To be completely honest, memorable experiences CAN be accidents or afterthoughts. When that happens, however, it is a one-off exception to the rule.
Yes, it will generally elicit a wonderfully effusive tweet or Facebook post, or even a hand-written letter from the customer directly to the president of the company. But that doesn’t change the randomness or the limited scope of that positive customer experience.
Eventually, this type of happy accident makes its way to the next executive-level board meeting and quickly becomes the anecdote du jour of how well the company is transforming into a more customer-centric organization.
With that, it’s a job well done and kudos to all. Now, what’s next on the agenda?
If that’s the extent of your CX strategy, your business is in trouble.
The example above is more unfortunate than it is slightly humorous. But savvy business leaders and smart marketers see this situation for what it really is – a crucial moment in time when the organization needs to be making a mission-critical decision.
It’s an inflection point where leadership can choose to pretend they are doing a great job with customer experience, or they can realize there is no company-wide program currently in place to adequately do the following:
– Recognize key customer needs at various touch points
– Replicate/repeat meaningful actions
– Create more relevant experiences in the future
If the former, this amazing example of providing exceptional customer service could quite possibly be the beginning of a tragic, downhill slide. If the latter, now is the time to be forward-thinking and take a mindful approach to develop a company-wide, service design ethos in mastering the art of customer delight.
Getting started with a CX strategy is full of challenges from within.
Getting started with anything new is never easy. Developing a CX strategy is no different. Guaranteed, there are going to be a few incidents that cause second thoughts along the way. And, more than likely, they will come from within your own organization.
As you begin putting the initial pieces of your CX strategy together, here are three types of organizational scenarios you may come across and how you can overcome the pitfalls and challenges they present.
1.) Your current CX strategy is invisible (non-existent).
For many organizations, it feels like the CX strategy is invisible. In reality, that’s because it was never there in the first place. This situation is fairly common. So, don’t worry. All is not lost. But, you are going to have to act quickly as you are now playing a game of catch-up.
In today’s business environment, the customer has more control than ever before and the bar for customer expectations continues to rise. Companies without a coherent and integrated strategy for Customer Experience are losing ground to competitors faster than they can say #customerservicefail.
The best thing to do is circle the wagons. Get the big guns from the C-suite involved, engaged, and invested in what’s going on. A successful CX strategy is going to live and die with buy-in and endorsement from the top down and action from the bottom up.
Here are six areas to focus on as you get started:*
– Align your business strategy with your CX strategy
– Discover the strong and weak points of your CX
– Understand your best customers, better
– Create a CX hierarchy using best customer scenarios
– Set priorities in action: Inside-out and outside-in
– Make CX your core strategy across the entire organization
2.) Your CX strategy is a vortex trapped in a matrix that’s stuck in old-world thinking.
Wow. This sounds like a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma – only worse! If you’re developing your CX strategy from within the walls of a large matrix organization, that can be extremely daunting.
First thing to do is unplug, relax, cool down, and start thinking straight. That outlier faction of business-as-usual types isn’t going away anytime soon, nor are they going down without taking a stand for the tried and true of what was working yesterday.
But today is a new day. A dawning of a new age. One where competitive advantages are built on the experiences your customers have with your business and your brand. In this scenario, it is best to start by identifying your customers’ positive moments of “ahhhh” and those not so positive moments of “ow.”*
This can be used as a baseline of understanding that can reach out and get through to even the most hardened of the status quo-ers. From here, you can continue to build on common ground to improve current customer experiences as well as create new ones – together, with everyone on board.
3.) Your CX strategy is being tied to unrelated ROI metrics.
Ugh. This one is no walk in the park. In cases like this, you are more than likely dealing with a conflicted leader/leadership focused on short-term survival at the expense of long-term triumph. This can be a contentious situation. Proceed with caution.
In this organizational scenario, you shouldn’t go it alone. You’ll need a group of trusted colleagues who share the same mindset of teamwork to get things accomplished. Here, you may have to count on your small team to make big things happen.
Relying on the ten “E”s of CX* is your best bet. This can help you and your team refocus your CX Strategy back on the needs of your customers while establishing the correct metrics of success.
The 10 “E”s you will need to consider are…
Explore each of these individually in relation to your company’s people, products and services. Ultimately, your CX strategy will need to bring them all together to help you create an initial plan for customer delight at each and every touchpoint along their customer journey – including pre-sale, conversion, and post-sale.
To help you get there, try using this CX strategy “score card” tool to complete an initial assessment of how well your organization is aligned with the 10 “E”s of Customer Experience.
Your CX Strategy is Important. That’s Why It’s Not Easy.
The main thing to keep in mind as you are getting started is your CX strategy is not a one-and-done initiative. It is an ongoing process that will evolve over time with the needs of your customers and the growth of your company.
As you and your team embark on this project, here’s a CX strategy mantra for serenity, peace, and focus:
– Carefully listen. Constantly iterate. Continuously improve.
Creating this type of approach for your CX strategy gives your organization the best opportunity to distinguish your business and differentiate your brand. The ones that can do this, and do it well, will win big. The ones that resist will have a hard time keeping up and moving forward.
Author: Douglas Longenecker, //NKST a growth acceleration agency
Source: * “Ahhh” and “Ow” moments, 10 “E”s of CX and 6 Principles of CX are all featured in the best-selling book by co-authors Tom Stewart and Patricia O’Connell, Woo, Wow and Win: Service Design, Strategy and the Art of Customer Delight.