In every industry there is an association who’s mission it is to better the state of the group, monitor and advocate for positive regulatory legislation, and bring together members of the community to share best practices. The MSPA of North America is the trade association representing the customer experience industry throughout the Americas. Their members “unite together to strengthen the customer experience metrics industry.” As members of that community, we recently attended their annual conference, CXE3 held in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The team’s return from Canada infused a new energy into us. The time spent with other industry leaders not only provided great networking, but also an opportunity to share best practices and stories of how the industry is changing. Here are three key takeaways from the event worth noting:
Customer experience is more important than ever.
Even if you don’t know it, you are not competing in your industry on price or features. The #1 thing that drives brand loyalty is customer experience. You are competing for customers and loyalty on their experience with your brand more than any other factor. “Exceeding Customer Expectations” and other topical sessions reminded us that businesses can no longer have the goal of just simply meeting customer expectations; the need is to exceed them.
Leading brands are pioneering new ways to use mystery shopper programs.
The old stigma of mystery shopping is that “big brother” is watching or persnickety guests will try and pick out useless details just to try and find something wrong. Roundtables at the event shared how today’s extensive programs are designed to measure whether the company’s brand standards and the customers’ expectations are being met. Operations and marketing leaders at pioneering brands are using mystery shopper programs to not just evaluate a point in time, but trends that can uncover systemic challenges. This is a game-changer for these businesses to compete more effectively and efficiently.
Customer service has transformed.
In this age of social media and ever-connected customers, businesses need to think differently about how their brand engages with their market. Online reviews, customer surveys, social shares all contribute to how customers and prospects perceive a company. No longer can a company post a website with a pointedly-worded mission statement and think that covers it. Businesses need to engage with customers where they are, when they want, and in the right context. Otherwise, the risk is being left behind while consumers become loyal to competitors.
We have proudly partnered with the MSPA for over 10 years, and look forward each year to this event. This conference did not disappoint – and we look forward to next year!