How To Develop A Winning Customer Experience Strategy For Years Ahead

Share this page:
In the vortex of information, both important and other, it’s still possible to heed the signals regarding customer experience. Managers of the top call centers know that. And successful company owners engineering ways to accurately adjust customer experience strategies.  And the most important of all is the sequence of the review of current activities, problem identification, choosing the direction, and action taking. All of these you’ll see below would improve the customer experience via best practices. Let’s show and guide you through.  

In this issue: 

  • What is the customer experience strategy for a call center? Hint: Things that many of today’s call center managers are misunderstood;
  • How to build your personal customer experience strategy to stand out from the crowd in the current economy and beyond?
  • What do customers seek the most in the customer experience of companies?
  • How to keep customers with the best practices for customer experience?
  • How to expand your customer base while keeping current customers?
  • How to forecast the customer experience for ballooning caller’s expectations?
  • Proven steps regarding strategy in the best practices for customer experience.

The encompassing definition of the customer experience

Customer experience is a capacity of a call center to identify, predict and deliver the perceived value for prospects and customers. For a call center market, the meaning of the cx strategy is never been so essential as it is in today’s “hot” competition. 

More often than not, small and mid-sized call centers recognize one specific fact. Today is the right time to start competing for customer acquisition and retention through a hard-working cx design strategy.

The role the customer experience and best practices are playing in retention and acquisition 

To build customer journey and observe the issue around customer experience, we need additional shed of light on the topic. The call center managers must ask themselves two questions:

  • Is the customer experience much harder to provide due to economical factors?
  • Should call center managers focus on acquisition only rather than on retention?

Yes, the economy languishing in the customer’s purchasing power. If a few years ago that was a minor valuable factor, today it is more the major factor in the decision-making process. 

As for retention versus acquisition, we must set the fact: it’s much more easier and profitable to maintain business relationships than acquire new ones. And this trend will continue to maintain in the predictable future. 

After all, it isn’t the best practice for customer experience to blindly focus on prospects and overlook customer feedback. Because sooner or later (often it's sooner), the prospective base will extinct and there will be no more prospects to convert into regular buyers. And competitors could take advantage and gather these prospects for their companies.

The main task of the customer support team pursuing customer experience and best practices

Today customer service as well as the sales team must be able to utilize all the resources of a call center to improve the CX. And the main burden is going to lay on the call center manager’s shoulders. To have a full picture, as a matter of fact, there are more than enough tools to satisfy growing customers’ demands.

That means teamwork and cohesion in a call center only matter in the final result in customer experience through best practices. But there is always a lot of information to dig into the data, identify the priorities, and vet these bits of info to achieve the encompassing picture.   

Essentials to know about the positive customer experience

A well-set customer experience strategy is one of the proven ways to improve business relationships in B2C or B2B. We must agree with the top companies that CX is never static but always dynamic due to the growing customer needs. 

Knowing this, it seems very challenging to penetrate into the achieving new prospects without long-term advance preparation. Because call centers compete with each other by providing better products and services. 

Yet “hot” rivaling is undergoing not only in this dimension. In addition to the great goods, every company seeks ways to improve customer experience and their best practices to foster customers’ lifetime value.

Let’s emphasize your attention on this one fact: the customer’s capacity to purchase is shrinking. At times, the most precise business analysis and research could fail to anticipate the customer’s behavior. That brings call centers into the environment where strategic planning and customer feedback counting come in first place. 

Below you’ll discover how exactly you are capable to compete in small, mid-sized, or even corporate-level call centers through strategic planning, reviewing, and acting via the best practices for customer experience. 

The main obstacles managers in customer experience strategy

These problems are simple yet require rapid attention and even faster dealing with them. Here are the most common obstacles you’ll meet in the CX design:

It appears that in some cases it’s too expensive to reach the desirable level of customer experience. One of these is the expenses on salaries – to satisfy all of your callers, especially during the calling peaks, you need staff at the hand. And these employees need to devote time periods or even extend the time for the challenging issues. 

Your customer experience design agenda is based on previous experience and current circumstances. Well, if this works due to rich experience – that’s OK. But if there are ups and downs, and moreover uncontrolled ones – you need to review your current customer experience strategy.

