Ascending the CX Ladder

Another paradox arises: although your loyal customers and your brand advocates need less attention because of the strength of your relationship...
diving. The trend in CX strategy has been—and will continue to be—an API-led approach and a strong Customer Data Platform allowing for uber flexibility in the short term; and continuous orchestration of the customer journey across all interactions and among all internal teams. Visibility and accessibility are key. So are simplicity, smart analytics, proactive help, and self-service ordering.

Climbing the loyalty ladder

Product Momentum, a podcast hosted by ITX EVP of Innovation Sean Flaherty and Director of Product Innovation Paul Gebel, offers valuable insight on the heart of the customer experience, whether you are a Tier 1, 2 or 3 CSP, or a 5-star, 4-star or fast-food restaurant. The rungs on the loyalty ladder lead to the goal for which all businesses should strive: brand advocacy (over paying customers). Each rung on the ladder represents a ‘micro’ interaction between your company and a potential or existing customer.  The ladder consists of three sections: trust, loyalty, and advocacy. Many of us are conditioned to use the three terms interchangeably, but each one is not a mirror image of the other.

There is an important distinction between trust and loyalty: the threshold of trust is a customer deciding to buy from you, but it does not automatically imply loyalty. This is a common mistake too many make. Once the trust has been made explicit through a purchase, you must continue up the rungs of the ladder to loyalty. Advancing to the loyalty threshold is vital because it signifies that your customer has decided that they will indeed use your product or service again in the future.

If you continue to strengthen this loyalty through positive experiences for your customer, they will convert into the gold standard, no longer simply a trusting or loyal customer but a brand advocate. An advocate will not only buy again from you, but they will also be inspired to tell others to do so as well. And short of you possessing a monopoly on a service or product, a business does not grow without advocates. Advocates are never produced without strong CX. It is a formula that has existed since time immemorial: Good Product or Service x Good Customer Experience = Advocacy = Business Growth.

Obviously, the closer you get to advocacy, the stronger your customer relationship. The rungs lower on the ladder are, understandably, more slippery. As you’re building trust early in the relationship cycle, the slip factor is very high (Vegas might not take odds at this point). At the loyalty level there is less grease on every rung. At the advocacy level you have a firm grip. However, a ladder is a ladder and totally ignoring safety protocols can lead to a fall. Another paradox arises: although your loyal customers and your brand advocates need less attention because of the strength of your relationship, you must protect your blue-chip assets strongly. Do not lose sight of this fact. Just because you have more leeway certainly does not mean you should use it.

The tools that allow you to build trust, enable loyalty, and earn advocacy include each of the following:  AI, Chat, Notifications, Visibility, Customer Impersonate, Automation, and Self-service into your knowledge base for reporting and analytics that allow your B2B and B2C customers to make the most advantageous decisions for their individualized situation.

A robust unified platform will bolster CX at every touchpoint and will boost client acquisition; stimulate growth through cross-selling as customers directly experience the streamlined efficiency the platform provides; maximize optimization by reducing cost-to-serve ratios; and increase retention due to reduced customer churn. 

The CSP opportunity

The ability to deliver a positive customer experience is a potent differentiator. The way consumers have obtained information, entertainment, navigated medical visits, interacted with employers and clients, educated their children and themselves, and stayed in contact with friends and loved ones has significantly changed in the past


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