On The Edge Of The Black Hole: What Brands Are Doing To Avoid A CX Disaster

Amazon receives millions of pieces of feedback -- many of them negative. How does a firm working at that scale show what it is doing to neutralize the pain points?

“We needed to achieve the right level of personalization without manually hand-typing millions of emails,” says Sean Cramer, head of VoC at Amazon, according to a new study from CX Network: The Global State Of Customer Experience 2020.

In attempting close the feedback loop, Amazon personalized messages through cautious tagging. Then it used such metrics as the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to assess customer sentiment.

“If you do not have a way to close the feedback loop with a customer then you need to rethink how you are collecting feedback in that channel so that you can,” Cramer says, the study continues.

Cramer adds: “The last thing you want to do is notify a customer that you have made changes with something but you, in fact, have not yet made any changes,” Cramer explains. "Trust takes a lot of time to build but can be destroyed within seconds."



Of course, many firms are not as well equipped as Amazon to provide a satisfying customer experience and avoid the "feedback black hole."

It’s a big problem.

CX Network surveyed 219 customer experience experts, and found that:

  • 68% strongly believe customer expectations are rising
  • 47% believe it is getting harder to please customers
  • 49% say customer segments clearly prefer certain contact channels
  • 52% feel customers are more likely to switch brands when unsatisfied

Some in the latter group may be understating the case.

To deal with these trends, brands are turning to AI, developing bots in several channels and deploying real-time customer analytics.

They are also calculating ROI based on Fred Reichheld’s NPS to improve customer retention.

In addition, they are centralizing back-ends, pursuing customer-centric projects and boosting the employee experience — that is, they are “ensuring teams are challenged, engaged and included on key business decisions.

The top investment priorities for those taking CX PR action are:

  • Data and analytics — 28%
  • Digital customer experience — 27%
  • Customer journey mapping — 26%
  • Customer insight — 23%
  • Voice of the customer — 19%
  • Customer loyalty and retention — 17%
  • CRM — 16%
  • Customer feedback — 14%
  • CX governance — 14%
  • Net promoter score (NPS) — 13%
  • Other — 4%

But brands face investment challenges:

  • Documenting ROI — 45%
  • Integration into company culture and processes — 45%
  • Finding a budget — 35%
  • Complicated internal sign-off process — 24%
  • Lack of human resources — 24%
  • Developing or locating right talent — 17%
  • Gaining board level buy-in — 15%
  • Lack of time — 15%
  • Unavailability of technology — 11%


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