In some cases, you just haven’t the right agents or talents to provide top customer experience and best practices. But you need these people because of growing customer demands, which demand knowledge, communication skills, and solutions. 

It’s common to unable to resolve the issue fast and as a result – there’s the customer experience languishes. More and more customers demand their companies' fast and effective solutions. Still, the speed of the solution must equal the necessities without loss of quality of service. These are on the “surface” problems yet you can meet more of them in the future. 

The encompassing customer experience strategy from planning to action

First things first before you set the customer experience planning into action – you need to review the previous background information. In the essence, the larger period you take for the review – the better. 

Let’s say you are capable to take the data from the whole 3 years before. You have monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports at your elbow. Based on these reports, you’ll be able to accurately look at the main problems and solutions regarding customer experience strategy. 

Then you need to take a snapshot of your company in the present day. Look at your managers, supervisors, and agents. Figure out whether they are performing well or if there’s something to improve. In most cases, there’s always something to improve because the positive customer experience is never static. 

Now, you need to look at the external factors influencing the customer experience, such as inflation, recession, federal regulations, and a decrease in the customer’s purchasing power. 

Try to figure out, based on the data you have – the level of influence on your call center’s customer experience. Pick up each of the factors and review them thoroughly. Don’t overlook this step because this is one of the most powerful factors that influence your overall customer experience. Workout these issues:

  • Are your customer experience expectations directly meet your budget in terms of revenue? Meaning whether there’s growing demand you can satisfy or there are difficulties on this path. Work out this issue thoroughly;
  • Is the flexibility of your call center to adapt to the growing demands justify itself? Perhaps it’s necessary to provide changes in order to keep up with via reviewed customer experience strategy;
  • Now you have background info, the current state of a call center, and external factors of influence now. This is a large amount of data but that’s not all. The next step is to set realistic business outcomes for the customer experience strategy;
  • It’s recommended to set periods you can easily pivot, when necessary. For example, pick-up periods such as one month, quarter, or year. And then you outline what has to be done in this period. Usually, these are “must-done tasks” – the ones you can’t avoid or skip. Hint: if you take the 1-month period – check in two weeks the current state of the success of the action. 

Precise problems identification regarding the customer experience strategy

Call center managers are capable to identify accurate problems and then generating workable solutions. For example, one call center manager says: “We have a problem with the slow solutions regarding customer’s requests”. Or “We have a high customer effort score which we need to reduce”. 

Yes, these issues are valid but they reflect the features of the customer experience strategy. But this description of the problem works only as far as it goes. Let’s explain this. Let’s pick up the problem with a slow solution. In the essence, it isn’t connected with lengthy conversations by itself. 

But they are arousing once the agent doesn’t know what to do. There’s just no customer journey map for the solution. And they start to scrumble through screens or transfer calls, etc. The precise problem identification is: improving the knowledge of agents through meeting customer expectations. Thus each time, all agents would have a roadmap of actions. 

Metrics to show agents and work out the solutions on them 

Now let’s take the customer effort score. The customer effort score (CES), is connected directly to the agent’s professionalism. Thus to reduce the CES and improve CX, agents must know in advance, what their actions are doing with the customer inquiries. If agents are unable to clearly answer the answer: “What will be next?”, then they have a low understanding of the inquiry-solution stage.

Thus to reduce the CES, call center managers must set business objectives such as: making agents rapidly build the roadmap based on the knowledge and account information. That is what’s reducing the CES and improving CX. 

As you can see, it’s not enough to set the problem as it is. But it’s essential to engineering a lasting solution on it that would directly solve the issue as described above.  

How much CES is too much?

This is the right question in understanding the call center customer experience strategy and setting the mission statement. In the call center industry, the customer effort score is the real reflection of the company’s performance toward positive customer experience. One manager can precisely identify the customer experience based on contact with people on the same issue.

It’s true when customers rapidly get to the customer’s goals – they are more satisfied. There are “golden standards” for reaching people’s needs. Here’s the rate of the customer effort score in this way:

  1. Very good. Solution within first contact;

  2. Acceptable. The solution after the 2 contacts in the row;

  3. Causes frustration. Agents struggle to meet customers’ expectations within 2 contacts;

  4. Causes customer complaints and negative customer experience. The customer doesn’t understand why it’s so difficult to achieve the desired result. And overall call center’s morale agents is going down.  

