CX is one of the most talked (and oldest) topics in business. Are we providing a great customer experience? Could we be doing it better? Have we built a business full of red tape that’s so complicated it makes it frustrating to service a customer? Now, when we talk customers, we talk about everyone – the internal service provider, the external customer and the supplier. Everyone involved in your supply chain is involved in your customer experience. Customer experience, somewhere, got lost! How? It got complicated, messy and it became easier to apply layers of ‘bandaids’ rather than truly getting to the root cause of customer frustration.
We all know that ‘the customer is the most important person’ in our business. So, why is it that we don’t work with this, why do we not listen to them, why don’t we consult them in our ‘next obvious step’? Well, because its easier not too, right? There is a new found trend appearing in most large organisations, but in my opinion it has a place in every organisation. The Chief Customer Officer (or COO) is ‘the voice of the customer’ at the boardroom table. This customer-centric individual provides customer opinions relating to all other functions within the business. They advocate for what’s best for the customer, they look for trends to work towards and they challenge ‘business as usual’ to help organisations get back to grass roots thinking of making the customer feel good.
It’s time now for businesses, who want to thrive, to adopt a mindset of truly ‘getting into the skin’ of customers. Statistics show that now, more than ever, ‘customers want to feel part of something bigger’ than just a transaction. They are looking for the transformational customer experience where everything they do is as good as last time, or better! The challenge for business is this proposition of consistency. How do we get everyone in our business to act and behave in a way that’s best for our customer? We all know that it is near impossible but the development of great processes to support the customer experience is key. The framework, blueprint or standards that govern how we all act is paramount to ensure our team truly ‘gets’ what’s expected of them.
Now, ask yourself these questions?
- If you asked a customer about their experience, would you be disappointed if they told you the honest truth?
- Do you manage numbers or manage customers?
- Who advocates for the customer in your business? When did you last do it?
- Is consistency in customer experience possible in your business both internally and externally? If not, why not?
- When did it become ok to ‘just accept’ and say ‘that’s the way it’s always been done?’
I want to leave you with these five thoughts when it comes to customer experience …
- Get yourself a customer blueprint!
- Uncover and de-clutter the layers!
- Challenge the ‘normal’!
- Adopt the ‘Voice of the Customer’!
- Get back to ‘Grass Roots’!
On a final note, remember that a downturn in customer experience is a downturn for your entire business.
Ben Roulston – THINKA Co-founder, Growth