Building a CX Roadmap with Overlooked Datasets


When your team was tasked with creating the first true CX roadmap your company has ever had, what sets of data will guide you?

The data overload is real, especially when you’ve been tasked with creating the first true customer experience (CX) roadmap your company has ever had (which a lot of marketing teams are going through these days). Where should you look first?

For my team, five sets of data were particularly helpful in creating a solid CX framework:

1. Psychography: behind the “why” of customer actions

Demographics are important. there is no doubt. But mapping the psychographics of our clients proved to be much more valuable. Find answers to questions such as:

  • What motivates our customers?
  • What do they want to achieve?
  • What are their values, attitudes and life choices?

Remember – emotion is usually the difference between lost customers and retention. And “neutral” is not an emotion.

When I started as a CX professional in waste and recycling, I thought that reducing environmental impact and sustainability initiatives would be the big heroes of the day. So that was the message we pushed.

We quickly learned that our drivers’ stories of acts of kindness are what ultimately capture the hearts and minds of our customers. Stories like how one of our drivers pulled over and saved someone’s life after witnessing a motorcycle accident, or how one of our drivers used their tip to buy books for neighborhood kids on their roads – that’s the type of message that really resonated with people.

Why? Because these stories evoke a deeply personal emotion. A sentiment that goes beyond what people feel when they read statistics about how we are reducing our footprint by using cleaner fuel in our trucks.

Don’t get me wrong, sustainability reports are still important. But the fact is that most clients feel a much more intrinsically personal responsibility to their family and community than to the intangible “environment”.

Related Article: The Importance of Positive Emotional Connections with Customers

2. Referral sources: How do customers come?

Another overlooked set of data that today’s large companies are starting to analyze when they start building a CX strategy is how people learn about their business in the first place. If you get a lot of referrals from a particular source, it might be worth investigating that avenue further. This data also helps teams understand what kind of messaging is resonating with potential customers.

While it’s always important to focus on your primary customer base, don’t overlook the importance of reaching new customers. And finding that data is easy. Just start by exploring different avenues such as social media channels – including Twitter hashtags, Facebook business pages/profiles – and your Google rating and reviews.

3. Interaction History: Optimization of all CX Touchpoints

How have your customers interacted with your business in the past (eg online chat, phone call, in-person visit)? When did they interact with you? This will show your team how best to reach your customers with proactive answers to questions before they’re even asked.

Having a record of interaction history also allows teams to look beyond customer behavior and predict future behavior. What will customers buy next? How often do they come back for more information? What questions are you failing to answer successfully? This helps teams anticipate customer needs and optimize every customer experience touchpoint accordingly.

Related Article: Connected Customers, Connected Data, Connected Journeys

4. Customer Service Data: Empowering Call Center Agents

Every CX manager should spend their first two weeks working in their contact center with customer service agents. There’s no faster or safer way to uncover gaps in customer communication.

How do your customers interact with customer service? Are they calling, emailing or chatting?

If you find that most of your customers email customer service, for example, make it easier for them to find answers to their questions on your website. Alternatively, if you find that most of your customers are calling customer service, make it easy for them to connect with a live person via live chat messaging.

Several prominent CX players are taking this concept one step further by establishing an information sharing program for frontline employees. By creating an easily accessible suggestion portal (much like a virtual suggestion box), your customer service agents and other frontliners can easily submit new thoughts and ideas on how to improve your company’s customer experience.

You can even gamify the process so that each month or quarter, a new idea is selected for piloting and implementation – and the “winner” who submitted the idea receives some sort of reward or recognition.

Related Article: Are Your Call Center Operations Leaving Employees?

5. Website data: keep your site up to date

Use heat map software that will help you visualize how people interact with your website. Which pages do they visit most often? Where do they deposit the most? This will help you determine which buttons and messages to place “above the fold” at the top of your homepage.

This type of information will also allow you to optimize features and pages that users are clearly frustrated with. If you see people visiting your product pages, for example, ask your team to add more information or make it easier to compare products.

Conclusion: start with internal churn, not customer churn

When establishing a new CX program, the focus is often on customer churn and attrition from the get-go – but that’s a poor starting point when it comes to creating a CX roadmap. In my experience, employee turnover is often a better initial indicator of the health of the customer experience.

Employee experience (EX) and CX alignment are critical because customer success is directly tied to EX. According to United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average call center turnover rate is as high as 45% – at least twice the average turnover in other departments.

Technology, process implementation and quality training enable employees to provide the level of service that customers expect. Employees need their daily life to be optimized and to feel supported to operate at the speed of the customer. Improving CX and driving growth are initiatives directly related to optimizing EX.

The data-driven approach to customer experience is not new. But sometimes we tend to start with the readily available datasets when we should be paying attention to more fundamental metrics.

After all, building a solid program starts with the basics.

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