Heads of call centers must constantly hold the big and real picture in front of their eyes regarding customer effort. Especially those that are escalating to the 3, 4, etc. 

Typically, the gathering of these data about each customer’s efforts, allows managers to understand the problems and come out with solutions. Because, the primary goal, as it always is – is the first contact resolution.

Saving the cost per call and improving the customer experience

This is also the relevant customer experience metric called first-contact resolution (FCR). It is important for a few reasons. First, prospective buyers and more important current customers are rapidly satisfying their needs. 

Second, they save the time and effort of agents in a call center. Third, they like to solve problems fast and easily, the implication of this is the long-lasting customer relationship.

Identification of loyal customers with the Net Promoter Score

That is the customer experience metric calls the Net Promoter Score (NPC), which reflects: customer loyalty and willingness to promote the brand to other customers. 

Interestingly notice that you should evaluate the NPC score from +100 to -100 on the scale to discover the overall customer perception regarding this metric. Where +100 means happy customers while -100 reflects very unhappy customers. 

Take a look at the curios data about the NPC in the US, which measures the overall customer’s perception on a scale from positive 100 to negative 100.



Providing the set with a workable customer experience strategy?

What are the requirements from the vast majority of people toward consistent customer experience? Depends on the business yet the overall situation shows that customer expectations are increasing more rapidly than companies able to satisfy them. Let’s explain this in detail.

There are only 3 levels regarding the customer experience strategy:

Entry level. This is the level of customer expectations regarding your product or service quality that either allows you to enter the market on the specific niche or not. Usually, companies that are unable to satisfy these basic needs are disqualified from competition with other companies until they will be able to satisfy these needs.

Competitive customer experience. The entire organization provides a solution that is distinctive and the advantage of the call centers. Thus they possess such high service, which all other lacks – you slash the competition. 

Moreover, customers as soon as they spot the telltale of these competitive features – are flocking to these brands. The effect is even stronger when certain companies are capable of wisely promoting their advantages and then quickly gathering new prospects.

Anticipation of the future customer experience. This is the equally important feature of every company as the two ones listed above. Customers constantly increase their expectations over time. 

Perhaps today, your product or service is fine. But what about a few months and years ahead? And as a matter of fact, you need to anticipate and satisfy these needs. Reviewing all three levels above allows you to foster the positive impact of the customer experience strategy. 

Marketing teams must conduct rigorous research on targeting audience

It’s one of those groundworks managers are facing when starting to build their personal strategy for the customer experience. By identifying the product, the market, and the customers, they are collecting a mound of data. 

Managers need to focus on their “ideal customers”. The ideal customer means those who are generating the most profit for your company and are loyal over time. For instance, as a Pareto rule says, that’s only 20% of your customers (give or take a few percentages), that generate 80% of your revenue. To screen out people for your ideal customers, you need data about:

Product or service your company represents: what it does, how customers use it when it delivers to customers, what is the guarantee, what are legal terms and conditions, etc. 

Don’t overlook the knowledge about your own services, because, the worst thing you can do when the prospect is calling us to don’t know the answer to their questions.

The market. Set your business goal for the data you have about your product or service. Specifically, calculate your market share among small, mid-sized, or enterprise-like companies. Also calculate the revenue you are generating each month, quarter, and year. See what the changes in the revenue are and what exactly causes them.

The customers. The precision of targeting the relevant audience is growing when the two issues listed above are carefully analyzed, researched, and vetted. You already have an idea of who your ideal customer is and what their main likes and dislikes are. As a result, you know what are their requirements for a positive customer experience. 

A workable customer experience strategy must give a distinct advantage

People are shopping with brands, which are capable to satisfy their needs currently and in the future. But if they see other brands which personalized experiences and deliver more value, the choice is clear.

One of the ways to improve customer experience is to personalize the service. How is it works in the real world? It’s pretty simple though, companies collect crucial customer data regarding their services and then adjust their strategy for it. 

For instance, managing customer experience implies defining how many products their ideal customers are purchasing. And how much money they are spending annually. They know what is expected from them not only today but tomorrow, and beyond. Here are a few tips on how to make customer experience strategy work:

Make the contact person. As soon as you onboard the prospective customer, try to courteously ask about their preferences. For instance, “Mr. Smith, what are your expectations from our company?” 

