Think back to the last truly great customer experience you had. Whether it was in person, online, or on the phone, something about it just stuck with you. But why? What made that one experience stand out from the countless interactions you have with other brands on a daily basis? Was it something the company added that elevated your experience? Or perhaps, something that was missing. Something like friction.
When talking about customer experience, it’s easy to get caught up in the never-ending rotation of new add-ons and innovative bonuses. But what we miss when we find ourselves in that whirlwind of what’s next are the clear and obvious steps we can take to improve the experience today.
Friction is one of those funny things, kind of like a bad smell. You probably don’t notice its absence, but you sure notice its presence. And when it comes to the interactions of the future, even a whiff of friction is enough to send your customers running to the competition.
Identifying those moments of friction is the first step in delivering on your customer experience promise. And the best place to start? Talking to your customers. Friction can be as small as a few extra clicks checking out or as big as a customer forced to repeat their information to multiple call center representatives before their issue is resolved. Regardless, that point of friction—no matter how small—is the difference between a bad experience and a good one, a good one and a great one.
Having discovered these customer roadblocks, it’s up to you now to course correct for a smooth journey. And the best way to do that? Data. Integrated customer data. Every interaction your customers have with you provides new details that can help to further customize their experience. The trick is to capture that data and put it to work.
But the reality is, for most companies, that’s easier said than done. Data, with all its relevancy and intrinsic use cases, is still one of the most difficult aspects of business strategy to integrate and align across divisions, let alone an entire corporation. However, there are a few concrete steps you can take to begin the process.
- Work with the data you know you have. While you may not have a fully integrated system tracking every touchpoint, you do have access to some of the big moments. Like payment history and call center records. Use them.
- Remove those siloes. Data is only as good as the story it tells. And it can be a little hard to read a story if you only have one chapter. Working with other departments will help to shift the narrative from your narrow customer perspective to look at the 360-degree view.
- Think collaboratively. Businesses today are succeeding on the basis of partnerships. Working with best-in-class organizations to deliver the data-focused solutions that elevate the experiences of today and advance the experiences of tomorrow.
Finding your footing in a frictionless world is a formidable challenge for any organization. But when you do, the experience you provide customers will be one worth remembering.