One of the common, early missteps companies make when they try to re-focus an organization toward supporting CX goals is a failure to adopt the customer perspective. You have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Companies that succeed in providing the highest value customer experience do so by transforming their company from one that focuses on company priorities to one that focuses on customer priorities.
The benefits that this shift will provide are critical to any organization, big or small. Adopting a customer-focused approach means big wins, including:
- Satisfied customers: Happy customers provide positive word of mouth and positive word of mouth can lead to more sales.
- Brand loyalty: It’s not enough just to win a customer, you must also serve them throughout the lifecycle of the relationship. Every successful step in a customer journey builds brand loyalty.
- Lower service costs: Customer experience success builds on itself. Adopting a customer perspective means every initiative you take builds a layer on top of that foundation.
- More engaged employees: When the internal focus shifts from a competitive landscape of department vs. department, to a culture where all departments direct their efforts toward the customer, a sense of cohesion sets in. It’s all for one, and that “one” is the customer, not the success of any particular department or corporate initiative.
It might be easier said than done, but it’s worth the Herculean effort required to re-focus an enterprise from focusing on the goals of the organization toward the goals of the customer. That shift in focus can be the difference between success and failure, but you’ve got to play the long game.
Here’s how to get started:
- Define what customer experience means for your product or service: This means mapping (and evaluating) every point where your brand intersects with the customer, both online and off.
- Define how CX will be measured: Establish a benchmark and a culture of measurement. As we’ve said before: Always be testing.
- Show the ROI: Start small and work your way up to a fully customer-centered approach. Document the changes you made to meet customer goals in your product or service experience, and the benefits you gain through these efforts. Each initiative must be measured so that you can show a net gain/loss against the investment. Use that data to incrementally bolster support from folks in both leadership positions and across functional areas. You’re building a cult of CX excellence, one convert at a time.
- Tie CX to data: This is where mapping is critical. By mapping customer touchpoints you can test and report on how these touchpoints are improved upon, and how those improvements reflect back on the overall customer journey.
- Tie goals to what’s most important to customers:Customer priorities should be the organizational priorities but generating a list of true customer priorities will take some digging. It’s likely that organizational priorities are front and center, tied into every mission statement and hung on posters in the cafeteria. Transforming that list from a list of organizational goals to a list of customer goals that can be measured against will take time.
Buckle up. It’s going to be a long ride, but achieving this shift in focus means there will be fewer customer journey potholes to endure along the way.