You know the basics: working on Customer Experience (CX) leads to more revenue, improved customer loyalty and cost savings.
CX is so important that brands often consider it a top priority over both price and product. And 90% of B2B executives say it’s an important factor to achieving their objectives.
But CX design isn’t easy. There are several challenges must overcome before you can create processes customers love.
What is customer experience design?
Customer Experience design is the process of optimizing interactions between your brand and customers. The focus is simple: making those interactions as pleasant and as easy as you can.
Do it right and you’ll increase the likelihood that people have a good experience with your brand. The idea is that customers who like you will stay loyal longer, recommend you more, and ultimately bring in more revenue.
CX designers look for optimizations across the entire customer journey. That starts before their first purchase, continuing through their time as a customer (and beyond).
Different types of products have different touchpoints to optimize. A SaaS tool and a luxury fashion brand, for example, interact with customers in vastly different ways.
But here’s what practically every brand needs to consider:
- What it’s like to buy your product
- The experience of using your product
- Interactions with your customer service team
- The look and feel of your online properties
- The experience of visiting your shop or physical location
With such a broad scope, it’s no wonder that CX professionals face several different challenges.
Here are some of the biggest ones.
Top CX design challenges (and how to solve them)
Here are five of the most common CX design challenges brands have to deal with.
#1 Understanding the customer journey
The biggest CX design challenge is understanding the customer journey.
Which actually means, the many possible customer journeys. Without this knowledge, you can’t make informed improvements.
Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) gives you visibility into how people reach you. CJMs usually cover everything from discovery through onboarding and using your product.
First, define all customer touchpoints. Consider how people discover your brand, how they move through the sales process, and what the post-sales experience is like.
Tip – include the touchpoints you don’t control. If people encounter you via review sites, for example, that is still part of their journey.
Then create maps that lay out how people move through a standard journey.
(Pros in this area often explore customer journey orchestration too!)
#2 Identifying weaknesses
Once you have journey maps, you need to analyze every step for the real ‘friction points’.
To do this, you need a good idea of what customers experience at each stage. Things they enjoy and things they hate are useful. But also – look for the things they don’t notice.
It sounds strange but the best services are the most effortless. So the best pieces of CX design are often the ones nobody mentions.
Of course, the main challenge here is getting accurate data.
That can help you pick out the really bad problems. But what about the subtle stuff? A lot of CX design comes down to minor issues that you can smooth out.
I’ve yet to find a better way to locate those than to just go through services yourself. Use your own IVR flow, return a purchase, register for a callback. Any of them. All of them.
Keep going until you find the ‘why don’t they just…’ moment. It could be ‘Why don’t they just use the details I already gave them’ or ‘why don’t they just put the pricing info upfront.’
You don’t even need to be a world-class Cx pro for this. Just be an irritable customer!
#3 Managing omnichannel experiences
Most brands interact with customers on multiple channels.
Around 60% of people use three or more channels when interacting with brands, while 9% use more than five.
Customers want the same great experience whether they’re interacting with you online, in-store, or on the phone.
Creating an omnichannel experience customers love means more than providing a lot of channels. The channels need to work together.
That means both agents and self-service tools all need access to the same customer data.
By integrating channels with APIs you can share data across each one, providing a consistent experience.
Imagine a customer calls your contact center after talking already with your support team via a messaging app. Does the agent instantly know who the customer is and why they’re calling? If not, you’ve got a problem.
#4 Providing personalization
66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. Enabling these personalized services is a critical CX design challenge.
Providing a personalized experience is easier than you might think, especially if you’ve integrated your systems as in the step above.
The secret is figuring out how much variability you really need. If you have a million customers, you don’t need a million different service options.
In any given situation, there are two or three routes a customer can take. That’s what it comes down to; steering customers along the right routes.
Step 1 is the API integration we already looked at. Integrating your CRM with your contact center software means you can automatically match the phone numbers of incoming calls to customers in your CRM.
That matters, because once you know who you’re dealing with you know how to start personalizing. It might be based on their language preference live Helpdesk tickets or anything else you have on file.
Heck, you can route people based on shoe size if that data is in your CRM! All that matter is that you put your CRM data to use in personalized routing.
As a plus, agents can greet callers by name and see information about previous issues from the very start of the call.
#5 Implementing changes quickly
Our final CX design challenge is time. Identifying solutions is one thing – putting them into practice is a whole other issue.
Once CX teams discover places to optimize, they need to pitch the projects to IT teams. If successful, IT then has to plan, create, implement, and maintain the processes.
This can take months at a time – for each issue. Solving multiple problems puts significant strain on your team.
Using a No-Code platform is a simple fix.
Customer experience teams can create technically advanced automated processes without your IT department, using pre-built ‘blocks’ of code.
It means your team can go from identifying CX issues to implementing fixes in a matter of days rather than the weeks or months it would usually take.