Every blank page in our shiny new calendars promises untapped opportunity, achievement, results, CX awesomeness. We have 12 months to kick butt with our customer-centric goals. To become NPS Olympians. To gear up, plan our journey, and climb to the summit.
Sure, we CX professionals are a hopeful bunch. But, as they say, hope is not a strategy.
So, we thought we would share our practical guide to reaching customer experience strategy goals. And who knows, you might find a benefit for your own approach this year.
Step 1: Clearly and specifically define success.
Before you start the climb, you have to begin with the summit in mind. Superhero fantasies aside, what do you want achieve in 2015 with your customer experience efforts? Do you have a succinct definition of your customer experience goal? What will success look like and how will you know when you have arrived?
Here are a few examples from our clients:
Delivering the best retail experience in the market, resulting in positive word-of-mouth.
Delivering the most insightful, value added experience to prospects and clients.
Becoming the easiest company to do business with, as evidenced by improved First Contact Resolution (FCR) and reduction in the proportion of customers experiencing issues.
Pretty specific, right? As it should be. The more specific the target, the clearer the actions required to hit the bullseye.
Step 2: Choose your metrics.
If you start your journey without a clear direction, you’ll likely veer off course. So, once you know what you want to achieve, you need to settle on a short list of metrics you can track to determine progress. Think of them as a compass in your year-long climb to the summit.
Here are a few examples from our client base:
One of our clients, a B2B telco provider, wants to reduce customer churn. So every quarter, leaders cross-reference customer feedback data with churn levels. Ever since this system was rolled out three years ago, performance has improved quarter over quarter.
Another client, a wireless communications provider, has decided that to bump up their Net Promoter Score (NPS) and reach their best-in-class goals, they should focus on lowering their number of detractors. They have monthly business reviews that include inspection of this one number. It helps them identify why detractors are unlikely to recommend, so they can prioritize action steps to address those issues.
Step 3: Set quarterly rocks that tie to goals.
Defining your rocks— the big initiatives or changes you have to roll out each quarter—is hard work. But they’re important markers of your success. Think of them as waypoints, so you can chart your progress, and climb in stages.
We advise clients to select no more than 3-5 per quarter. If you have a team supporting you, ensure that their quarterly rocks are aligned. Some questions to ask yourself in setting rocks are:
What are the biggest areas of pain for our customers? Which issues are causing the most repeat calls? The most complaints? The greatest difficulty? A decline in Client Engagement, NPS or Satisfaction?
What are the most common suggestions for improvement from our most important customers? What are our customers telling us they wish we did more of, differently?
Which areas, regions, locations, or brands are under-performing? Which are performing at best-in-class levels? How can we help under-performing areas to improve and high-performing areas to share their expertise?
What one thing could we do now to have the greatest impact on our ability to be the [INSERT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE VISION HERE]?
Answers to these questions will result in a list of quarterly rocks to consider. If necessary, prioritize them by considering their impact and feasibility. Some areas may simply be unrealistic to work on right now. If that’s the case, then move them to an issues list or parking lot for future focus.
Step 4: Get disciplined about reviewing progress and updating your rocks.
You know where you are going. You know how you are going to get there. You know what indicators to track to ensure progress. Now, you need to establish a regular rhythm to review and adapt as necessary. Here are some key steps to take now to ensure this happens:
Identify who needs to be involved in your business review meetings (e.g., senior-level champions, line leaders, product people, IT, HR, sales, marketing, or customer care).
Schedule monthly, recurring customer experience business review meetings with all attendees.
Develop an agenda for each meeting, and share with all attendees. Allot time in the agenda for attendees to review progress on the rocks.
Schedule longer quarterly meetings to review upcoming rocks. These are where you’ll make any adaptations based upon prior quarter improvement, business, customer, and market changes.
Get a Head Start
Certainly there are other elements that could or should be included in your plan. But these four steps should at least be part of your framework.
If you are interested in getting a head start with a monthly meeting agenda for your customer experience council, click below to download our template.