It’s the age of the customer and they’re calling the shots, thanks in no small part to social media and new tech. One for returning the focus to the customer, and the other for all the data analysts need to map customers’ buying patterns. But we need more information to craft good CX. We need to understand customers’ cultural contexts to know how they feel,and we need to connect with their lives to know their needs and expectations.

The point where CX begins varies with each customer. It could be the first time a customer hears about your brand, either through a passing conversation, an advertisement, or a sales call. Despite the variance, this data helps you map your customers’ journeys through your marketing funnel so you can plan better experiences for them. To deliver good CX, brands must anticipate customers’ needs and expectations. This inevitably shifts the point where CX begins, further up or down the customer journey map, to the moment when your customer first felt the need for your product or service. What adds more variety is the fact that every customer’s experience is unique and relative, based entirely on what they each felt and understood at the time.

The essence of CX is its tendency to change with the times and trends. New ideas, innovations, and inventions, together with social developments can change your customer’s needs, wants, expectations, and perceptions. This can change your customer’s experience purely because they now need and want different things. Simply changing your CX strategy is not enough. Instead, this is the time to recalibrate your CX team to be a balanced mix of product development, marketing, and support professionals. It is also the time to reposition your CX team until they are juxtaposed with the point where your business, people’s experiences, and technology cross paths.

At the junction of business, technology, and experience is where you’ll find the information and the means to improve your customers’ experience by anticipating their needs and expectations. To do this your CX team needs to focus on the human experience, technology and its impact on the business landscape, processes, systems and spaces.

Business reflects on the human experience to anticipate changing needs, expectations, and perceptions, and rightly responds to it with evolved products and services.

Experience helps us understand that changing technology drives social change as well.

Technology facilitates change, as it fuels new ideas to create opportunities and provide solutions, by responding to human needs and providing business intelligence.

With a CX team that understands the dynamics of business, experience, and technology, your brand will stay current and relevant.

Effective CX strategies are based on our understanding of our customers. Data provides insights and information to map journeys, highlight patterns, predict trends, and form strategies; but there’s no guarantee it will play out like you planned. Your CX strategy will be effective only when it reflects on your customers’ needs and expectations and responds to them. This calls for being innovative in your thinking and outreach, so each time you interact with your customer, via text, over the phone, or in person, you have the opportunity to change your customers’ experience.

No one person can be your CX hero. If you’re wise to the impact of CX on your business, you know it takes more than one person to deliver good CX. It requires a host of people across teams and departments to fall in with the plans, respect the guidelines, and keep pace with the process. Like any other aspect of operations, efforts to improve your CX offering needs you to communicate how important it is to have all the necessary stakeholders understand, support, and comply with the rationale of your CX strategy. In fact, it is advisable to formalize communications by setting up a task force of those responsible for carrying out the changes.

Initiating conversations about customer experience is not always about the metrics. The data is for the analysts to interpret and raise the appropriate flags to indicate hold-ups, blocks, and points of egress, in different markets. Most businesses continue to put their trust in annual surveys. Yet many find it difficult to understand the information and identify changes, if any. This is why you need a diverse team to support your plans, buy in to your strategy, and comply with your plans.

C-suite support and improved CX are deeply connected. Without your C-suite managers buying in to your CX strategy and efforts, you are poised to nosedive into insignificance. Getting them on board can be a lot harder than you imagine. With all the industry endorsement about CX being a game changer, not all business leaders are ready to throw themselves behind the idea, wholeheartedly. Some might even agree with you in spirit, but it takes a proactive professional to commit to better CX and follow through. Here are some questions they can ask and answer before they do:

1. Is the market and your customer base tech savvy?

2. Are your customers informed buyers?

3. Is there a lot of choice available to your customers?

4. Is there a likelihood for disruption to your business plan on the horizon?

Leaders who’ve had to contend with the sustained challenges presented by innovative technology and competition will be more amenable to supporting CX strategies.

Inclusion and diversity are vital for social wellness, economic stability, and a better quality of life. While each country has a unique culture, many countries are also a meld of many cultures coexisting for centuries. This diversity makes for some rather unique markets driven by a variety of perspectives, values, and expectations. If you are venturing into a new market or region, it will benefit you to spend time understanding the people there so you can bridge the evident gaps.

From wildly creative to viable creativesAmazon’s Prime serves as an example of these values in action. They have certainly learned a few things about people and culture. Where earlier they tasked themselves to deliver wildly creative ideas, they’ve eased up to adopt a gentler and more viable approach to their ideas and execution. They now know that though many people don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves, they still have strong sentiments that guide their choices. And there will be consequences for any brand that trivializes their feelings. Here’s an example of what didn’t work for Amazon and then what did.

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