Ways to Build an Aligned Customer Experience

Ways to Build an Aligned Customer Experience
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Why the Customer Experience Matters
As consumers, we have all felt how important the customer experience can be to how we feel about a business, their brand, and our loyalty as a customer.  As employees, we know that an aligned customer experience can make work easier and more fulfilling, Yet, as leaders, sometimes we miss the mark in terms of customer centricity.

Bain’s recent survey of the customers of 362 companies found that only 8% described their experience as “superior,” while 80% of the companies surveyed believe that the customer experience they have been providing is indeed superior.

We define the customer experience as how customers react to and feel about every direct and indirect contact with your company. And thanks to advanced technology and increased competition, customer expectations are skyrocketing. Customers expect a fast, easy, value-added, personalized, and consistent experience regardless of how they interact with you.

An Aligned Customer Experience Delivers Value
If you want your business to thrive, assess your corporate culture so that you can evaluate the way your customers experience every aspect of your business.  To create a customer experience that aligns with your organization’s values, purpose, culture, and strategy, you must thoughtfully work with your entire organization to understand at each level how to consistently deliver the best customer experience possible.

Recent research by Accenture found that companies that create a simpler, more engaging customer experience across all customer-facing functions are 26% more likely to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction and speed to market.

The Challenge
To create a truly aligned and customer-centric culture, the entire organization must work out the “why” and the “how” from your customers’ point of view. You will need to:

  1. Explain and Advocate for the Reason Why
    To marshal the efforts and commitment required to put customers first, leaders need to capture the hearts and minds of the entire workforce by sharing a compelling rationale for why it matters. You can’t expect employees to change their behaviors and attitudes until they buy into what’s in it for them, their teams, and the business.

    Be prepared to get feedback, honestly answer questions, and take steps to close any gaps.
  1. Map Out the Current Customer Experience
    Invest the time to do a current state analysis to understand what is working and not working from the perspective of your target customers.    While it may be tempting go full steam ahead to the desired future state, do not underestimate the need to understand and agree upon the current state before you embark on a change initiative.

    Pay special attention to the underlying employee motivations that influence choices and actions that impact the customer experience.
  2. Detail the Desired Future State
    With your key stakeholders, design the desired end-to-end service delivery map required to exceed current and future customer expectations. Focus on the critical moments of truth, key pain points, and prioritized areas of opportunity. Create a process to encourage employees to continuously re-imagine the products, services, and experiences their customers seek.

    Challenge teams to design and deliver innovative client experiences.
  3. Implement and Reinforce the Critical Few New Ways
    Begin implementation with the understanding that you’ll be far more successful if you focus on the top few priorities that matter most. Identify them, model them, reward them, and reinforce them.

    Data from our change management simulation found that an aligned culture of accountability and support is required to reinforce the new ways.

    In many situations, starting with a minimum viable product to prototype the new design allows for faster learning, buy-in, and momentum.
  4. Measure and Reinforce the Progress
    Successful customer experience transformations rely on meaningful performance measurement systems to track customer feedback and results so that leaders can reinforce positive progress and adjust when the data don’t match expectations.

The Bottom Line
To build an aligned customer experience, leaders must create strategic clarity, have a deep understanding of the current state, and design an end-to-end customer experience that matters.

To learn more about how to successfully redesign your customer experience, download How to Mobilize Your Change Initiative

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