1 April 2015 – Andrew Cook
Customer experience management has become so strategic for many business leaders that companies are starting to lose sight of its purpose. While every business leader I encounter is striving for the competitive edge of customer experience management, many still see it as a plug in to their business.
Designing your business from the outside in – from the perspective of your customer, rather than from your business objectives – means recognising that your entire corporate existence is founded on the principles of customer experience management. Done correctly, customer experience management entails creating your company values based on what the customer expects. This happens at a cultural level in which employees become involved aligning their attitudes and behaviours to customer-centric values.
When we work with our clients to help them create their company with an outside in approach, a six step formula to build customer experience cultures is applied:
1. Understand your business challenges and what you want to address
This isn’t rocket science: you need to know your customer experience objectives before your start. These objects will allow you to measure the success of your customer experience management process. Are you looking to optimise business processes to improve service and reduce costs? Use your business challenges to set the benchmark so that you know whether you’re heading in the right direction or not.
2. Know the customer journey
The customer journey is the blue print of customer experience management. The importance of customer journey mapping – creating a visual representation of how your customers interact with your brand at each touch point – cannot be underestimated. It allows you to walk in your customer’s shoes so that you learn to understand any pain points in your processes from the customer’s viewpoint. You will identify the moments of truth that define your customer experience management requirements.
3. Design a feedback methodology
Your customers interact with you via many channels – and often via channels that you may even overlook. Design a feedback methodology that applies to your customer experience management process. Just make sure to survey your customers via their preferred channel and not to over survey them!
4. Link employee rewards to customer experience
Your employees have a direct and meaningful impact on customer experience management. Ironically, most businesses fail to reward their employees for living the brand and incorporating customer-centricity into their daily activities. Rewarding productivity is important, but it should be equally important to encourage customer service using KPIs.
5. Continuously innovate based on feedback
Use customer feedback to continuously drive improvement across your people, processes and products. Measure and reward your people and support them with training. Redesign your processes by fixing the root causes of your customers’ unhappiness. Move from designing products with profit in mind to designing them with your customers’ expectations in mind. These three aspects can revolutionise your business!
6. Always measure
Finally, make measurement a continuous part of customer experience management. Monitoring and reviewing customer experience in real-time is absolutely necessary to building a sustainable customer-centric company. It doesn’t help to make changes that you don’t measure – or only measure months later. Focus on reviewing and monitoring the effects of the changes you make on your customers as they happen.