This week I attended Forrester’s CXNYC 2016, where leading brands from a myriad of industries discussed the critical importance of the customer experience (CX). Emphasis was placed on how marketing professionals of these major brands – including Marriott, Etsy, Vanguard and Citibank – prove to their executives the value in investing in CX.
Customer experience drives revenue growth.
Forrester has found that CX drives three types of customer loyalty: retention, enrichment and advocacy. And simply put: increased customer loyalty in turn leads to increased revenue. The importance of CX increases or decreases for companies with customers who have many equally convenient and strongly differentiated products – like online retailers and investment firms. After all, we are in today’s age of the empowered customer.
Forrester’s CX Index – an annual benchmark of customer experience quality among large global brands – is comprised of three elements: effectiveness, ease of use and emotional connection. Brands that have the highest CX can afford to potentially charge more, for instance.
All of this is challenging companies to rethink their market approach.
There was an abundance of conversation about the customer journey and making it easier; the keyword that each speaker used was “simplicity.” The telecom and cable industry is focused on making their offerings easier and customizable for customers.
Alice Milligan, Chief Customer & Digital Experience Officer at Citi, shared a great deal of what she and her CX organization have accomplished in just two years:
- Over 70% of Citi’s service transactions happen digitally. Two years ago, those digital transactions were driving phone calls because many of the answers weren’t being provided and customers ended up calling in.
- Citi has been historically focused on analytics, compliance and risk aversion; they were focused on capturing data. Today they are focused on the needs and reciprocity/giving back to the customer.
- In her first 18 months at Citi, NPS increased 1800 basis points.
- Her team’s vision and principals are: “Know me, value me, protect me and make me feel safe.” It is all about advocating for the customer, and delivering value and experiences that matter.
- In two years, her team has gone from 40 to 400 people, and from 4 key functions to 17. They’ve grown into the full end to end customer experience.
- The customer journey: one win at a time. They’ve identified 13 key things that customers do when transacting with Citi, i.e., viewing their balance and making payments. These two have the highest volume and is previously where Citi had the lowest NPS. One outcome of this evaluation is now customers can set up mobile payments from their phones.
- CX doesn’t stop at the customers: Citi also surveys its employees for employment satisfaction.