Customer Experience

CX Prep for 2024: How to Get Ahead in the Game

AskNicely Team

If 2024 is the year you want your business to be known for delivering world-class customer experiences, a little prep is required. The customer experience (CX) landscape is evolving faster than ever, and staying ahead in the game requires a proactive approach. As we usher in the new year, it's time to set the stage for CX success. How? Read on to find out. 

The Need for Proactive CX Strategies

In a world where customer expectations are continually on the rise, reactive approaches to CX are no longer sufficient. Businesses that excel in 2024 and beyond will be those that anticipate customer needs, personalize interactions, and foster a vibrant workplace culture where frontline employees feel genuinely empowered to show up for their customers. 

The key lies in strategic preparation. Here’s what you can do to get ahead in the game. 

Leverage the Power of AI and Automation

We wouldn’t be talking about getting ahead of the game without talking about AI. In the last few years, we’ve seen a rapid transformation in the way we use artificial intelligence. When it comes to customer experience, AI can be used to streamline processes, automate routine tasks and provide personalized recommendations. Chatbots, powered by AI, are also becoming increasingly sophisticated, offering instant and efficient customer support. When you can offload menial tasks to AI, you open up space for your frontline teams to focus on more meaningful, personal customer interactions that set your brand apart. 

The new AskNicely AI theme analysis feature takes the guesswork out of what your customers care about most and what’s driving your customer experience metrics. AI analyzes every bit of feedback coming in from customer surveys and categorizes it into themes, providing managers with an up-to-the-minute dashboard view of what customers care about and what’s having the biggest impact on NPS. It also suggests emerging themes to start tracking based on real-time customer feedback, so you can stay one step ahead of your customer needs. 

Embrace Personalization: Beyond the Basics

Personalization has moved beyond merely addressing customers by their first names. In 2024, it's about understanding their preferences, predicting their desires, and tailoring every interaction accordingly. 

One of our favorite examples of personalization beyond the basics is David Nay’s experience with subscription-based pet food brand Chewy. 

As David explains in his LinkedIn post, “I had to cancel an order from Chewy on Monday for my dog's pain medicine. Reggie's been battling cancer and his pain has gotten to the point where it's time to let him go. Richard, the customer service rep I spoke with, was extremely helpful and shared his heartfelt condolences with me. Overall, great customer service experience. I couldn't have asked for more.”. But it didn’t stop there. The following day, the doorbell rang, and David opened his door to a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Richard. 

“I've spent a total of $82 at Chewy in my lifetime. I've never met Richard before. This was my first and only experience, so far, with Chewy's customer service department.. To say they went the extra mile for one of their customers is an understatement. The amount of gratitude I felt from this experience had me in tears and I'll never forget it.”

To achieve this level of personalization, you need to invest in strong feedback tools, CRM systems and analytics tools that can derive actionable insights from customer data. The goal is to create not just a transaction but a connection, fostering a sense of individuality in every customer interaction.

Start with Your Frontline Employees

In the realm of customer experience, success begins with the frontline employees who directly engage with customers. Neglecting their needs and motivations will undoubtedly have a cascading effect on the entire customer journey. Ultimately, none of your CX investments will be worthwhile if the very people responsible for delivering the customer experience are disengaged. 

As Denise Lee Yohn writes for the Harvard Business Review, “An organization’s employee experience (EX) has been connected in recent years to how it delivers its customer experience (CX). Given changing dynamics in the labor force and all the ways technology makes it possible for companies, employees, and customers to be connected, I believe it’s time for leaders to double down on the idea that EX is now the key driver of CX and to find smarter, strategic ways of connecting the two.”

Where to start? 

  • Ask. The first step to improving your frontline experience is by asking them. What do they need to feel supported, motivated and empowered in their roles? Some starting ideas here.

  • Recognition. Implement a robust recognition program to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of frontline employees as awesome work happens. Regularly highlight exceptional performance through dedicated recognition platforms, and supplement this with shout-outs in team meetings and internal communications. Recognizing achievements not only boosts morale but also instills a sense of pride and purpose.

  • Goal Setting: Introduce individual goal-setting initiatives tailored to each employee's strengths and areas for improvement. For instance, connecting individual performance metrics to customer satisfaction scores can provide tangible goals for improvement.

Investing in the frontline is an investment in the very foundation of exceptional customer experiences. After all, motivated and empowered employees become the driving force behind a brand's success.

As we gear up for 2024, winning in the customer experience (CX) game demands a proactive playbook. From AI's transformative power to the art of personalization, the stage is set for brands to shine. Yet, the real heroes? Your frontline employees. Ask them what they need. Recognize their wins loud and proud. Set goals tied to customer satisfaction metrics. It's a winning formula, proven to take people-powered businesses to new CX heights. 

Up next: Act Faster on Customer Feedback with New AI Theme Analysis Feature

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

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