• Stephanie Thum, CCXP

7 Ways You Can Still Light Up Your Customer Experience Plans in 2021



Show of hands, who is coming up for air now that we're powering through 2021?


Many of us have been in a full sprint with our work and family lives lately. Maybe it's because we were so eager to leave 2020 in the rearview mirror. Maybe it's because we had big plans and long to-do lists, anyway.


Still, here we are. And it's a great time to step back and assess plans, goals, and the territory that can still be explored in 2021. To get a sense of where people can focus their customer experience improvement efforts, I asked some of my trusted colleagues:

What can customer experience leaders do to power their plans for the remainder of 2021?

Here’s a roundup of what they said.


1. Dig into the Data


“Focus on data to drive your business decisions. No matter where you are along your CX maturity path, or which industry/sector you are in, recruit a couple of smart data analytics folks to dig into your customer feedback and behavior data, develop, or improve your prediction models. Then, start sharing data-driven customer stories with leadership and all employees, so that better decisions can be made.” Michelle Batt, CCXP, Lead with CX.


2. Digital Rules


“Focus on the digital customer experience—from gathering insights from all customer touchpoints including social and search listening, to improving content discovery via SEO, to optimizing digital usability for all target ages and demographics. Great digital CX is no longer tomorrow’s innovation; it’s a current imperative.” Michele Bartram, U.S. Census Bureau.


3. Streamline


“Invest in streamlining to achieve fully digital processes. If customers have to call you, they’ve encountered a problem they can’t resolve themselves, which means your digital processes aren’t good enough. Digital will save you time and money and make customers happy.” Kathleen O’Brien, SAP.


"Great digital CX is no longer tomorrow’s innovation; it’s a current imperative." Michele Bartram, U.S. Census Bureau.

4. Move into Messaging


“Businesses need a messaging presence on digital channels, allowing customers to interact on their terms, when they are available, without having to repeat themselves. Messaging means having a real-time, persistent, asynchronous, sessionless exchange. Messaging must be enabled via SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or any other app, providing a modern, personalized and convenient conversational experience.” Luís Melo, CCXP, Zendesk.


5. Focus on Employees


“Leaders should focus on enhancing the employee experience by identifying and streamlining cumbersome processes, empowering employees to identify and implement process improvements, and emphasize collaboration, as working virtually can hinder innovation.” Brian Whittaker, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

6. Understand Cybersecurity


“New risks have opened up in 2021. Those risks include threats to customer trust, churn, and business reputation. It’s never been more important to expand your peripheral vision as a CX leader and understand cybersecurity.” Anita Siassios, CCXP, Managing CX.


7. Just Do It!


“The perfect plan is less important than the momentum of beginning the journey. Pick the tool or service that is most used/most broken/most expensive to support/most critical for your users – just start small, learn, and focus on impact.” Marcy Jacobs, McKinsey and Company.


Cheers to the rest of 2021!


As 2021 continues, the needs of customers will undoubtedly continue to evolve. That's why it's a great time to reflect on the year so far, recharge, adjust, and make decisions about how you’re going to light up your CX plans for the rest of 2021.


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