Enabling the Next Generation of Business Growth.
Building Better Customer Experiences
Customer Experiences are More than a Great Idea
Leading business and marketing leaders are talking about customer experiences and how to improve them for new competitive advantage, to attract new customers and to retain existing customers.
Yet many efforts seem to fall short of the objective. Why is this?
We have learned many lessons across numerous clients that point to a number of issues to consider when seeking to deliver a great customer experience (CX).
Overcome eight common mistakes to build a better customer experience.
A. Viewing CX as a “Thing to Do” vs. a Value to Deliver—
Businesses tend to view CX as a marketing activity, a user interface, integration of social media, or a buzzword to deal with. Successful CX leaders view CX as key to achievement of strategic objectives, as a driver to revenue growth and customer satisfaction, and as a “secret weapon” in attracting new customer and increasing loyalty. Leaders view CX as a core and value-building component to their business instead of a, perhaps, superficial or insignificant effort.
Putting CX at the heart of the business, driving everything from culture to product delivery and customer support enables the business in ways that ensure you stand out and lead within your industry, with your customers and your employees.
B. Tackling CX in a “Stovepipe” Manner—
We often see well-intentioned leaders declare CX as a strategic initiative within their business. Leaving the execution, however, to each individual division or smaller organization as they deem appropriate. With the result being an unintegrated and poorly executed CX effort that delivers small and incremental change and a substantially diminished end result.
Thoughful business and marketing leaders recognize that CX is a strategic initiative that requires synchronized adoption, adaptation and delivery. They manage CX from the top down, harnessing the power of their entire organization, to conform every area of the business to deliver the desired CX without functional or experience gaps.
CX leaders work hard to eliminate CX stovepiping by prioritizing efforts and resources toward those activities that deliver the best and most meaningful experiences, inside and outside the company, sequencing and delivering to CX objectives that grow the value of the business.
C. Failing to Take the Customer View—
This one should seem obvious. After all, the “C” in CX refers to the customer.
The starting point of any CX initiative must start with “why”. Why is the business seeking to improve their CX, what problems are being solved, and why should the marketplace or customers care? Defining the “why” allows a business to effectively map an “end-to-end” CX journey that encompasses the entire organization, leading to desired outcomes.
D. Developing a CX Without the Customer—
This may seem redundant to the last learning topic. It’s not.
E. Leading with Scarcity Thinking—
You’ve noticed this. Early in business or career lifecycles ambition and hubris empower risk taking and creativity. However, as businesses mature or individuals advance in their careers they move from being opportunists to risk managers. Evolving from seeing strategies and activities through the lenses of “abundance” to, instead, viewing such through the lenses of “scarcity”.
Markets and customers are CX experienced, with very high expectations. Businesses that don’t deliver to that standard are abandoned as customers shift their attention and spend to where they can get the best experiences, rewarding leading CXs with loyalty and additional purchases.
E. Thinking CX is “Marketing Thing”—
We’ve covered this point before in a prior blog post. But is it worth repeating.
Markets and customers desire a consistent, integrated and value building experience with every interaction they have with your company. Any CX gaps that cause a diminishment of overall CX will be rewarded by customer defection and lowered spend with you.
CX is not a “marketing thing”. CX is not a B2C, consumer-oriented thing. CX is the entire experience that the market or customer has across your entire business—whether you’re a B2C or B2B or B2B2C company.
CX starts with the business mission, vision and values. It works its way through product and/or service development, marketing, sales and value delivery systems. Ending in product or service support experiences that bolster the entire CX for additional loyalty and increased spend with you
Businesses that view CX as a “marketing thing” only fall short of what the market and customers expect and, along the way, create problems by setting expectations that the business can’t deliver to—basically, “writing customer experience checks that the company can’t cash”.
Always view CX in its proper light. As an entire company effort that drives value to the market and customer as a mechanism to drive accelerated business value to your company.
F. Defining the Customer Incorrectly—
We often find that businesses view customers and their CX initiatives through very narrow lenses. That is, genrally, only those that can “place an order” with the company. This is wrong.
- Internal Audiences: To promote excitement and enthusiasm for the business; to encourage innovation and risk taking; and, to turn employees into “evangelists” to markets, customers and potential new recruits.
- Markets: Promoting unique and economic value experiences that attract attention, provide competitive differentiation and drive new consideration and adoption of products and services.
- Individual Customers: Using CXs as a gateway to new pipeline and sales; turning customers into “evangelists” for customer spend capture and referral to other potential customers.
- Analyst Communities: Delivering a great CX that influences their perception and value assessment of your business; to drive support for recommendation to other businesses; to garner support and inclusion in white papers, reports and industry events.
- Investor Communities: Demonstrating superior value through great CXs that attract attention, evaluation, support and invesment into the business; differentiating and delivering superior CXs that increase the value of your business for when it is time to sell, merge, acquire or move into other equity-related actions.
G. Leaving CX as a Strategic Initiative—
Successful CX pervades the entire business. It becomes the “oxygen” to how business is conducted, from strategy through execution, including culture and prioritization of day-to-day activities.
As this is the case, CX cannot remain only a strategic initiative. It must be cross-functional, at every level, and integrated in everthing the business is about.
As a result it is important to view and integrate CX beyond those that touch the customer to include everyone in the company. To do otherwise creates CX gaps within the company that will affect the external CX.
CX leaders operationalize customer journeys everywhere inside and outside the company. They create and deliver CX training, resource materials, processes, goals/objectives, success metrics and measured KPIs that are across the entire company. Leaders champion CX through a steady “drum beat” that is heard across the company, encouraging everyone to engage and express the CX in everything they do in their role and job responsibilities.
In the end you get to decide what your CX will be and how it will perform. Based on what you now know, what changes to you need to consider in the approach, development, rollout and continuous improvement of your company’s CX?
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