After creating a customer experience strategy to inform your decisions, it is necessary to dig into the day-to-day steps required to get started with the right tools for your business.
Here we explore 4 simple, yet essential steps to getting started with new and connected customer experience technology solutions:
- Assess your ecosystem
- Conduct a gap analysis
- Seek solutions to provide the desired ROI
- Create, test & train
1. Assess your ecosystem
The customer experience ecosystem is defined by the interactions between customers, business agents, suppliers, distributors, and competitors. Technology serves as a tool to enhance the workflows and experience of those various components.
Before diving into new technology and the capabilities it would provide, you must take a holistic look at the ecosystem. When establishing a customer experience technology strategy, you should have already looked at who your customers are and how they prefer to engage with a business. Now it is time to assess how you are doing in meeting their needs.
Similarly, agent retention is imperative to the success of any customer experience strategy. Before potentially adding complexity to their workflow, you should take a moment to be sure you understand their entire workflow, how they currently use technology, and their view on how it could be streamlined or improved.
2. Conduct a gap analysis
After developing a detailed and refined understanding of the existing customer experience ecosystem, it is time to take a look at your goals. Start by determining what you hope to achieve. By establishing cross-departmental customer experience goals and developing KPIs to reach them, you are better able to pinpoint where you fall short and identify if you have the budget necessary to meet the needs of the business.
Next, take a look at what roadblocks are preventing you and your team from delivering the ROI and meeting the KPIs the business requires. Is it possible that technology could fill some of those holes?
3. Seek solutions to provide the desired ROI
After discovering your needs, it is time to begin to research proven tools. Talk to people in similar roles at other companies to see what tools they use. With the rising importance of customer experience, analysts from Gartner and other firms have provided significant analysis on the use case and ROI of many customer experience technology solutions. Check out the marketplaces of other core solutions. And of course, conduct as much Internet research as you can.
Once you narrow down your tools, it is critical to ensure that they will integrate with your existing systems and solutions. Providing a consistent and seamless customer journey is essential. Therefore, tools that are used across all departments and through the customer’s lifecycle must share data and functionality.
After checking to ensure that your ecosystem would be connected, you should test the tools. With the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS) in the technology world, many leading tools offer free versions or trial periods to allow you to experiment with the product in your environment. Even leading, enterprise-grade solutions have created packages that will enable you to try the products before you commit significant budget.
4. Create, test & train
After you test new tools, you can redesign the workflow to incorporate the additional solutions. Bring in a team of agents to help test the workflow and identify bugs. By getting buy-in from those on the ground, you will be better able to account for everyday issues, and you will have a team to help ensure adoption from the rest of your agents.
Finally, when rolling out new solutions set aside time to properly train your team on the tools, their functionality, and their effect the customers and workflows. Dedicate yourself to getting their commitment, ensuring you get the agent and customer adoption you need and the ROI you have planned.
To learn more about how different types of customer experience technology might work for your business, check out: Choosing Customer Experience Technology: What Every Business Leader Must Know.