Judy Weader, Senior Analyst and Sam Karpinski, Researcher

Show Notes:

As the holiday season approaches, you can hear rumblings in the air: empty shelves, frustrated customers, fed-up employees. A season of shortages is coming … and it’s going to last all next year. CX professionals can’t mend fractured global supply chains, but as Senior Analyst Judy Weader and Researcher Sam Karpinski explain, they can help their organizations navigate the oncoming difficulties.

Weader says the first step is to return to basics: What do your customers need? What are they trying to accomplish? Dealing with shortages becomes simpler with a strong understanding of why a customer chooses a specific product and what they might like instead.

As Karpinski explains, this is an easier exercise for B2B companies. For example, if one chemical solution is out of stock, another one at a good price might be enough to satisfy customer needs. B2C organizations will need to lean harder into customer understanding to successfully recommend alternative products.

Knowing your customers doesn’t mean vacuuming up everything about them in the hopes that it’ll be useful. Instead, collect only what you’ll use. Make the logic behind your recommendation engine more transparent. If possible, allow customers to provide feedback and customize preferences.

Employee shortages will also remain a big problem in 2022. Weader encourages organizations not to “grind your employees’ bones to make your bread.” Wearing down frontline employees only leads to worse CX. Instead, arm employees with ready-made solutions to common problems. For example, if a beloved caramel syrup is hard to come by, provide signage that makes that clear before customers place their order.

To learn more ways CX professionals can lead their organizations to success in a year of shortages, listen to the full episode. And check out Forrester’s guide to the year ahead.