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How to create a customer experience strategy
How to get started!
CX initiatives are often easy to conceptualise as we are all consumers and therefore have an opinion of what good and bad is.
Furthermore, this is the age of the customer, and therefore, customers are driving buying decisions and brand impacts more than ever through user-generated content and word of mouth.
This is the new norm.
But turning our thoughts into action isn’t always as easy.
It still astounds me that even large organisations today are still implementing NPS with no clear vision and strategy.
Even more concerning is that decisions are being made based on these numbers without a clear understanding of what they mean or how they contribute to their bottom line.
I am a true believer that before implementing NPS programs, you need to define a strategy that will clearly drive advocacy in your brand, product, service and employee experience.
Tips to start your CX Strategy
Now to the million-dollar question… where do you start?
1. Understand your Customers.
Take an outside-in approach to your work.
Look at your business through a customer’s eyes and use data that is provided by them.
This prevents us from doing things that we believe our customers want.
Conventional thinking will not differentiate your CX program.
Ask customers what matters to them and the problems that they have when working with your organisation/product.
This will provide you with a Problem to Solve, not the validation of a solution that often business leaders have crafted.
There is a difference!
Do different things, not the same thing differently.
2. Define your Strategy
System Conditions – have a method that allows your front-line staff to capture what matters to customers at EVERY contact point- stop focussing on adherence to conventionally designed processes.
The senior Exec team should have a clear commitment to remove/replace these systemic items – waste, rework and fragmentation
Leaders – must support and enable redesign of what is identified as part of the CX program.
Their role is to act on the system; namely change processes, provide funding and culturally lead from the top, otherwise this will not drive change in outcomes for your customers and employees.
Measures should support continual learning and the delivery of what matters to customers
Front Line Teams – have a conversation framework that supports your team collecting the new and different data; namely what matters to the customer and how well can we deliver on their request.
This is critical.
It is this new data that drives different actions and thinking in your CX work.
3. Create tactical CX Programs of Work.
These should be tactical ways of operationalising your strategy.
They need to be broken down into achievable initiatives that are measurable and align to the overall company and CX strategy
4. Understand your NPS options.
It is important to know and understand the different types of NPS that can be applied as part of your program of work.
As importantly you must agree in the concept of where and how it will be measured and reported, as well as the terminology used with your teams.
Typically, NPS needs to address three types of customer experience.
The Interactions or frequent touch points that your customers have with you.
How was it for you on THIS interaction?
It’s about the specific demand and how well the employee responded, as well as did we complete the demand from their perspective?
The Episodes of the customer lifecycle – How well did we do across a SERIES of events or interactions?
It’s important to acknowledge that there are several interactions that complete an ‘event’ end to and.
How was the process for the customer, how good were your people and would they recommend you because of this?
It’s important to also face into the feedback and if they wouldn’t recommend you ask them why not.
What they would change?
This is your gold, but only if you acknowledge it to the customer (close the loop) and show a change.
When working with your customer episodes it is critical to apply your CX Method for improvement.
This should include a visual representation of customer, employee and system activities and interdependencies.
Our Relationship with the customer.
We call this Strategic NPS.
- Overall how well do we stack up for them?
- How does the customer rate you as a company, and how likely are they to recommend you?
- How do you compare to your competitors and industry?
It is important here to define the key categories that you believe can form your actions for improvement.
These are called your drivers and should be set down early on in your strategic work.
Examples include your service model and performance, product and price.
Maybe NPS is not your main measure?
CSAT, Effort, there are other options to drive change and measure the impact on the customer’s experience
My biggest tip when embarking on the creation of a new CX Program is to start small.
This allows you to ensure that you are measuring the right things and can take action on them.
Without Closed Loop practices people will not be able to see that you are making changes that benefits the organisation, never mind, the customer.
Baby Steps; with data that shows results!
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