Are you moving fast enough on your customer experience (CX) programs? It might feel like you are really busy, but are you truly moving as quickly as you should be in this important area?
This question of speed stuck with me following a session I hosted for the American Marketing Association’s Philadelphia Chapter in the fall of last year (2020). One of the panelists for this discussion, Celia Moncholi of TD Bank, shared that projects that might have taken years in the past, were getting accomplished in three weeks. Celia also provided thoughts on how the pandemic would drive better outcomes for customers in the future (see clip below).
These thoughts from Celia are an important reminder to anyone in the customer business – marketing, sales, customer service, and CX departments themselves. Below are five reasons why now is the time to make your bold moves when it comes to CX.
1.) The innovation period isn’t over
It might feel like we’re almost out of the pandemic woods (vaccines accelerating, restrictions lifting, etc.). Many companies will shift their focus to “business as usual”, but innovation is still needed. There is still a window to push for new ideas before trade shows are back in full swing and you have to start traveling again. Use the remaining time strategically.
2.) Start now, because the road will get harder
Once things are back to normal, that’s when things slow down again. Projects that usually take years to finish will take years again. The opportunity to accelerate change is too good to pass up, especially for more risk-averse companies. It is easier to ask for forgiveness for trying new things while COVID is still in play.
3.) Your transformation isn’t complete
Have you completed all the projects on your CX wish list? I didn’t think so. The nearing end of pandemic lockdowns isn’t a reason to backburner the rest of those items. In fact, it’s all the more reason to speed up (see #1 and #2 above).
4.) Your competitors will figure it out
Maybe the biggest reason to go bigger and faster with CX innovation is because your competitors are innovating, too. If they go even a little further or a little faster in their efforts, they could end up future-proofing their business and setting a new standard. You have to assume that is the case, especially because…
5.) If they don’t, outside threats will
It would be nice if you only had to worry about your direct competition. The pandemic has radically changed the way companies and consumers look at customer experience. This is going to create opportunities for brands to get outside their core business and go compete in other markets with an improved approach to customer experience. Amazon is an obvious example here (want to buy your hardwood floors from Jeff Bezos?), but other brands will recognize opportunities to disrupt those who are slow to adapt to modern CX expectations.
The pandemic has forced all industries to prioritize customer experience. Innovation might look different across industries, but it will remain a focal point. If you serve customers, you should take an honest look at the progress you have made in the last 52 weeks and determine if you have done enough. If not, think big and go fast.