Building a Customer Experience Vision

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The best voice of the customer programs aren’t built in a day – organizations who build successful programs begin with foundational elements of customer experience, such as NPS, Relational CSAT, and ad-hoc satisfaction studies, and build as their company matures. The graphic below demonstrates how a typical customer satisfaction program could build over time:

As you build out your CEM program to eventually become state of the art, keep in mind that the best CEM programs are not static. Your business will change over time – you’ll add new product offerings; you’ll expand your comer base; you may even acquire another company. Anticipate from the beginning that your voice of the customer program should be as dynamic and flexible as your company is.

The 7 Phases of CX

Prioritizing customer experience is important for many reasons, one being that it impacts so many areas of your organization. If your organization hopes to achieve CX success, employees across your company, from the executives to the interns, must share your vision and goals. Building a CX vision and successfully executing on that vision requires seven phases:

  1. Leadership Buy-in
  2. Vision and Clarity
  3. Company-Wide Engagement and Collaboration
  4. Listening and Learning
  5. Company Alignment and Action
  6. Goal Setting
  7. Patience and Commitment

Leadership Buy-in

Establishing a customer-centric culture starts at the very top. Without executive-level buy-in there is a low probability of creating maximum impact for any customer-centric initiative. You’ll also want to garner the support of lower level leaders to truly move the needle on improving the customer experience. Leaders set the tone for their organization, so if a leader decides that the customer is important, their direct reports will follow suit.

Strategies to obtain leadership buy-in:

  1. Create an ROI Outline
  2. Collect case studies of similar companies who implemented a CEM program with success
  3. Conduct a trial CEM program
    • Collection: Demonstrate data quality and cost per response
    • Analysis and Reporting: Demonstrate ease of reporting and insight value
    • Action: Identify low-hanging opportunities and close the loop
    • Impact: Demonstrate impact in areas that can prove value

Vision and Clarity

Your vision for your Customer Experience Management program needs to be specific so that everyone within the organization can easily understand the common goal. We recommend a short and simple vision statement to help you increase understanding and buy-in from leadership.

Examples of good vision statements:

““At American Express, we have a mission to be the world’s most respected service brand. To do this, we have established a culture that supports our team members so they can provide exceptional service to our customers.” –American Express

“In store or online, wherever new opportunities arise, Nordstrom works relentlessly to give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.” –Nordstrom

Criteria for a vision statement:

  1. Simple and clear
  2. Known and repeatable at each level of the organization
  3. Possesses executive sponsorship
  4. Associated with specific goals and objectives
  5. Associated with a clear roadmap of milestones

Company-Wide Engagement and Collaboration

An engaged workforce is vital for the long-term success of a customer-centric company. And as employees become more engaged, cross-functional collaboration and synergy will create more impactful and successful customer initiatives. In fact, 70% of engaged employees indicate they have a good understanding of how to meet customer needs, while only 17% of non-engaged employees say the same according to a study conducted by Right Management.

To truly motivate your workforce, you need to understand the roadblocks that impede their best performance. The most tried and true method for doing so is by implementing a formal employee engagement program. To learn more about running a successful employee engagement program, see our Employee Insights page.

Strategies to drive employee engagement:

  1. Provide opportunities for regular, confidential, unfiltered feedback
  2. Encourage personal action on flagged issues
  3. Implement and demonstrate real change
  4. Openly share key results and findings with the company

Leading VoC programs have deliberate employee engagement strategies that are operationalized within each member. Technology dashboards enable leaders to understand the key drivers to engagement and visibility to engagement levels:

Listening and Learning

After you create buy-in within your organization and you’re ready to start listening, begin collecting customer feedback and learning as you go.

Strategies to consider as you begin collecting feedback:

  • Implement a dynamic platform that encourages feedback
  • Enable omnichannel customer feedback
  • Ensure actions and customer follow-up are integrated into your processes
  • Share what you learn across the company
  • Focus on the facts your customers are telling you

Above all, implement a customer experience management approach that is tailored to your organization’s unique challenges and needs. As you design a program that matches your needs, however, consider these must-have elements of successful CEM programs:

  • Omnichannel surveys
  • Flexible, role-based dashboards
  • Key driver analysis and text analytics
  • Case management and follow-up
  • CRM and operational process integration
  • Direct employee behavioral connection to CX outcomes
  • Real-time measurement and reaction
  • Easy-to-use platform with advanced logic, analysis, and dashboards

Company Alignment and Action

Alignment means that all members of your organization are marching towards the same vision, and each team understands exactly what action they need to take to help realize that vision. Generally speaking, action refers to the measurable steps taken to improve the customer experience. A properly designed root cause or driver analysis will help to inform what areas to take action on.

Strategies to consider:

  1. Map key objectives to business and organizational touch points
  2. Create and align cross-functional teams toward singular objectives

Goal Setting

To ensure that employees across your organization stay motivated and committed to your customer-centric culture, it can be helpful to set goals and to tie employee incentives and compensation to customer outcomes. Setting goals for your program and then rewarding employees for taking steps to achieve those goals will reduce your organization’s risk of burnout and keep everyone on track to achieve your goals.

As you track your progress toward your goals, it is critical that each leader can visualize your current CX standing in relation to your goals. A platform with configurable dashboards allows every employee to quickly see the customer analytics relevant to them while making confidential information only accessible to specific people. Configurable dashboards also allow you to to zoom in to the individual customer and zoom out to see the big picture.

A configurable dashboard should allow you to:

  • View current NPS and historical trends
  • Track satisfaction by individual sales rep
  • See which store locations have the highest NPS
  • Track CSAT by geographical location
  • Track trending topics
  • View open tickets

An example of a configurable, role-based dashboard: