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Have you ever found yourself preaching great customer experience and do nothing to deliver? Claim to be customer-centric but do very little towards actually being it?
Well, you are not alone, this is the case with many organisations, I call it being ‘Comfortably Numb’. I challenge you to think about the following and be honest with your answers…
You may have a captain to steer the ship, but does your captain think customer before anything else? Do you have the commitment from your leadership? Do they commit to resources to execute on your customer experience strategy?
Leaders must understand this simple fact and devote time and resources to develop a long term customer centric vision and strategy. Embed this within the organisation, support it through the journey - choose the best employees who can deliver on the strategy. Build a governance structure, ownership and accountability on who will deliver what, when and how.
Remember if the top table is not focusing on the customer, you may as well keep on dreaming.
You may well have a customer experience vision and strategy; but is it too short-sighted? Is it siloed and limited to short term success criteria? For example do you often hear your leaders saying "I just want this product release to be successful" or "I hope we can deliver great customer service this quarter as we are being audited for compliance" and the likes?
You must go back to the drawing board and develop a long term customer experience vision and strategy. Join up the different initiatives. Centrally communicate and outline what success looks like. Your employees should know your vision, what you want them to deliver to your customers and how or else they will not be able to deliver.
Do you understand and listen to your customers? Do you know who they are? Can you clearly say you know why they buy your products and services? What do they like? More importantly sometimes, what do they not like? What challenges are they trying to address? What is working for them and what is not? How do they feel about you?
You must learn from your customers. Really learn from your customers by carefully listening to them- their personas, understand their journey with you, impact of any changes you make. Develop improvement opportunities based on what you hear from your customers and let them know what improvements you have done as a result of their feedback.
Imagine going back to Starbucks a second time and being served your favourite Skinny Latte - extra shot - extra hot – two sugars with a smile - without you having to give your specifications all over again.
Believe me, this experience scales well at all levels - for a variety of reasons. Don’t you think that as humans we have a built-in instinct to be treated like kings?
We are employees and we follow the process laid out by my organisation? We have no say in how the organisation is run? We have no clue on how customer processes should be planned and executed?
These are defunct – You must engrain the ‘outside-in’ perspective within your organisation. Transform all your processes that have been designed based on an 'inside-out' model and left un-touched for years!
The employees' perspective play an important role in this type of transformation.
Remember your employees are also someone else’s customers. Ask your employees and listen. What works for them, what can be changed and how will they like it if they are your customers? Strike a balance between what is best for your customers and your organisation's operations and not just make decisions thinking only about what's best for business operations.
Your employees know it all - it not us and them anymore. There is a proven direct proportional relationship between employee behaviour, customer behaviour and of course your bottom-line profits.
We know that not everyone is our customer? Somewhere in the world of customer experience strategy and design, we tend to forget that not everybody is our customer. Not yet!
There is a majority of population out there who you have not interacted with. Would you like to have them as your customers? If not why not?
You need to build your outreach strategy, one that is built on your customers - your most efficient advocate. You must do everything for and with your customers. Without them you are nothing.
Thankfully the digital age has provided you with a platform to leverage and tap into. So go ahead, enthral your customers, and simplify their journey - one they will treasure, keep coming back to and most importantly campaign for!
Deliver Extreme Customer Experience (ExaCX) and you’ve nailed it! Almost!
Don’t just be another brick in the wall!
Consumer psychology expert Philip Graves, explains the three key customer behaviours critical to understand for great customer service delivery. Watch his video here.