‘Customer-focus is important for certain job roles, but for other roles, we rely on our own wisdom.’ This is poisonous thinking when some parts of your company are excused from customer-focus.
When anyone in your organization is disconnected from customers, their decision-making may in fact interfere with your company’s customer centricity and ability to maximize value to and from customers. Certainly, customers aren’t expected to have the wisdom required to run your company — but the point is, that your wisdom in all areas should be guided by customers’ values and concerns. Like a set of dominoes, what happens in one part of the company has a ripple effect on customer-facing employees, and possibly on customers as well. Every group in your enterprise can benefit from understanding their own role in improving or hindering the customer experience.
How can every part of your organization get involved in customer experience management?
Idea #1: Relevant Customer Data Streams: Continue reading
For holistic customer experience management, the challenge is horizontal alignment to deliver intentional customer experiences. And to design intentional customer experiences, the company has to decide that experiences are a differentiating factor competitively. In my interview with Desirree Madison-Biggs, Director of Customer Insight and Measurement at Symantec, we discussed the keys to horizontal alignment, and what it takes to energize your customer experience strategy as a long-term journey enterprise-wide. She emphasized the importance of:
- Executive sponsorship from the CEO, defining customer experience management as a way of life rather than “the initiative du jour”.
- Championing listening to customers and driving action for customer experience improvement through engagement across all functions.
- Systematic prioritization for fixing broken pieces of the customer experience.
- Consistent data, with focus on a key metric, communicated throughout the organization.
- Change management, including recognition, rewards, and ties to compensation.
- Champions within each business group to drive communication and actions.
- Keeping it fun through Continue reading
Humans, as well as all living things, align their behaviors with the rewards in their environment. For example, only 42% of companies agree that they can do what is right for customers despite the pressure to make current-period financial numbers. Interestingly, the same number of companies are actually using customer metrics to evaluate organizational performance.1 To engage executives and employees in customer experience management, walk the talk, and put your money where your mouth is.
Most Rewards are Invisible
There is a wide spectrum of influencers on human behavior, spanning a simple smile of approval, to a sixth sense of what gets you ahead or penalizes you, to fabulous attention and monetary increases. All of these influencers Continue reading
For customer experience management (CEM), it’s natural to focus on smoothing interaction difficulties between paying customers and sales and service representatives. Additionally, innumerable interactions for CEM occur inside the company, causing daily challenges for program managers — or any employee — in follow-through for timely and quality delivery of commitments to both internal and external customers.
Weak interactions mean weak engagement. Lack of timely, quality follow-through causes delays, poor execution, and missed commitments to customers — a source of disappointment and disillusion, bad word-of-mouth, lost sales and lost share of wallet and lower market share. In fact, most customer experience managers say that lack of agreement and cooperation across functions is the biggest challenge in improving customer experience.
Why do we often face gaps in our interactions with others? It may be due to differences in goals, perspectives and incentives — where people are just ‘not on the same page’. Interaction gaps may also occur due to Continue reading
Why is it that only 12% of customers judge specific leading suppliers as extremely customer-centric (CMO Council Customer Affinity study), while 56% of those same suppliers think of themselves as extremely customer-centric? Possibly because of the way we tend to narrowly define customer experience in the first place, and our human nature to view customer-centricity from our own – rather than the customer’s — perspective.
It Takes a Village!
Customer experience is broad — it represents the customer’s journey from realization of a need until the need no longer exists. As such, widespread involvement throughout an organization is essential in Continue reading