The terms Customer Experience (CX) and Customer Success (CS) are commonly used within the service industry. Sometimes CX and CS are used to describe the same or similar things and other times to describe complexly different actions, activities and outcomes. This article offers definitions for each term and identifies similarities and differences between CX and CS.
5 Principles for Service Success in 2020 and Beyond
There are many approaches to achieve service success and each company must chart its own unique course. Regardless of the path, there are five principles that all companies must embrace.
5 Principles for Service Success
There are five principles of service success. Every company must have an established CX plan, attainable goals, well-defined offerings, optimized service capabilities and the means to measure and improve performance. These five principles establish the foundation from which to define, execute and achieve tangible, positive service outcomes. Each principle is described below:
Established CX Strategy
A well-defined Customer Experience (CX) strategy must describe the experience you wish to create with your customers and the means by which you achieve stated outcomes. A well-defined CX strategy should include the following elements:
- Clearly stated objectives about the type of experiences you wish to create for customers.
- The expected outcomes from delivering these experiences.
- The potential negative implications from not providing the stated customer experiences.
- The practices and methods to be used to deliver targeted customer experiences.
Clearly Defined Organizational Goals and Outcomes
A CX strategy will be executed by individuals and teams and it is imperative to clearly define the roles and responsibilities for everyone involved. It is imperative to clearly define the roles and responsibilities for everyone involved with the execution of the CX strategy. Organizational goals and outcomes should include:
- Clear identification of all teams and individuals responsible for execution of the CX strategy – note that responsibility may cross organizational boundaries and include Sales, Services, Product Teams, and other groups.
- Defined goals and objectives for teams involved with CX.
- Individual goals to clearly describe how everyone will contribute to the attainment of team, organizational, and corporate objectives.
- Incentive structure to reward exceptional performance.
- Sustained performance management process to monitor individual and team performance to targets.
Well Defined Offerings
Offerings define the rights and entitlements customers receive and the price they pay. The blending of rights to use a product and service entitlements through subscription programs and the opportunities to extend service portfolios with success programs requires careful definition of well-defined service programs and offers. Consider the following:
- Determine if service entitlements will be combined with the rights to use a product or offered for a separate fee.
- Establish the service entitlements customers need and want to effectively adopt and apply your products.
- Determine which entitlements will be included and which will incur an additional fee.
- Establish a pricing and payment model to define how customers pay for add on services.
Optimized Success Capabilities
The ability to attain strategic outcomes and execute the CX strategy will rely on your ability to deliver services efficiently and effectively. Optimization of success-focused service capabilities must include a commitment to the following initiatives:
- Focus product capabilities and services on defining and achieving customer success.
- Reduce service events through improved product quality, monitoring and proactive corrective actions.
- Create opportunities for customers to serve themselves through self-help, communities and service automation.
- Develop tools and content to streamline new customer onboarding and drive ongoing adoption activities.
- Transition staff from reactive issue resolution to high-touch account management activities.
Means to Measure and Improve Performance
Service success must be defined and measured. Few companies will maximize performance immediately and the attainment of desired outcomes will take time to achieve. It is imperative to implement ongoing and meaningful monitoring of key performance indicators with the means to take corrective actions to improve performance. Consider:
- Establish the metrics that will indicate performance against targeted outcomes including churn rate, satisfaction, Net RR, service efficiency and effectiveness.
- Review individual and team contributions to attainment of performance.
- Identify inhibitors to performance and develop corrective action plans.
- Conduct regular team meeting to review performance and introduce corrective actions.
- Review goals, measures of success and performance targets and timelines with executive sponsors and gain buying to execute.
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There are many approaches to achieve service success and each company must chart its own unique course. Regardless of the path, there are five principles that all companies must embrace. Every company must have an established CX plan, attainable goals, well-defined service programs, optimized service capabilities and the means to measure and improve performance. These five principles establish the foundation from which to define, execute and achieve tangible, positive service outcomes.
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