When it comes to delivering exceptional customer experiences (CX), there are four fundamental pillars that businesses should focus on: Team, Tools, Process, and Feedback. Tom Martin, CEO of Glance, recently shed light on these crucial pillars and offered valuable insights on how organizations can leverage them for success on the CXChronicles podcast, hosted by Adrian Brady Cesana. Keep reading for highlights from the discussion, or listen to the full episode now.
Team: don’t underestimate good storytelling
A strong and cohesive team is the foundation of any successful business. By investing in training and fostering a collaborative culture, businesses can ensure that their team is equipped with the necessary skills and mindset to deliver top-notch customer experiences.
Teams and needs will evolve and change over time. When Glance first began, Tom shared that like many small businesses it was important to find people who could wear many hats. But as Glance has grown, the focus has been on developing expertise in specific areas, especially storytelling.
Why storytelling? Because it’s imperative to build a cohesive, understandable and repeatable story to engage your customers. And not just as a function of marketing. Everyone is a part of the story, and that depth and understanding should permeate throughout the organization. For example, sales and partner teams work closely with customers. They’re the ones sharing the Glance story in their one-on-one conversations, and need to have a clear storyline to share.
Think of which teams are on the frontlines — sales, customer service, etc. — and make sure there’s an emphasis on storytelling along with clarity and consistency on what that story is.
Tools: focus on flexibility
In today's digital age, it’s essential to invest in the right tools. The right tools will vary from business to business, but there’s one key criteria: flexibility.
Businesses need tools that enable them to be flexible in meeting their customers where they are. It can be attractive to adopt a platform that “does it all” — it seems simpler that way. But if it doesn’t integrate with other solutions, this “simpler solution” can box you in and prevent you from accessing the tools that actually best suit your specific goals. Tom recommends looking at cloud-based, digital-first models. This allows organizations to take a “best of breed approach,” as he said, so that you can mix and match tools that meet your unique challenges and needs.
At the end of the day, no matter how many tools are in your tech stack, you’ll miss the mark if your customers aren’t able to connect with you in the ways they want, when they want, and where they want.
“One of the reasons that people do business with you is that it's easy,” Tom said, “They're trying to buy this product or service and they realize that how they do business with you, the way they interact with you is just as important if not the most important thing that you do.”
Process: simplify, simplify, simplify
Processes play a critical role in shaping the customer journey. By continuously refining and simplifying processes, businesses can create a smooth and hassle-free journey for their customers. Just as Amazon's one-click ordering system revolutionized online shopping, organizations should strive to make their processes as efficient and customer-friendly as possible.
Less is more. As Tom put it, “Perfection is not created by how much more you can add, it is by how much, when there's nothing left to be taken away, you brought it down to its essence.”
Simple doesn’t mean easy. And it certainly doesn’t mean stagnant, either. Processes require continual refining as technology, customer expectations, and employee needs change. For example, when Glance moved to a remote office in response to the pandemic, a lot of processes had to change to optimize remote working.
“Processes are like hygiene,” Tom said. “There's a commitment to recognizing that everything is kind of a living, breathing ecosystem that needs maintenance, that needs care and feeding for it to continue to deliver value for you.”
Feedback: design it in, don’t bolt it on
Feedback is the lifeline of continuous improvement. By actively seeking feedback from customers and employees, businesses can gain valuable insights into their operations and identify areas for improvement. This feedback loop should be an integral part of the product design and customer journey, as it helps organizations stay attuned to their customers' needs and expectations.
Tom noted the difference between design feedback in versus bolting it on. Feedback is easy to just “tack on” as an afterthought. But the risk is that you’ll receive the feedback too late, and you won’t be able to provide proactive solutions.
Here are some considerations for designing feedback into your product:
- Observe what’s happening with your product (machine and session activity-based)
- Look at how feedback can be designed farther and deeper into the product
- Ask for feedback at various stages in the customer journey
- Don’t forget to prioritize internal feedback
Team, Tools, Process, and Feedback — refining these four CS pillars can help you unlock CX success. Learn more by listening to the full podcast by clicking the link below.