Customer experience (CX) is the engine that drives a successful organization and helps power long-term, strategic relationships. And customer experience management (CXM) is defined by Gartner as “the discipline of understanding customers and deploying strategic plans that enable cross-functional efforts and customer-centric culture to improve satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.”
Effective two-way communication
Delivering a great CX is the result of knowing, listening to and understanding your customers, and the key to achieving that is developing relationships that allow for open and honest discussions and feedback. This might be easier when things go well; it becomes harder when addressing challenges that inevitably arise in the course of the relationship.
Trust and transparent two-way communication are critical because the conversations between a business and its customers are not always glowing. There are challenging scenarios that we all face, and it’s important that an organization is transparent, trustworthy and can communicate openly, especially in difficult circumstances. A customer needs to know that you “have his or her back,” so to speak, and will be there through the good, and also the bad.
Feedback drives improvement
Listening to customers, understanding their drivers and long-term objectives and using their voices to inform behavior and deliverables enables CX-focused organizations to deliver the value customers desire in their businesses.
At Hexagon, we do this through our annual customer surveys, but also in other ways, such as industry and Hexagon-hosted networking events – virtual or face-to-face. In the latter, customers can learn from one another; industry challenges and pain points are often shared. In those settings, we can bring shared experiences to the table because of our international customer base. Sometimes organizations only focus on their own geographical areas, but we can facilitate the sharing of global successes and pain points by providing subject matter or technical expertise. These are business-to-business, customer-driven discussions, and by sharing, everyone can learn and progress. Ultimately, change management is a result of customer feedback.
Delivering an exceptional CX is how companies gain loyal customers, and indeed, has arguably the greatest impact on an organization as a whole. It impacts referenceability – customers talk to each other, and when they share positive experiences, that translates to word-of-mouth referrals that are invaluable in terms of building long-term, strategic partnerships.
In our efforts to engage with customers, I’ve really appreciated their willingness to be transparent and provide the honest feedback we need. It’s not always been positive, but it’s been open and honest, and that is appreciated so we can evolve and truly look after our customers and address their needs. From their day-to-day goals and challenges to more in-depth, strategic conversations, customers give honest feedback and are forthcoming with suggestions. It’s about improving that relationship. Without honest feedback, it’s hard to understand where we stand.
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