Chances are, you’re looking forward to learning new things from your next customer experience conference, but if you think all the learning happens on-stage, you’re missing out! One of the biggest advantages to a customer experience conference is the opportunity to network with lots of people just like you, and you can learn a lot from the experiences of your colleagues who are “in the trenches”.
Consider asking these 5 questions of your new friends at your next customer experience conference:
One of the biggest obstacles for customer experience professionals is that the customer experience mindset is a big change from a more traditional company-customer interaction. When customer experience is a part of the entire company, every department works within the customer experience strategy. Product development considers feedback and customer requests. Marketing works with sales to create an integrated, streamlined customer journey. Customer service works with support and sales to troubleshoot problems and improve customer satisfaction.
This means that customer experience professionals must work cross-departmentally, which can be a challenge. While 72% of businesses say that improving customer experience is a top priority, only 31% have a plan to reward or recognize top performers who improve the customer experience. How have your colleagues managed to convince reluctant department managers? How have they succeeded in overcoming apathy or entropy with their organizational leadership?
The answers to these questions may not be revealed in the latest CX survey, but by asking for help getting organizations on board with the CX mission, you may learn a lot of new tricks and tips at your next customer experience conference.
The buzzword for 2018 customer experience professionals is omnichannel. Customers want a clear and consistent brand experience throughout all the ways they may choose to contact your company. While 86% of senior level marketing managers say that it’s critical to create a cohesive customer journey, 61% of customers report that they’ve had continuity problems discussing a customer service issue over multiple channels. Everyone WANTS omnichannel customer experience support, but actually getting it in place can be challenging.
Omnichannel support is about more than choosing a platform, although that in itself can be a daunting decision. Platforms that offer outstanding contact center support may struggle with email support, or they may be great for after-the-sale support but require additional steps for purchase support. The only way to tease out all the pros and cons is to talk to your colleagues in the field to find out what their experiences have been with different platforms.
Aside from choosing the platform, the people you meet at your next customer experience conference may have tips or tricks you can use to implement a better omnichannel support system. By learning from the obstacles that others have overcome, you can ramp up your omnichannel support system more quickly and efficiently.
We would all love to have a robust, omnichannel support system where everything worked together beautifully, from content to social to sales, and beyond. Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in the day, and it can be hard to know which steps are important and which can be delayed.
Because customer experience is a relatively new area of exploration for many firms, you may be dealing with the monstrous task of creating an integrated customer experience plan from previously decentralized and siloed departments and operations. While companies with excellent customer service continually show revenues 4-8% higher than the market average, it can be hard to know WHICH element of the customer experience needs to be addressed first.
The people you meet at your next customer experience conference may be the best resource for determining where to start and what to delay in your new customer experience strategy. Their experiences can help you determine which customer experience improvements will have the greatest ROI, and you can use those initial successes to pursue some of the important but under-appreciated CX improvements later on.
People know other people, and the people you meet at your next customer experience conference know other customer experience professionals and industry leaders. Not every CX professional will be at your next customer experience conference, so asking for connections and referrals from the people you meet can help you grow your network exponentially.
In addition, everyone you meet will have a different opinion of the thought leaders and content producers who speak and teach about customer experience. Maybe you’ll hear about a great new podcast or a wonderful new website that will help you learn more about the customer experience, extending your learning well beyond the customer experience conference and giving you plenty of resources to learn from throughout the following year.
While the presentations, workshops, and speeches are a great resource for helping you become a better CX professional, the one-on-one relationships and conversations you have at your next customer experience conference are an invaluable resource as well.
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