Igniting Passion for the Customer Experience
Starting on the journey of fixing a broken customer experience can be exhausting work. It involves admitting all of the ways you have let your customers down. It means that many departments need to step up and say “we could do this better.” It demands that deeply ingrained processes need to change and employees at all levels (from front-line to CEO) need to shift how they think and act.
To do this you need much more than powerful technology, some fun and engaging consultation sessions, and a big fat budget. You need your people to begin to feel passionate about the customer experience. The following are some ways in which customer experience leaders can ignite passion for transforming the customer experience:
Put the customer on display
Jeanne Bliss recommends that companies build a customer room that includes customer journey maps, customer quotes and comments, and artifacts from the customer journey. This exercise invites anyone from the company to connect emotionally with how it feels to do business with the organization.
Assistant Professor at Wharton, Adam Grant, recommends that companies “outsource inspiration” by bringing in customers to talk about how the end-service or product offered by the company impacts their lives. His research provides evidence that seeing the face of people who are influenced by our work dramatically changes how well we do our work.
Celebrate your existing and ongoing wins (no matter how small)
As you begin the customer experience transformation journey you will find touchpoints, departments, and people are already regularly exceeding customer expectations. Bring these successes into the limelight. Thinking about “transformation” can feel too big, but highlighting areas of the organization that are already succeeding will make it easier for everyone to get behind the new focus.
Momentum is built when leaders recognize and celebrate the small wins. Many employees will likely forget about the new “customer focus” before any significant increase in customer engagement scores is seen. In the meantime, it’s important to take time acknowledging the positive feedback that is coming in, share stories of employees who exemplified customer-centric behaviors, and keep employees informed about even incremental upticks in customer scores.
Build support from the bottom up
For any customer experience work to be successful you absolutely need CEO buy-in. Once that is attained customer experience teams need to focus attention on winning the hearts of employees throughout all levels of the organization. Forrester analyzed customer experience teams in various phases of progress and organizational support and found that even the small Cx teams tend to have a communications expert on their team. This reality illustrates how important it is to gain alignment at all levels. No leader, even the CEO, can mandate that employees simply “be customer-centric.”
No one person can change the customer experience, but through focus and commitment they can begin to ignite the passion of their colleagues to join them in the transformation journey.
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