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Three new year's resolutions for those serious about CX improvement


Jamie Thorpe of Ipsos MORI shares  the top three things brands need to absolutely rock in CX this year.

15th Jan 2021
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The recent lockdown measures announced make 2021 feel like Groundhog Day… but now the vaccine is in full roll out there are brighter times ahead.

With the optimism a New Year brings, but with the battle scars of 2020 still fresh, here’s the top three things I believe brands need to absolutely rock in CX this year:

1. Norm and plan to storm

Put your foot on the ball, refocus and consider how to push forward. 

  • Target/expectation setting. With annual KPI scorecards completely out of kilter, brands must reconsider what realistic CX baselines should be, and how KPIs results are fair and equitable across service lines. How CX targets are set and communicated with employees will be a key focus in the coming months.
  • Understanding a realistic CX maturity position. With much disruption to the status quo, CX professionals are increasingly focussing on how their organisation stacks up against key CX competencies – and where resource and energy should be applied to deliver impact. There is a hunger from CX professionals to secure an objective baseline from which to move forward from.
  • A roadmap to ensure clarity of CX evolution. Ipsos research shows CX professionals are under the spotlight in 2021 more than ever before. Expectations are high, the customer is fickle and businesses impatient. When is the right time to develop and evolve? What will the impact be? What are the tactical improvements and what are the strategic gains? A valid, deliberate, considered, fully accountable and living CX roadmap will prove to be essential.

2. Act for maximum impact

While there is widespread recognition and acknowledgement that great CX is important - the need to demonstrate impact is vital.  It is my belief that organisations will seek to achieve this through…

  • Embracing journey-based metrics. Pushing the boundaries of how ROI and journeys fuse to understand impact at a touchpoint level.  When you think about the application of ‘customer nudging’ and ‘next best action’, this will only grow in importance with leaders starting to get ahead of the game in the experience economy of 2021.
  • Taking closed loop to the next level. A well-documented personal favourite of mine, active closed loop is game changer and a hygiene factor for CX leaders. As we bed into 2021, I expect to see an increase in popularity of double closed loop (closing the loop on closed loop) with the pressures on the need to act and those needing to take the action growing.
  • Making the most of unstructured data. With VoC programmes still delivering a relatively small proportion of the feedback brands receive from customers, the hunger to embrace unstructured data has grown in recent times. Social, review and other public domain business intelligence is readily available with many programmes harvesting this rich insight stream.  The challenge will be how brands harness this data alongside VoC and use it to maximum effect. I see CX SaaS platforms that integrate sources of TA to be a prominent solution to this challenge.

3. Keep it real with customers

If last year taught us anything it’s that people matter…

  • Build relationships (and mean it). Ipsos knows c.59% of customers buy from brands that reflect their personal values.  Therefore, organisations that are authentic credible, trustworthy, service minded and able to demonstrate this to customers through their actions will win out this year.
  • Physical will come back into fashion. Yes, we have all migrated to digital.  Sometimes through necessity, sometimes through preference.  One truism though is that when we return to a new normal (whatever that looks like) customers will flock back to the physical where they can.  From service to complaint resolution it is increasingly important to understand the employee experience and empower customer facing staff to be ready.
  • Personalisation continues to grow. Know Me. Hear Me. Value me. The demand we place on brands to be served in context grows.  As we ‘accept all cookies’ with great abandon, the trade-off of sharing our data is that we receive a hyper-personalised experience. Brands must back up their marketing messages with strong CX delivery. The expectation of end to end personalisation is on the rise and we businesses must keep up.

My final thought

It is well known that CX leaders outperformed laggards in the 2008 financial crisis. Fast forward 13 years and we expect the same findings to ring true – brands that lead in CX will stand the test of time and bounce back more quickly. Let’s see what this year has instore for us and how it might unfold. Please feel free reply to this article with your comments.

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