Back at our desks after the Christmas break many of us will be reviewing what we achieved in 2016 and setting objectives for 2017 and beyond. The results can often be disappointing as despite all the hard work perhaps you are seeing a situation where your CX metrics didn’t move and you seem to be in the same place that you were this time last year or before.
We suggest three practical tips to energise and inspire you to achieve some Big Hairy Audacious Goals for 2017.
Customer Experience is not rocket science…it’s just hard. These are the words spoken earlier this year of Dublin-born Lisa Harrington, BT Group UK’s first-ever Chief Customer Officer. I would challenge anyone working in this area to disagree and when something is hard you need support. Why not join a peer-to-peer discussion and learning group like the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) Ireland. The group populated by passionate CX professionals based in Ireland plans to meet four times in Dublin in 2017 and is the leading global non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and cultivation of the Customer Experience profession.
To win the hearts and minds of customers, your first have to build the enthusiasm and commitment of employees. Ultimately, if employees aren’t aware, informed, and convinced of the value of customer experience, then we can’t expect them to take the necessary actions to deliver excellent experiences to your customers. Resolve that in 2017, you’re going to get CX at the top of the company agenda. There are lots of way to get noticed. Below we suggest just three to get your creative juices flowing:
Gas Networks Ireland shared at a 2016 AAI Tool kit seminar how as part of their award winning programme they reward employees and partners who go the extra mile for customers. Informal awards and celebration of same in a public forum go a long way to highlight to employees the importance of customer eccentricity.
Keeping CX on top of the agenda is made a lot easier if you have a team of high profile, respected in-house ambassadors. This cross functional team can keep the customer at the table in meetings even when you are not there.
It sounds twee but maybe having a CX day celebration in your organisation ( First Tuesday in October annually) is not such a bad idea. The challenge will be to use the profile to showcase some real learning and impact and move away from talking about customer centricity and actually showing the impact it can make on the bottom line.
If things are not working and even if they are January is a good to time to start thinking about having a review of your strategy to assess are you set up for success. You can go as detailed or as topline with this as you like and for those who are considering a root and branch review you might do worse than follow the Manning and Bodine audit structure as detailed in the 2012 book ‘Outside In’. For now however we suggest the following sequence of ‘taster’ questions which when answered with colleagues should start a healthy debate about the general state of your Customer Experience Strategy:
- Strategy: Can we describe the intended customer experience across all channels and all interactions?
- Customer understanding: Have we strong understanding of customer pain points and opportunities and have we shared that understanding with employees?
- Design: Do we consistently use customer understanding and insights to focus and define requirements for design of customer experiences and engage customers, partners, and employees as part of the experience design process?
- Measurement: Do we know how much money we save and how much value we add through improved Customer Experience?
- Governance: Can we name the customer experience standards set across the organisation and will alignment with customer experience strategy be a criterion for evaluating project funding and prioritisation of decisions in 2017?
- Culture: Do we really screen candidates for customer-centric values as part of the hiring and selection process and connect formal reward structures to perform on customer experience metrics?
If you are comfortable with all your answers then hats off you are definitely making strong progress to a defined and useful customer experience strategy. In order to inspire even further leaps forward I would suggest going through the full audit process as defined in ‘Outside in’.
Managing Director, W5 (CCXP)