3 Elements of Customer Experience You Shouldn’t Ignore (but Probably Are)

By: Lisa Sigler

November 30, 2016

customer experience
customer experience management
employee experience

CX professionals stay busy. Managing the customer experience means mapping the customer journey, listening to feedback, analyzing data, acting on insights, and reporting on results. That leaves precious little time for anything else. It’s easy to ignore anything that isn’t directly related to your program. But there are 3 elements of customer experience that are often overlooked, and that make a big impact on how your customers see you.

The employee experience.

Are your employees happy? Are they engaged? Do they have the knowledge and the authority to help your customers? If your employees are miserable, their dissatisfaction will bleed over into the service they provide your customers.

So, what can you do as a CX pro to impact the employee experience? First, you can use the same tools and processes that you use to manage the customer experience to understand your employees. Surveys, text analytics, data aggregation and analysis—you can find out what is driving employee sentiment just as you do for customers. Your management and human resource teams can then use the information to improve employee satisfaction.

And even if you don’t have the resources to use your CEM processes internally, you can still impact employee experience. Make sure that every employee has access to relevant insights and recommendations produced by your customer experience management initiatives. Employees can provide better customer service when you arm with customer information.

The competition’s CX.

Like it or not, your company doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You need to be aware of the customer experience your competitors provide, because your customers most certainly are.

Executives are already thinking about this; a Gartner survey predicted that 89% of companies would be competing based on customer experience in 2016. As the year draws to a close, though, it looks as though the focus for most companies was still internal. They were intent on managing and improving their own CX, rather than on really going head-to-head with competitors.

You can pay attention to your competition’s CX with a little effort. Social listening will give you a great overview. You should also have mechanisms in place to capture the questions and complaints you’re hearing from prospects. Customers who are weighing a purchase between you and your competitor know how both companies are treating them. Listen to what they are telling you.

Other customers.

The “customer experience” does not begin when someone buys something from you. In fact, the customer experience is the sum of every interaction a person has with your brand. The thing is, sometimes you aren’t even involved in those interactions. Instead, they take place between customers, when they are discussing your brand.

Those conversations can take place in person, but they also happen constantly online. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, forums, user communities—in the CX space, we often think of those places as “feedback channels.”

And while yes, those are all very good places to find out what customers think about your brand—those online spaces are not primarily meant for you.

They’re meant for people researching you, complaining about you, celebrating you, or tearing you down. Those conversations shape your customers’ perception of you.

Ignoring the influence of other customers on the CX you provide is dangerous. Instead, you need to use all the listening tools at your disposal to understand the tone of those conversations. You also need to stay involved as much as possible.  Respond to comments, answer questions, apologize for issues, and do it all publicly whenever you can. You’ll silence your critics, reassure your fans, and leave a good impression on the shoppers who haven’t made up their mind yet.

Employees, competitors, and other customers are 3 elements of customer experience that you can’t afford to ignore. Fortunately, paying attention is relatively easy and is definitely worth it.

Lisa Sigler is Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Clarabridge. For over 16 years, Lisa has used her writing and editorial skills to bring the value of technology to life. Today, she works to demonstrate Clarabridge’s position as thought leader and trailblazer in the Customer Experience Management market. Lisa holds a B.A. of English from Kent State University. Read more from Lisa on Twitter @siglerLis.