The customer experience measurement and improvement journey falls to you – Where do you start?

Organisations will need at some point to embrace customer experience (CX) to retain existing customers, or to gain new customers, or both. In an ideal world your CEO would see this as a top priority and mandate a tops down approach that everyone supports and falls in line with. Reality is often different requiring someone to take the lead, start small and get some wins to prove the value of a CX program to the business.

So how do you get started?

Garner support from key stakeholders:

So you have decided to take the lead and own getting a CX program started. Your goal at this stage should be to get some initial momentum and results that show value, so that the initiative gets formalised on the CEOs future goals. Start by getting the support of a few key stakeholders who share your desire to get momentum on the initiative. Sales, Renewals and Support organisations are typically on the front line receiving Customer feedback, and will be supportive of any initiative that increases Customer experience and reduces impediments to sales. Ask your CEO or key leadership role to sponsor the initiative – ask your manager for help with this if necessary. Small support such as a mention at the next employee meeting will help galvanize support and momentum.

Why does Customer Experience matter?

It is worth getting agreement amongst the key stakeholders on why customer experience matters to the business – what problem are you trying to solve or what is the opportunity? This should be supported credible data and get attention in your Organisation. For example, there is a percentage drop in customer renewals representing a defined loss of revenue or there is a cross sell opportunity in a customer segment that would translate to revenue growth targets being met

Assess the current situation with some key metrics:

Assemble a set of key metrics to measure the current performance and the effectiveness of any improvement efforts. Select the critical few including those known to have the most impact on CX e.g. delivery time, time to close support tickets, customer retention rate,  number of complaints (and kudos) received, etc. Ideally each team should define their top 1-2 measures to contribute to a customer experience scorecard. Don’t fall into the trap at this stage of including all metrics and seeking perfection.  Look for progress instead and perfection can come later.

Have some customer conversations:

A relatively easy but valuable activity is to compliment quantitative metrics with some qualitative feedback. Talk to your customers and listen to what they have to say. Counter intuitive as it may seem, it is not unusual for senior managers, directors and particularly executives to seldom have conversations with customers, as email and internal meetings dominate their agendas. Conversations correctly structured, can allow customers give valuable feedback on previously unconsidered topics, will build customer relationships and will invigorate you and your teams to prioritize the right actions. From your score card metrics and your customer conversations, your Organisation is now starting build a picture of your customer satisfaction and experience levels, what is working well and key areas for improvement. Along the way, you will probably identify some customers that need urgent help and some that are positive advocates that can offer testimonials or are ready to purchase additional products or services.

Put focus on the information:

What gets measured gets focus and what gets focus gets fixed. Update your team meeting agenda with a Customer topic and start to review these measures. Review the relevant metrics and any customer feedback and ask ‘so what?’ to determine actions and where is help needed (e.g. to resolve a difficult customer issue, or recognise a top employee). Having your key stakeholders on board from the outset will make this phase easier. The broader customer scorecard could be introduced at the next level management team staff meeting. At this point this will need an owner – maybe someone like you in the organisation who is facilitating this project or someone on the senior leadership team as a sponsor but if you get to this stage the program is starting to show its value by providing valuable insights and resulting actions. The Organisation is now ready to formalise some additional CX measurement processes such as CSAT or NPS introduction.

Summary:

  • Garner support from some key stakeholders who share your vision for Customer experience, include Sales leadership and try and get some sponsorship from the senior leadership for the initiative.
  • Assemble a few critical performance indicators that impact the Customer experience – don’t include every metric, pick the critical few and strive for progress over perfection at this stage.
  • Have some structured conversations with your customers – that includes listening. Be open to feedback, take actions and follow up to close the loop with customers and the organisation.
  • Review the metrics and the customer feedback – build into existing operational team meeting agendas. What gets measured gets focus and what gets focus gets fixed.

About CustomerLink

CustomerLink helps your business succeed by providing the link to your customers and their satisfaction with your product or service. With broad industry experience leading customer operations for some of the world’s leading brands, we combine technology with deep knowledge in business process design and people systems to measure and improve your customer’s satisfaction, value and overall experience in dealing with your company

Contact us today to find out how we can help your business on +353 1 4100600 or contact John Kelly at john@thecustomerlink.com