4 essential CX leadership qualities

Derek Swords | Oct 3, 2017 Derek Swords 10/03/17

CX Day is a big deal here at SMG. As a provider of technology, data, and insights that help our clients build better customer experiences—we know there’s a lot worth celebrating. CX Day recognizes the hard work that goes into making great brands even better.

We’re lucky to work with really great, passionate CX leaders throughout the industry—and we’ve learned it takes a lot more than just technology and willpower to succeed. In our 26 years of service, here are 4 things we’ve seen leaders who truly “get” CX measurement do over and over again to deliver superior customer experiences.

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1. Consider the whole experience

CX leaders know that their brand is only as good as the last customer interaction—and those interactions can occur across a variety of channels and touchpoints. Adopting an ecosystem view of the entire customer experience is critical to making the experience make sense. This is especially true as digital interactions have begun moving into nearly every aspect of the customer experience. CX leaders are avidly collecting and analyzing feedback across every channel—from in-store to online, from solicited to unsolicited channels—and combining those insights with relevant behavior and performance data.

2. Empower and expect front-line associates to make a difference

Front-line associates define your brand and deliver the customer’s experience. The best brands empower front-line associates to make the experience right for customers—without jumping through red tape. They know the lifetime value of a customer far exceeds the one-time cost of saving the interaction. I experienced this kind of service firsthand when a customer service agent sent me a new pair of shoes after the first pair disappeared from my front doorstep. That kind of service has made me a customer for life.

3. Take a proactive view—rather than a reactive view

CX leaders are constantly deconstructing the experience they’re delivering and always looking for ways to delight customers and reduce friction. While using CX data to improve the systems already in place is crucial, you’ll never leap ahead if you’re averse to trying new things. Rapid prototyping and evaluation of changes in the customer experience is a requirement for progressive companies. Some of our most innovative clients are taking steps in their brand experience to do things like:

  • Advance and streamline the ordering process
  • Re-imagine the back-of-the-house operations
  • Connect different touchpoints to make purchases easier
  • Use technology to their customers’ advantage

4. Focus on actions versus just scores

Understanding your brand’s customer experience performance over time systematically is important, but it’s not enough. Actively boiling all the data down to specific action items is critical. SMG does this for our clients using our proprietary “Areas for Focus” capability to give front-line associates clear and simple direction on their biggest areas of opportunity. More broadly though, SMG’s advanced-degree research team helps our clients get really clear on what’s important strategically when considering all the channels of CX input, as well as all the chains of their value delivery model.

Bottom line

The only constant in your customer experience delivery model should be change. Constantly trying to deliver a better, more efficient, and delightful customer experience is the only way for brands to guarantee long-term success. At SMG, we’re happy to help our clients push themselves to deliver great experiences every single day. CX Day lets us celebrate the time and energy awesome brands and industry leaders dedicate to making customers happy—which means more happy people all over the world.

Derek Swords | Director, Product Development