Recognise this scenario? You’re part of a small customer experience team charged with moving the customer centricity dial positively. Your CEO is a recently converted customer experience champion who now wants you to strengthen the mind-set and behaviour of customer-facing staff as a priority and, in fact, engage all staff in creating a customer-centric culture. You’re wondering: how can one small department influence the whole organisation? We suggest you focus your efforts on getting these five things right.
To sustain good intentions and embed best practice, we strongly recommend you partner closely with HR. Agreed customer-centric attitudes and behaviours should be knitted into the selection considerations as well as performance management processes with employees rewarded for adopting and delivering your new practices.
None of these five actions is particularly complex. Admittedly, they take time, consideration, commitment and application. And as recent research by Matthew Dixon (of The Effortless Experience) and others has shown, loyalty is a lot more to do with how well companies deliver on their basic promises rather than how dazzling the customer service experience might be. So, great customer experience doesn't have to be fancy – simple and authentic works best.
It is also empowering. Customer experience principles, defined and shared as above, allow employees much more autonomy. This is always motivating for employees who may feel they are increasingly held back by or drowning in rules and regulations. As legendary leader Herb Kelleher of South West Airlines says:
‘If you create an environment where the people truly participate, you don’t need control. They know what needs to be done, and they do it.’
Your customer experience department may be small, but with the right focus, it can be mighty. You can lead the way in can lead the way in creating an environment, born of knowledge, understanding and participation, that actively and authentically puts the customer first.
Remember … if you think you are too small to be effective, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito.
Managing Director, W5 (CCXP)