Executing the Customer Experience - A white paper
The concept, ideas and activities of customer experience are not new. Work around it is already in progress for many companies. Many have nailed the rationale for achieving ‘distinctiveness’ in customer experience and understand that they need to differentiate their customer experience, address customer pain-points and that they have an uphill challenge to execute this. You also know that the customer experience has to happen by design and not by default – that you have to be relentlessly intentional in providing the ultimate experience in a consistent and memorable way that reflects the company’s brand!
Before I present my point of views and suggested approach, I’d like to begin with a few key questions. This will help you better understand your objectives for this initiative:
1. What is your vision for Services?
2. What is the state of talent in your organization?
3. What is your thought around restructuring your organization? What is the “WORK” that your organization must deliver for the customer experience Strategy? 4. What is your idea of distinctive Customer Experience? Where have you had a great customer experience? 5. What is your burning platform?
6. What is your confidence level around driving this successfully? What is contributing to that?
The reality today is few organizations know what it takes to successfully implement customer experience. This is where the rubber truly meets the road. This white paper will share my point of view (P.O.V) on how to ‘land the plane’ for making customer experience work.
“Managing the customer experience is a complex undertaking, which requires strategic choices to be made, new skills to be developed and most importantly, management’s will to execute.” – Shaun Smith*. Many organizations over-analyze their findings and over-engineer work that paralyzes the initiative from taking off. Often, these organizations may just need to stop talking and start doing!
Before you kick into gear for this initiative, you need to know very clearly who you are, who you are trying to serve and then, clearly communicate that to the marketplace, your employees and your customers. What is your story? How do you tell your story? To which customer segments do you tell your stories to? And do you tell it often enough? You have to align all of your customer experiences stories with your vision. The customer experience vision must also be SIMPLE, CLEAR, DO-ABLE, and MEASURABLE.
The challenge is how do you make the vision actionable?
This is where the real work behind execution begins. How do you map every customer touch point to this vision? There is an art and a science to doing this. The science is methodology-driven – that is the ‘easy’ part. The art is where it becomes ‘tricky’. Getting all of your customers to where they want to be, emotionally, is the ultimate goal. Retention, loyalty and advocacy demands that every touch point is addressed. This initiative stands no chance of success unless it is executed in a holistic manner. The strategy must be embedded throughout the touchpoints to be successful – each and customer touchpoint is a test of the company as a whole and your promise to the customer.
Building your brand platform means articulating the brand promise to your employees and customers that makes it very evident what they can expect from you. Not everyone realizes that each and every customer touchpoint is a test of the entire brand and its promise to the customer. All the advertising, promoting, marketing and selling are challenged when your customer makes a connection with an employee. The outcome of that encounter will be the memory the customer has and therefore his/her propensity to return . . . or not.
One of the things to realize is that the reason customer service or customer experience is such a challenge is not because it is bad but because it is okay, pretty good. This is...
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