A proper introduction is a vital part of managing the customer experience. Avoid greetings such as: Hi, Hey, What’s up, etc. You are on the job as a professional and not the friend of a caller. Thus you must always use such introductions as: “Good day, Mrs. James, it’s Jessica, how may I be at service today?”.

Don’t push too hard at the beginning of the customer interactions. One of the best practices for customer service teams is to build rapport first and then ask the necessary question. 

For instance, If you start with the “what is the annual revenue” after an introduction that will trigger a negative reaction. On the contrary: Try to feel the customer’s attitude through the full introduction, by describing the purpose of your call, and by rapport building. 

Keeping the distance is a good customer experience method. Most of the agents aren’t good enough in the adaptation to the customer’s character. They just cross the personal space too fast and instead of calling later just pursue their agenda. And of course, walking the extra mile is the essence of challenging conversations.

Here’s an example: “My purpose of the call…” and then the customer starts to go on his own by interrupting you. And if it happens more than 2-3 times during one call, it’s better to call later. And even change your CX strategy during the calls. Anyway, flexibility is a good customer experience method and there are ways to establish them after hard homework on customer research. 

Reach customers that stop purchasing from you

Some people are starting to purchase from their usual brand and it seems that everyone is don’t care. It happens all the time. But your goal in pursuing this is to apply one of the best practices in customer experience which is to know for sure: the reason why they stop to purchase from you. 

So you need to give a call and contact via email, social media, SMS, etc. You need to know the reasons why they changed their minds. And of course, this is part of the retention strategy. 

The value of measuring customer expectations to know where you are

Constantly match your capacities to meet customer expectations. In order to reach the best practice in customer experience, there are dozens of issues to tackle because of the constantly growing demands for a seamless experience. That’s normal. But the fact is that you need to follow and measure customer expectations on the daily basis. 

One of the proven ways to improve customer experience strategy is to establish a presence across all digital channels. If a call center team performs then the costs are always lower than profits. Thus it’s of paramount importance to be online via phone, chat, email, social media, and even achieve and send business mail. 

Sometimes, a certain customer is reluctant to contact via one certain channel such as phone calls. But shows good contact via other channels such as social media or email. Thus defining these details in contacting your heavy users and prospects would be one of the best practice customer experience practices.

For instance, Voiptime Cloud is providing small and mid-sized with tools such as call center customer experience management software to establish reliable and high-quality phone conversations. You can achieve it today by contacting us, with an obligation-free consultation.  

Apply CX best practices by building 24 hours a day presence 

One of the proven ways to establish a 24/7 service is a toll-free number. By using this number, you can make your customers order without any attendance from the live customer support agent. But today’s managers sometimes overlook this option. Moreover, the toll-free is working 24/7 and is very effective during the calling peaks.

Another way is to provide the interactive voice response system 

Perhaps artificial intelligence is a costly solution for small call centers. But the IVR system is affordable and easy to achieve in modern call center software. It’s the press-number mechanism that allows for achieving the necessary goal. 

And it works 24 hours a day without any live agent attendance. It’s easy to set up and launch via call center software. And it’s easy to adjust in the future if some of the features are redundant. 

An automatic call distribution system eliminates endless transfers and saves the time

One of the issues that make mad customer and decrease CX is the lengthy phone conversations. Frankly, this system is designed to route your callers to the relevant agents within one call or contact. It’s easy to customize the ACD system by taking into account your inbound phone lines and necessary call distribution settings. 

Leverage customer experience management via website and database

One of the cheapest ways to allow people to solve their problems is to give them an online database. People with questions or issues will visit the website and other databases to find the solution. 

If these resources are customer-centric then you have one of the cheapest but most effective cx best practices in the arsenal. On the other hand, business owners must keep an eye on these resources to check their relevance and the materials. 

Give space for the people’s feedback loop

Although it’s painful to recognize downfalls in the capacity to deliver a decent level of customer experience framework. So the customer will tell you what your company is worth. And to know for sure you are hitting the mark, just give the callers options to answer your questions via phone. Record these answers for personal use and improve the CX in the future.

One of the best practices for customer experience is to follow up on contacts 

The best CX strategy practices show that all callers must achieve the desired result. If you are unable to provide services and products – the audience must know about it. One business owner could never fail if would follow the rule: each customer is valid.

