If you're not on the ground or the sales floor, just how can you get in front of the customer in a good way? Whether it’s developing new products o
If you’re not on the ground or the sales floor, just how can you get in front of the customer in a good way?
Whether it’s developing new products or building immersive digital experiences, customer experience (CX) programmes have a critical role to play in driving business success, by building advocacy and loyalty, driving revenue and creating an all-important point of differentiation.
Yet to be successful, CX programmes cannot live in isolation within an organisation. The most successful organisations are those where providing a great customer experience is an instinctive part of the organisation’s culture and is embedded in the daily lives and roles of every employee.
Company leadership will have a significant role to play in developing this environment, instilling a customer-centric culture across the company in order to creates a shared vision and goals.
We wanted to share ways culture and leadership can positively influence the customer experience. We caught up with expert Léonie Brown, Customer Experience Strategist at Qualtrics to get her view. From getting senior level staff bought in to incentives and the trickle-down effect this has and aligning people – here are the best tips you can action today.
- Executive sponsorship
In a customer-centric business, the customer must be the number one priority for every person within the organisation. Company-wide commitment to a customer experience programme must begin at the top and be championed by the executive team.
Senior leadership must demonstrate their advocacy for and commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences. This means taking responsibility for customer experience metrics, regularly highlighting achievements and championing areas of improvement to keep the customer experience front-of-mind for every employee. It may include adding a customer-centric key performance measure into the executive level scorecard and bonus programme.
- Organisational alignment
In my experience working with brands across multiple sectors, whether it’s retail, travel or even healthcare, customer experience programmes are arguably most successful when everyone in the organisation shares the same ambition and goal.
Rather than consigning the responsibility for the customer to marketing teams, contact centre staff and front-line employees, a culture of joint responsibility is key, where every department is aligned through common practices and cross-functional collaboration. A dedicated customer experience team, and one that sits outside of any departmental structure, will help to ensure the integrity of your programme and drive the shared vision. In addition it is critical to ensure that goals at each level of the organisation are aligned rather than in conflict, e.g. where efficiency targets may come into conflict with customer satisfaction.
- Common customer metrics
For a company-wide customer experience programme to be successful, measuring the impact of the programme in a consistent manner is vital. Feedback and data on the customer experience should be collected across every customer engagement channel on an ongoing basis. This data can then be analysed at any point in time (whether that’s week-on-week, month-on-month or year-on-year) to either validate the success of the programme or capture actionable insights.
With a consistent measurement approach, rich data and strong analytical capabilities, you will be ideally placed to spot prevalent trends and recognise any notable improvements resulting from your CX programme.
- Publish customer values
When defining the values customers expect to encounter in their dealings with an organisation, business leaders should be specific, ensuring both priorities and actions are clearly expressed to employees. Once agreed upon, these values must be communicated to customers as a way of ensuring both the business and its employees stay accountable to deliver on the promises made.
Customer experience has become the key differentiator for today’s brands and as such, any customer-focused programme can no longer be the responsibility of just one part of the business. Through executive leadership, common values, organisational alignment and consistent measurement, brands can drive a customer-centric culture that boosts loyalty, increases propensity to spend and grows advocacy in today’s highly competitive market.