With Customer Experience (CX) being such a hot topic, it surprises me that so many companies still believe that CX is purely a Customer Service, or Contact Center initiative. Gartner research indicates that 75% of all interactions with a company are through Customer Service, so I guess it is logical to assume that the CX strategy should be developed and executed within this critical customer contact hub. But, to focus your CX efforts solely in this area would be like only using your pawns during a chess game, and expecting you can win.
So, now you are asking yourself, what exactly does the game of chess have in common with Customer Experience? Actually, there are quite a number of parallels. First, and foremost, in order to win, you have to have a well-defined strategy. Chess strategy is concerned with evaluation of chess positions and with setting up goals and long-term plans for the future play. To be a good chess player, you must be able to think several moves ahead, as well as anticipate how your opponent will react to your every move. Sound familiar? To “win” in business, you must align your day-to-day operations with your long term goals and strategic objectives. In Customer Experience, it means anticipating your customer’s needs, and ideally, meeting or exceeding them proactively. It means being a company that is easy to do business with!
Secondly, each has defined phases. In chess, there are three phases: opening, middlegame and endgame, and each of these phases has different moves and strategies. But, in order to win, the game must be played fluidly across these phases. In your customer’s journey with your company, there are distinct phases as well: Discovery, Evaluation, Purchase, Use and Maintain, and in each of these phases, your customers will have different needs and will interact with your company through multiple channels. Just as a game of chess cannot be won by one move, your customer’s perception of your brand and customer experience is not defined by one single moment of time, but rather the collection of experiences as (s)he navigates through the phases of that journey.
Third, to win at chess, you need to effectively use all your chess pieces! Each piece has its own style of moving, and if your pawns, bishops, knights and rooks are not working together, you will never be able to jubilantly shout “Checkmate!”. Likewise, in defining and executing your Customer Experience strategy, it is important to understand how each business unit within your organization impacts your customer experience, and what role they play within the customer journey, whether directly or indirectly. Simply put, all chess pieces are required to win, and we are ALL in the Customer Experience business! In chess, combining simple one-move and two-move tactical actions can position you for a win. In business, aligning your people, processes and technology to ensure a consistent customer experience, regardless of what point a customer is within their journey, can be invaluable.
Finally, both have longevity! The game of chess is believed to have originated in Eastern India in the 6th century, and to this day, remains a popular game played throughout the world. We are living in the age of the consumer, and today’s customers have more choice and control over the products and services they use than ever before. A recent Forrester study concluded that 40% of customers began purchasing from a competitive brand because of its reputation for customer service and NewVoiceMedia research indicates that 70% of customers would be more loyal to a business following a positive customer experience. These statistics are evidence that Customer Experience is not just the latest corporate buzzword; it is, and will continue to be, vital to the success of any business for many years to come!
So, when it comes to Customer Experience, are you a novice, a Grandmaster, or somewhere in between? What’s your next move?
To learn more about the “Avtex experience”, or how we can optimize your CX strategy, please visit our website (www.avtex.com) or call us at 1-844-CXChamp (1-844-292-4267).
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