Delivering superb customer experience isn’t just a lofty goal, it’s fundamental to business success. Customer experience, or CX, helps you retain existing customers, encourage them to recommend your business to others, and entices them to return on a regular basis.
It’s rare for any company to offer a product or a service that can’t be found elsewhere, so your CX is what really sets your business apart. Consumers back this up, saying that they’d pay up to 16% more for the same product or services if it brought them a better customer experience, and 42% agreeing that they’d pay more for friendly, welcoming interactions.
Set against this background, it’s astonishing that under half of US consumers say they’ve encountered companies providing good CX. The stakes are far higher than your price differential; one-third of consumers worldwide would abandon a brand they know and love if they have just one bad experience.
It’s crucial to do all you can to improve CX, and that should include applying project management tactics to create and maintain a happy customer.
Project management is often overlooked in this regard, but it has a lot to give to the challenge of improving CX. After all, CX refers to every interaction that your customer has with your product or service, even if no employees are involved. It encompasses every department in the organization, not just customer-facing teams like marketing, sales, or customer service, but also R&D and data science.
Ultimately, you use project management to improve your customer offering, not to hit internal KPIs, which is why these 5 ideas for applying project management thinking to CX could make a difference to your entire bottom line.
Give Employees the Confidence to Deliver Excellence
Project management includes the important task of ensuring that every employee has the resources they need to meet their tasks. When those resources are organized logically, responsibilities are clearly assigned, and collaboration is easy, employees feel more in control. They understand what is expected of them and have instant access to everything they need to do their job.
Knowing that their work life is ordered and that they have the requirements to meet expectations gives your employees confidence in their roles. It boosts employee engagement and raises motivation, which spills over into excellent customer service. An employee who is informed, fully equipped, and feels like an integral part of your business is far more likely to greet customers with a welcoming manner and represent your company positively, which is the heart of good CX.
Keep Track of Every Customer
A project management approach can help make sure that no customer slips through the cracks. The last thing you want is for a customer complaint or inquiry to go unanswered because nobody noticed it, but that can happen when interactions take place across multiple platforms. More than half of all consumers say that waiting a long time for a reply is the most frustrating element of bad CX.
Project management thinking tracks all customer responses in a single location so that none of them go overlooked, and takes advantage of automated notifications that are built in to agile project management tools. Set reminders that notify you if you haven’t marked a task complete within a certain period of time, helping you avoid leaving customers waiting too long for a reply.
Offer First-Touch Resolution
Forgetting someone is the biggest sin you could commit against a customer, but transferring them repeatedly is only slightly less awful. 68% of consumers say they dislike being transferred, so use project management tactics to improve the number of issues that are resolved first time.
With project management tools, you can create a single location where every employee can access information about product specs, returns policies, etc. so that customers are more likely to encounter an agent who can answer their questions.
Enable Seamless Customer Conversations
That said, sometimes transferring customers is unavoidable, so make it as smooth and pleasant as you can. Project management encourages employees to work together seamlessly to resolve customer issues in the shortest possible amount of time.
Use project management software with a CX mindset, establishing it as a single source of truth for all customer data. That way every rep can be fully informed about the customer and their interactions so far, helping turn fragmented problem resolution into a single conversation even though it’s been held with multiple reps. Over half of consumers say that the best customer service experiences feel like a single smooth conversation, no matter how many agents were involved.
Automated workflows can be put to work too. Use them to route customers to the right employee who has the knowhow and knowledge to answer their questions straight away.
Improve Employee Insight Into Customer Needs
Consumers can be very good at talking around a problem without articulating what is really bothering them, which is probably why only 38% of American consumers think that the employees they speak with understand their concerns. You have to train your employees to see beyond the surface complaints into consumer thought patterns, so they can divine what the customer is truly concerned about and resolve their underlying, unspoken issues.
It’s not enough to use analytics to dig into consumer data for insights into customer behavior, trends, and pain points. You also need PM skills to democratize access to these insights, so that all your employees can gain a better understanding of what your customers really need.
Project Management Can Be Your Secret CX Weapon
Every step you can take to improve customer experience is going to be valuable for your business reputation, brand awareness, cost per conversion, churn rates, and more. By applying project management strategies to improve employee engagement, stop customers falling through the cracks, speed up problem resolution and make it feel like a seamless conversation, and increase employee understanding of consumer needs, you’ll raise the level of CX that you offer and improve profitability.