Is customer experience strategy beginning to become a major priority for your business? Well, we talked a good bit about customer experience systems recently, and since its design is one of the key points of strategy, we ought to talk about it too. In all business affairs, there is a level of strategy required to be effective in any task of even mild complexity. Business is a world of weighed variables, probability calculations, forecasting, statistics and logistics. Factor in the random element of the human customer, and yeah, you need customer experience strategy in order to make anything work effectively. It’s not easy either. But, if it was easy, would there be a point to it? Nothing worth doing is ever easy. Well, let me make it a little easier for you at least. I’m going to talk about five key points to this strategy that will lend to your success greatly. They’re not the end all of this topic, but they’ll set you on the right road and keep you afloat. #1 – Demographic Extension Okay, let’s start with demographics. I could go on a long spiel now about how important identifying and relating to a demographic is, and so forth. But, you’ve heard that a million times by now I’d imagine, so let’s dispense with that and just talk about the fact that you’re being too precise with your demographic relativity. No, you didn’t read that wrong, I’m saying you need to actually work in some slack for your relation to your demographic. How and in what ways depends on the specifics of your industry and demographic, but the reason is global. If you slack a bit, you can be relatable to branches of your target demographic. What I mean is that, this demographic shares some things in common with other demographics or groups of people, and ergo associates with them. Valance traits, these are called. If you slack, and focus the relativity to those shared traits, you can instantly gain additional, similar demographics as a customer base as a result. This improves customer experience by expanding a user base of varied-minded people whom can share. #2 – Social CRM This one has been beaten to death by a lot of people, but I’m going to talk about it, because it really is important to customer experience. You’ve been told how many times that bad CRM and customer service results in drastically increased poor reputation, to a larger scale than good product does for the positive view, right? Well, let’s be willing to do something to ensure more convenient and forgiving CRM/CS then. We can do this by going social with some of it, and taking it away from our call centers. Call centers should be reserved for unusual crises alone, while other routine things such as billing questions, account changes and bug reports should go digital. Social networks are one such channel to take a lot of this workload. Pretty much anything that’s not sensitive can be handled over Twitter, with mutual follow private messages handling more sensitive topics or referrals to higher up contact. This makes CRM and CS much faster and more convenient. This makes the customer smile. #3 – Good Interaction Channels We talked about customer experience systems and how there were multiple general purpose software types that combined to make one. In fact, the social network CS/CRM we just talked about is a potential component of a well-designed one. Well, I’m just going to say this much – it’s very important to design these properly and not skimp or be lazy with them. A customer experience system is the best way to centralize and streamline all interaction between the customer and the service/product and company. If this design doesn’t work, then its purpose is defeated, and the company will shift back to old customer experience concepts. They’ll work … poorly as usual. #4 – Build a Community Encourage a community to build around your company, and your product or service. An interlinked online community of “civilians” who discuss your product or service, and even help each other when questions arise is very good. A community can have added benefits like publicity if these users do something clever involving your product/service. This can easily be done by hosting a forum and maybe a general chat room, and letting it evolve on its own. Don’t force it. #5 – Gamify Gamify your customer experience, especially online. This isn’t a foreign concept, we’ve been using gamification for years in customer interaction, just without calling it such. Whenever a contest or special event with a product takes place, it is a gamified experience. This can even apply to business marketing and customer experience, where the gamification is more pure and statistical. But nothing incentivizes human beings more than gamified initiatives. Even staunch, unsmiling business men can’t ignore a gamified incentive that piques their interest. So, that’s just five points I think will set you on the right path for formulating a strong customer experience strategy. Like I said, there’s a lot more to this, and someone wiser than I can teach you. For now, bear these in mind and you should be doing alright.