Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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Driving operational excellence: Using CX to meet your goals as an ops leader

There’s simply no sugar coating it: the economy is struggling, and times are tough right now. With that in mind, ops leaders are being increasingly tasked with making cuts, driving growth, and doing more with less.

In times of economic instability, businesses look to slash expenditure where they can – often cutting strategies that are deemed inessential. It’s understandable: ops leaders are responsible for safeguarding the success of their organisations, and anything that doesn’t boost the bottom line is fair game. But what if you’re cutting the wrong things?

Customer experience (CX) strategies are often amongst the first to get the chop in turbulent times, but if you want to drive sustainable operational excellence (the kind that will help you to weather the storm and come out shining), it has never been more important to build valuable, long-lasting relationships with your customers.

As a crucial revenue driver for companies of every shape and size, the customer journey – and overall customer experience – should be front-of-mind when laying out your operational strategies for the year ahead. Because CX is more closely aligned with your goals as an ops leader than you might have ever given it credit for.

Making CX deliver on your ops goals

When brands talk about how much they value their customers, but their operational activities do nothing to support great CX, an experience gap opens. Customers inevitably fall through the gap, and land elsewhere: most often, at the doors of a competitor. So, you need to close that gap; give your customers more reasons to stay loyal than to look elsewhere. And customers need those incentives now, more than ever.

With a cost-of-living crisis impacting the way people shop, spend and invest their hard-earned cash, they need to feel valued. They need to feel a connection with the brands they’re doing business with, and CX is your ticket to customer connection.

Delivering a great customer experience paves the way for more growth, more retention, more revenue, and eventually more profit – which, for the ops leaders currently tasked with cutting costs, improving performance, and boosting the company P&L, can’t fail to appeal.

Your cost cutting exercises should be kept well away from the customer experience, because while CX might not directly bolster revenue in the most obvious and immediate sense, reducing your investment in CX during turbulent times can prove extremely detrimental to your bottom line. Instead, you should be directing your attention to processes, data, and the needs of your customers.

  1. Process: Understand what you’re doing, what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to change.
  2. Data: Leverage detailed data to quickly inform decision-making.
  3. Customer: Identify what it takes to keep your target customers happy, loyal, and willing to recommend you to others.

Increasing the likelihood of customer return (and your Customer Lifetime Value – or CLV) is going to improve sales performance. And while you could take an educated guess at how to elevate the customer journey, the only fool proof method for tightening the customer experience is by leveraging data. Data helps you to both identify root causes and implement in-line remedies.

If you think about your three main challenges as an ops leader – increasing revenue and growing new revenue channels, reducing operational costs and improving operational efficiencies, and improving the customer experience to encourage loyalty – you’ll see that each of these obstacles can be overcome by upping your CX game.

Leading from the front

As an ops leader, you have the power to encourage innovation and create an environment for change – and as we know, CX initiatives are all about implementing change to achieve results.

By collaborating with experience leaders and taking necessary steps to truly understand the why behind the what, you empower your CX team to drive operational change. Because while you might know when your market share is dwindling or sales are down, it’s the experience leaders who can help you to understand exactly what’s behind the losses.

Still not convinced? Think about it this way: your P&L rests on business outcomes, and your business outcomes rest on keeping your customers happy and coming back for more; this means that your objectives and the customer experience are both inexorably linked.

Remember when we touched on the experience gap? When your customers encounter discrepancies between your brand promise and the reality of the customer journey, those little micro-moments create friction; enough friction, and your customers are going to lose faith in you, buy less from you, and take their loyalty elsewhere – all of which translates into a less than healthy bottom line.

How Forsta can help

Listening to the conversations that are happening around your brand will give you clear direction over where your company ought to be focusing its attention. But while you can’t be in all places at once, our software can.

Forsta’s Voice of Customer (VoC) capabilities uncover the insights that matter. Whether you choose self-service or fully managed, our end-to-end platform illustrates the entire customer journey – helping you to understand what actions are going to impact your bottom line and equipping you with the tools to make change possible.

Spanning every channel and every device, our software reaches your audience where they are – before breaking down siloed data sources, consolidating all your data in one place, and showing you where to save time and money. And with interactive dashboards that allow you to track performance by product, region, or any category you care to think of, you can make decisions based on the most accurate customer and operational data.

Read to see how our technology can help you to hit profit growth, meet KPIs, and even make cost efficiencies? Book your free demo, and let’s make CX work for your ops goals.

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