Several customer experience (CX) experts explored what it takes for CX professionals to drive personalization in their day-to-day efforts during a panel discussion for Argyle's CX membership at the 2018 Customer Experience Leadership Forum in San Francisco on March 22. The panel discussion, titled "Delivering Personalized Journeys," included the following participants:
Vice President, Quality Management
Senior Director, User Experience Design
Managing Director, Head of Client Service Americas
Director, CX Consulting
Director, Customer Experience Programs
The panelists focused on a number of CX topics, including:
1. Journey Mapping
Journey maps frequently helps CX professionals analyze how customers engage with a company. Yet journey maps often vary based on company and industry.
With effective journey mapping, companies – regardless of industry – can find the best ways to engage with their target audiences. Plus, journey mapping that promotes collaboration between CX professionals and employees in different departments may help a company discover the best ways to foster long-lasting customer partnerships.
"Different groups know different parts of the customer journey, but it's rare that one group knows about all parts of the customer journey," Baher said. "We're mapping out two things: what's happening on stage and what your customers actually see … and the backstage of what your company is doing."
Furthermore, CX professionals must take a data-driven approach to journey mapping. If CX professionals use state-of-the-art technologies to retrieve and analyze customer data, they can boost the likelihood of making informed decisions that deliver meaningful results.
"There are journey points that need to be addressed. But if you don't have hard facts attached to them … then your management team will [ignore these points]," Singh noted.
2. The Customer's Perspective
How CX professionals evaluate the customer's perspective can have far-flung effects on a business.
"When we think about strategy from a customer experience standpoint, we have to understand what types of feelings are we trying to influence by the product or service that we are trying to deliver."
If CX professionals assess the voice of the customer (VoC), they can understand a company's target audience like never before. Then, these professionals can prioritize their day-to-day efforts and determine the best ways to optimize a company's customer interactions.
"I think it's very critical to get the customer's point of view, because ultimately, that's who you are affecting," O'Keith pointed out. "We want to make sure that we're bringing the customer voice [into our efforts] … so we can establish priorities."
CX professionals must understand how consumers interact with a brand and why they may choose one brand over another. That way, CX professionals can determine the best course of action to elicit the desired emotions and responses from customers.
"It's the customer who matters," Singh indicated. "When we think about strategy from a customer experience standpoint, we have to understand what types of feelings are we trying to influence by the product or service that we are trying to deliver."
3. Customer Personas
Customer personas are prominently used to understand a target audience. However, many CX professionals ignore the link between customer personas and personalized customer experiences.
CX professionals who establish customer personas may be able to find ways to satisfy customer requests consistently. Also, these professionals could discover innovative ways to provide customers with personalized experiences.
"The customer persona is pivotal before you even think about personalized customer journeys or any kind of customer experience," Singh stated.
4. B2B and B2C Personalization
Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) personalization are two very different concepts, and differentiating between the two may help CX professionals achieve their goals.
Personalization requires CX professionals to understand the customer's perspective. This perspective tends to involve many layers in a B2B scenario. Conversely, a B2C partnership involves a direct interaction between a business and consumer.
"We want to make sure that we're bringing the customer voice [into our efforts] … so we can establish priorities."
Regardless of whether a company is focused on B2B or B2C personalization, the business must allocate time and resources to provide personalized customer experiences. By doing so, a company can get the most out of its sales efforts.
"The difference between B2B and B2C is that you've got a more complex decision-making model with B2B," Baher said. "Understanding the roles within an organization … is very important to build out a sales strategy."
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are readily available. But not all of these tools will help companies quickly improve their customer satisfaction and retention levels.
A CRM system that enables CX professionals to log and maintain customer data is paramount. This system allows CX professionals to enhance their data collection and analysis efforts. As such, the system could help CX professionals instantly transform customer data into actionable insights.
"It comes down to the CRM system, and everything has to be logged," Germann noted. "No matter which channel customer data comes in from, it is automatically logged in our CRM."
Dhaval Shah is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years of experience in software engineering and quality assurance (QA). He currently serves as Vice President of Quality Management at Boingo Wireless. In this role, Dhaval oversees Boingo's quality engineering and assurance team to ensure total quality across the company's products, networks and services.
Julie Baher is Senior Director of User Experience Design at Illumina, where she works to improve human health by combining genomics and design thinking. Julie has led design teams at Adobe, Citrix and Xerox as well as at startups. She has designed everything from photo editing apps to websites to online MBA programs to training programs to computer networks. Now, she designs scientific software.
Inka Germann serves as Head of Client Service Americas at MSCI, where she manages a team of client service analysts and specialists across client segments and product lines. She is also the owner of best practices and processes for the MSCI global client service team and implemented various enhancements to MSCI's service model.
Roberta comes to Confirmit with over 20 years of experience as a VoC practitioner, customer experience strategist and business transformation specialist. She is a sought-after CX knowledge expert and speaker and has a passion to help businesses transform the way they look at their clients.
Guneet Singh is a passionate CX leader with vivid international experience. Guneet's work experience span across several industries, such as human capital management, banking, entertainment, consumer services and technology. He has also led several teams within Fortune 50 companies for analytics, CX, research and customer success.