Jaime Bailey

How to Address the Most Common Challenges in Customer Experience Optimization

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It should come as no surprise that happy customers are more likely to buy from you.

But did you know that a great customer experience makes customers up to five times more likely to make a purchase?

Despite this, and many more advantages of optimizing the customer’s experience, most organizations are still in the beginning stages of this process. In fact, just three percent of businesses say they have strong capabilities to leverage multi-channel data for customer experience personalization.

With the obvious benefits of a better customer experience, how could so many companies be so ill-prepared to enhance their customers’ experience?

It’s not that companies don’t know how important this is. Nearly half (41%) of companies say that customer experience optimization is critical. Rather, what’s causing the delay of a more widespread adoption of customer experience optimization are a few key challenges.

In this post, we’ll cover those challenges and review strategies for how to address them. But first, a refresher.

What is Customer Experience Optimization?

Customer experience optimization is the process by which you enhance all of your customers’ touch points with your brand. This includes the time before, during, and after a purchase is made.

Challenge #1: Data Overload

Whenever you’re faced with a data dump, it’s always a challenge to uncover actionable insights from that information. To make matters more complicated, the number of channels through which your customers interact with your brand is increasing. Chatbots, search engines, virtual assistants, social media, and more have all become important brand proxies.

Yet, tracking the data generated by these channels gets complicated. Information quickly gets stuck in siloes and trying to extract insights from several different sources that aren’t communicating with each other is extremely difficult.

Addressing the Challenge: Fortunately, as new channels have proliferated, so have the tools to manage the data generated by these channels. The key here is to take on the challenge of making sense of data with a fresh set of eyes and tools. Most businesses rely on legacy systems and/or outdated business practices that make data collection and analysis more difficult than it has to be.

Challenge #2: Privacy Concerns

There’s no doubt that optimizing the customer experience involves digging into potentially sensitive information about your customers. Moreover, the recent controversy with Facebook has shone a bright spotlight on privacy concerns in the digital age.

And, with the implementation of GDPR, companies will have to spend time and resources to maintain compliance with privacy regulations.

Addressing the Challenge: There is a right way to leverage customer data. It doesn’t require violation of anyone’s privacy. While you should use an abundance of caution, even spending the money to hire a consultant, the opportunities unlocked by customer experience optimization are too great for you to fail to act because of the perceived risk.

Challenge #3: Insufficient Resources

A study by Ensighten found that the biggest challenge to optimizing customer experience was insufficient resources. 51 percent of companies said they had neither the budget nor the staff. This is understandable, as every company has a laundry list of competing priorities.

But this shows that, despite the fact that most companies agree on the importance of the customer experience, they haven’t bought in enough to start making the full investment.

Addressing the Challenge: While this won’t be an easy challenge to address, it will be quite simple. After all, budget allocations are based on priority. Whichever initiative will generate the best returns will generally receive the lion’s share of budget allocations. Therefore, it falls on you (or a designated employee) to be a champion of the customer’s experience to get optimization efforts closer to the top of the priority list.

Challenge #4: An Evolving Process

While the principles of a great customer experience are fairly similar, customers in various industries have different expectations. Meeting and exceeding these expectations is a continuous process. After all, customers’ tastes and preferences change constantly. Moreover, your company changes constantly.

The need to align your brand with the tastes of your customers will always be a task akin to hitting a moving target.

Addressing the Challenge: Maintaining alignment between the internal workings of your company, your brand, and your customers is achieved through a strong foundation of information. With insights readily available to the decision-makers, the ongoing process of customer experience optimization is streamlined.

Conclusion

The “customer experience” in 2018 is an increasingly involved process. But tracking and identifying opportunities for enhancement has become a core capability for the most successful modern companies. Just take a look at the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook and Netflix who—all in different ways—are showing the incredible promise of an optimized customer experience.

While the challenges you face won’t be easy to overcome, the benefits of doing so, especially when so few others are willing to take on the challenge, will be immeasurable.