A 2018 study by Forrester found companies leading in customer experience (CX) outperformed other companies, and the S&P 500 as a whole, on stock growth and returns. How is your company doing with CX? Are you reaping the benefits of a customer-centric approach to business?
Chris Cancialosi, writing for Forbes, said over the last decade CX has become the driving force for companies, regardless of their industry or product. One reason, he argues, is that customers are expecting it. Additionally, employers who focus on customer experience have found they see returns not just in stock prices, but also on employee morale, customer trust and engagement, and overall better results on their bottom lines.
Why would focusing on CX generate such strong returns across the board?
Who Is Your Customer?
It’s because customer experience doesn’t just begin at the frontline of customer interaction.
Forrester worked with companies to look at CX from a holistic view and found those who were expanding their views of processes were “uncovering pain points and opportunities at each layer of the journey (from front stage to backstage), whether they relate to customers, employees, processes, or third parties.”
These pain points can be as large as retrieving data on recent customer service interactions, or as foundational as processing data received on a mortgage or refinancing application.
When companies focus on improving the whole process from beginning to end, for both internal and external customers, they’re building the foundational business practices to get measurable growth in every area of the company. Data shows this is true across all companies and industries. Even including government agencies.
When viewed through this lens, the customer journey becomes a key focus for everyone. From Operations to CX or CS teams, customer experience involves the employees that interact directly with customers, and those that serve the back end and help internal customers. Wherever the stage, the principles are the same: speed, accuracy, and stellar service are paramount and have far-reaching effects across the company.
Benefits of CX in the Public Sector
If you think about customer experience with government agencies, what comes to mind? Long lines? Old technology? Complex processes involving even more complex forms? Do you think about above-average citizen service?
McKinsey found in a recent study that public sector agencies around the world tend to have a bad report card relating to customer experience. The good news, however, is that those agencies that focused specifically on stellar citizen service improved in terms of budget, trust, mission, and employee engagement.
And if government agencies with legislative and regulatory red tape are able to see benefits across the board with a focus on CX, then every company should be taking note.
Cancialosi agrees, “If you’re not thinking that customer experience is something that you need to be concerning yourself with, you may be digging your organization into a hole that you may not be able to climb out of.”
What can you do to improve CX? McKinsey recommends organizations “put themselves in their clients’ shoes, understand their journeys as they access services, and figure out what really delights or displeases their customers.”
Cancialosi concluded, “Those organizations that are better positioned to meet and exceed the experience expectations of their customers in a consistent and repeatable way and those that are best able to adapt to the changing needs of their customers are those who will continue to outperform the competition.”
There are many third-party services to help organizations quickly make the change to improve CX. Automated document processing solutions are an effective way to support both frontline and backstage employees.
Intelligent document processing (IDP) tools allow companies to get better quality data faster. In fact, many of these services, though typically back-end products that aren’t customer facing, are being utilized by companies to improve their customer experience and retention.
Scalable solutions that can grow with your data needs and can handle different volumes of data will support your employees by preventing backlogs when working through unexpected events like an influx in documents after a natural disaster, or other disruptive unexpected events.
AI can facilitate a consistent customer experience and business continuity when things, inevitably, don’t go as planned. All of this manifests itself in more reliable and timely access to the data and information employees need to do their jobs efficiently and with a focus on CX.