Five proven techniques to bring your CX up to speed

Micah Solomon

March 4, 20244 min read

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In this article, Micah Solomon, CX thought leader, underscores the evolving business landscape and emphasizes five key strategies to enhance customer experience, driving satisfaction, loyalty, and brand ambassadorship. 

The business world is evolving unprecedentedly, and customer experience (CX) is at the forefront. As businesses strive to stay relevant amidst the changing landscape, they must enhance their CX to meet and exceed customer expectations. Here are five proven techniques to help you revitalize your current strategies and deliver a superior customer experience. 

Table of Contents

1. Provide an Anticipatory Customer Experience

Anticipatory customer service is about predicting and addressing your customers' needs before they arise. This approach involves delivering what your customers desire: 

  • Before they explicitly request it, 

  • Even if they were never going to articulate it (because they’re not aware you offer it or that they would benefit from it). 

While traditional customer service entails responding to customer requests as they come in, anticipatory service goes a step further. It involves proactive engagement, seeking out and addressing unexpressed needs, desires, and concerns. This approach not only satisfies your customers but also creates memorable experiences that foster customer loyalty and even ambassadorship on behalf of your company. While the classic image of anticipatory customer service is an empathetic, alert, well-trained employee picking up on cues and responding (or pre-responding), intelligent AI-powered systems like Sprinklr Service can also help. 

2.  Revamp Your CSAT Surveys

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys are a powerful tool for gauging customer sentiment.  

However, they must be carefully designed to yield meaningful insights while maintaining customer goodwill. Here are some strategies to consider:  

a) Ensure every question is clear and straightforward, avoiding any mental effort for your customers.  

b) The shorter the numeric scale, the better.  0-5 is good, 1-3 is excellent.  (Why not use 0-11? Because what customer in the world knows how to choose between a “6” and a “7” or a “7” and an “8”?)  

c) The sequence of your questions matters. Start by asking the most important, or at least most broad, question: the customer's overall impression.  

d) Include at least one open-ended question for your customer to include more textured information (and to allow them to vent or sing your praises). 

 e) Craft a thoughtful preamble that sets the tone for the survey. This introduction should be friendly, gracious, and aligned with your brand voice. 

3. Implement a "Below Eye Level" Technology Strategy

If the goal is to leverage technology while maintaining a human-centric customer experience, the "below-eye level" approach is your friend. Strive to keep your technological backbone from the customer’s view to keep their experience clear. (The exception here is self-service.)  

Unify customer communities, knowledge bases, guided workflows and AI-powered bots to create a truly efficient self-service solution for your brand's needs.

In the most obvious instance, at a hotel reception desk, the hotel employee’s terminal is kept out of the customer's sight, enabling staff to maintain eye contact and foster a personal connection with guests while having complete access to the details that will facilitate the guest’s stay: personal preference, room type availability, and more. This principle can be applied in various other contexts, promoting a balance between technological efficiency and human interaction. 

4.  Put in place a Service Recovery Framework for turning around unhappy customers

Sometimes, the best kind of service recovery is to make sure the glitch doesn’t happen in the first place or that, when it does, it can be addressed automatically. 

Dealing with unhappy customers is an inevitable part of any business. Therefore, it's crucial to have a robust “service recovery” strategy in place. 

For example, AI-powered agent assist tools such as Sprinklr can facilitate this by providing real-time actionable customer insights by monitoring customer sentiment and critical resolution metrics. My framework, which I provide customer service training on, is called "The MAMA Method," and it consists of the following four steps: 

  • Make time to listen: Allow the customer to explain, in as much detail as they like, what they perceive the problem or injustice to be.  

  • Acknowledge and, if required, apologize: Show empathy for what they’ve gone through and, if appropriate (meaning the customer thinks it’s appropriate, not that you necessarily believe you’ve done anything wrong), offer a sincere (or at least sincere sounding) apology. 

  • Meeting of minds: Collaborate with the customer to find a mutually agreeable solution. 

  • Act and follow up: Ensure you deliver on your promises and check back with anyone you’ve delegated part or all the solution to confirm the issue has been resolved satisfactorily.  

5.  Prioritize the Beginning and Ending of your Customer’s Journey

Research shows that the beginning and ending of a customer interaction are more likely to remain in a customer’s memory, perhaps forever, than what happens at the inner points of their journey. Therefore, making these touchpoints as seamless and memorable as possible is critical. (The "primacy effect" suggests that first impressions have a lasting impact, while the "recency effect" indicates that the final moments of an interaction are disproportionately influential. Together, these phenomena, known as the "serial position effect," underscore the importance of making the customer journey’s onset and conclusion exceptional. 

In conclusion, enhancing your customer experience requires a multifaceted approach. By adopting anticipatory service, revamping your CSAT surveys, balancing technology and human interaction, implementing a robust service recovery framework, and focusing on the critical touchpoints in the customer journey, you can significantly elevate your customer experience, leading to increased customer satisfaction, engagement, loyalty, and, ultimately, ambassadorship for your brand.   

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