Once it is clear that your company needs to focus on Customer Experience (CX), there are 5 key ingredients that need to be acquired before starting to build the CX strategy. Spending time, effort, and political capital on acquisition of these 5 key ingredients will help keep the CX program on track.
1. A Clear Objective
Know why you want it! Jumping on to the CX band wagon without clear objectives is dangerous. It is very important to know precisely why CX is relevant to your company’s specific scenario and what you would want to achieve at the end of the day by providing superior CX.
One plausible example of having a clear objective is to create sustainable differentiation based on delivery of superior CX. This may sound simple yet it is a powerful statement. By having such an objective, the company implicitly commits to taking long term and day-to-day decisions based on CX preferences.
A Mobile Network Operator (MNO) choosing CX as the basis of long term differentiation would take decisions by having customers at the center of everything. Taking the 4G (LTE) launch as an example MNOs with technology leadership as a different have claimed data speeds of upto 100Mbps (a theoretical speed which can never be achieved in real customer environment) while MNOs with CX as differentiator have claimed an overall better broadband experience without mentioning a specific speed.
2. Leadership Driven
It starts top-down! For CX to be successful, it requires passion to the level of obsession from the top leadership of the company! Since money and experience cannot buy a customer focused mindset, it is really up-to the leadership (CXO level) of the company to energize the company to have that necessary cultural and mindset shift required for superior CX delivery.
As a best practice CX is driven by the CEOs as the foremost strategic theme in many companies. It helps give CX the right attention among the board members, the executives, and the employees of the company. It also sends a strong signal to business partners.
3. Impact the Core
CX does not equal customer service! Enhancement of CX should not be confused with improvements of customer service at the help line, website, or at the company outlets. CX touches every business process and every business decision taken in the company. Real CX transformation requires rethinking the business model and re-evaluating key processes in-order to bring customer focus at the heart of everything.
Re-evaluation and redesigning core business processes is the difficult and more impactful part which is the responsibility of middle management. For example one of the key processes for a MNO is how products and services are conceived, designed, and launched. Rethinking and redesigning these three elements of product Development and Launch Process by bringing customer at the heart of everything would enable the company to deliver superior CX that is skill based, difficult to replicate, and sustainable.
CX is everyone’s responsibility! And everyone should be accountable for it. Designing a CX accountability framework that transcends departments and hierarchy levels is one of the key success factors of a successful CX transformation program. Such an approach also suggests that CX department within a company does not have the sole responsibility of improving CX.
A prerequisite to designing of a CX accountability framework is identification of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each department, sub-department, and individuals. While high-level KPIs can be set in the first few months of the CX program and assigned to the leadership team, the departmental and individual CX KPIs can be devised after completion of gap analysis, benchmarking, and CX initiatives design.
CX is not a project it’s a journey! CX is human driven and requires a change in thinking, execution, and how results and evaluated. Quick wins are important to keep the momentum going, but for achieving real and sustainable differentiation based on superior CX, it takes time, effort, and cultural change.
It is important for companies to view CX transformation as a medium-long term strategy for differentiation and be patient to achieve the desired results. Mindset and cultural change is an integral part of CX transformation which will consume time and effort.
A MNO can work on quick win initiatives that create maximum buzz such as First Call Resolution, Online Complaint Handling, and Product Functionality Optimization to name a few. On the other hand the MNO should have a 2 – 3 year CX roadmap with concrete initiatives having well defined business cases to keep the shareholder board members committed to the CX transformation of the company.