The way businesses approach customer experience (CX) is shifting, along with driving a fundamental change in company culture. Leaders who are invested in improving customer experience have discovered that if they first focus on shaping company culture from the inside, everyone from the customers to the stakeholders benefit.
Top Down Shift
The most successful brands start with CX-focused leaders who are able to strategically gather information from multiple touchpoints and resources that go beyond the basic survey model such as customer relationship management (CRM), web analytics, social analytics, loyalty, the voice of customer, market research, email, audits, etc. To be an effective leader you must recognize customer experience as a competitive differentiator and use this knowledge to delegate teams, invest resources, and create a culture dedicated to CX as a way of life.
Set the bar high with your own example of commitment. Get out from behind your office walls and sample the CX yourself.
- Jump on the front lines with your employees, use your own products, visit your own sites, call in to use your own services, or even try the “secret shopper” method, if possible, to empathize with your customer’s experiences and make educated changes.
- Encourage other executives to do the same and show their support for CX-related improvements.
- Create a culture of accountability by making every employee in your organization, from executive to assistant, positively involved in the customer experience.
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Leaders have the power to put employees in impactful roles and make customer-centric investments.
- Get buy-in by creating a CX power team composed of members from each department. These members will naturally encourage others to work towards the goals in your CX model.
- Back your employees by investing in professional development and training in alignment with improving the customer experience.
- Nurture relationships with all stakeholders involved.
Identify Business Objectives and Take Action
Once CX is on the horizon and all employees are in place, a roadmap must be formed to identify where the company is going and how it is going to get there.
Have deliberate conversations with your team about what needs to be measured, timelines for implementation, and identify systems that will result in the best experience for all. Making customer experience your objective up front will show brand commitment and keep all players and partners on track.
The biggest sign of a great leader is one who can not only visualize the goal and map out the actions, but can also bring these ideas to fruition. Initiatives will fail without proper tools and follow-through.
- Locate which phase of the journey you and your organization are on (Measure, Track, Analyze, Optimize) and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses.
- Align CX objectives with corporate goals and institute awareness campaigns to spread the news.
- Incentivize employees to redesign the customer journey and encourage cultural shifts.
- Take a customer-centric listening approach.
Guide and Reinforce
A large-scale CX transformation requires complex changes from processes to technology. Guiding employees through this change and reinforcing their efforts to adapt will result in success. Tips to fostering flexibility and helping employees adapt to change include:
- Communicate thoroughly and completely throughout every step of the initiative to allow for organizational reporting to all of the right parties in a timely fashion.
- Keeping your speech and actions positive and reaffirming will comfort and encourage employees to stay on track.
When leaders recognize the need for a customer experience shift, set an example, and guide their employees through necessary adjustments, they can turn the company culture into groundbreaking customer experiences. Better leaders mean a better customer experience which all adds up to a more profitable company overall.
About the Author: Brooke Cade is a freelance writer who’s committed to helping businesses and sales professionals build stronger connections with their customers. In her spare time, she enjoys learning more about CX platform InMoment.com, reading books/articles on industry news, engaging on Twitter, and exploring her local neighborhood coffee shop.