So if one or a few conversations give little results, it’s not effective CX practice. Tell your agents to call or contact people on the same issue in case the business goals aren’t met. It helps in managing customer experience when your agents know for sure what exactly is happening with customers. 

Turn the problem into an advantage with the customer experience strategy of the best

In some instances, your company is the one to blame because of the lousy CX. But don’t let the “doubt” knock the agent’s confidence to find the solution. On the contrary, instead of finding excuses just give something to your customers. It can be a solution that satisfies customers or something else. 

By the way, Fortune 100 companies fail from time to time, even in spite of their success. And guess what? The managers of these companies insist to provide the solution via calls. They are doing it with the success on different occasions to apologize and most importantly – to offer a firm solution. Solutions and not excuses on the top of the customer experience management.

A great customer experience strategy must work in consonance with the staff 

Here are the facts. Agents in call centers aren’t changing their perception of the customer experience overnight. Especially, when previous years are filled with high-calling volume and mundane work on a shift-to-shift basis. That’s Ok. Because It can’t be changed overnight. 

To overcome employee inertia, assign the responsible person to manage the customer experience plan. This person will have to control the bringing of CX changes into fruition due dates. Here’s what you can do:

For most customer service and sales teams the “innovations” look pretty much like a burden. However, customer experience management is capable to show the necessity of the CX changes. Most often managers should emphasize the relevance of changing because of a positive customer experience – overall call center performance and revenue skyrocket.

If it’s the problem for certain employees to change their “fixed” attitudes, just have informal small talk with them. Describe, from the manager’s point of the view, what you are expecting now in order to improve the strategy of the customer experience. Give the assignment to supervisors to do the same with all the agents.

Once you solve to issues above, the CX is skyrocketing. Yet it requires a checking. Delegate checking of the CX strategy implementation to the supervisors and make them report to managers in concrete periods: one or two weeks.

Manage customer experience after the mission statement  

Everyone in a call center must understand the relevance of the business goals toward CX strategy. And here’s why. Until there is a clear understanding of the goals and responsibilities – there will be little or no effect even from the most perfect CX plan and implementation. Thus customer experience management through supervisors is up to attracting employees’ attention to the main call center’s direction. 

And as a general rule, it’s not enough just to gather everyone and talk for 45 minutes or so. That wouldn’t work at all. It’s highly important to set the mission statement and make sure the cx strategy is changing due dates. Refine the strategy if it’s proven ineffective after the chosen period (one month, quarter, year).

Strategic analytics before applying best practices for customer experience 

The valuable information below must become the solid ground in your future cx strategies. In today’s competitive call center environment, it’s a mistake to overlook the data about the actual state of the customer experience. Perhaps, it’s one of the most challenging jobs for call center managers – to gather all the data and put it in the shed of light.

However, the difference between having these data and not will directly affect the customer experience. Here’s the type of data regarding customer experience:

The current state of the customer experience. Even if your call center is successful at some point, there is always a lot to discover. By the way, every data on the customer experience is a perishable commodity. So you must replace worn-out info with the updated one. And then you’ll come up with a big idea about the best practices for customer experience for your call center.

The resources to build a customer experience framework. Ask this question first: Are the resources at your disposal for managing the customer experience? There are either staff resources or technology and tools at your hand. 

The other type of resource is the budget that you must evaluate when customizing the best practices for customer experience for the call center. Call center managers must do the math in periods of time: week, month, quarter, etc., to understand their capacities to provide up-to-date cx strategy. 

The Voiptime Cloud provides heads of call centers with the “hot” and valuable info 

Here's what you’ll achieve from Voiptime Cloud:

  • Obligation-free consultation via phone, chat, email, etc;
  • Free guidance from your manager on how to actually use the software for 1 month after the deployment of your call center;
  • Ease in upscaling up and down the number of subscriptions per month. 
  • You are free to increase or reduce your subscriptions;
  • Deployment in any geographic area in 48 hours.
Interested in ultimate call center software?

Contact us to discuss your needs and see Voiptime Contact Center in action!

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, analyse site traffic, personalize content, and serve targeted advertisements. Read about how we use cookies in our Privacy Notice.

Customer Contact Central