As businesses slowly reopen and some semblance of “normalcy” creeps back into customers’ lives, organizations are faced with an opportunity to define and find success in a post-COVID world. Customer experience (CX) programs are the best means of acquiring new customers, retaining previous ones, cross-selling within existing customer bases, and lowering cost to serve, among other benefits that brands will sorely need as they reestablish business as usual.
Whether companies are new to the CX world or looking to brush up their brand, it never hurts to (re)visit the building blocks of effective CX governance. A well-governed CX program can help brands achieve transformational success, a better bottom line, and an improved experience for their customers.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at five key elements crucial to effective CX governance:
Key #1: Focus
Seeking to deliver a better experience for customers and achieve meaningful transformation is all well and good, but what does that goal look like for your brand specifically? Brands may be united in their aspiration to deliver those goals, but getting there looks completely different in every industry from construction to coffee.
That’s why it’s important for brands to sit down and define specific, concrete goals that they want to achieve through the power of customer experience. Think about what you want your organization to accomplish—could the company stand to improve its customer retention? What about lowering cost to serve or getting better at closing the loop with customers?
Creating a focus like this enables organizations to build better CX programs and keep their eye on the ball as it grows and delivers results. It also allows brands to track their progress and introduce or subtract program elements as needed.
Key #2: Alignment
The next step companies need to take after defining goals for their CX program is to align the proper stakeholders and resources. For some brands, this might mean creating a CXO position or aligning customer service, operations and financial departments. For others, it could result in creating an entire CX team and enmeshing it alongside customer-facing departments. Either way, it’s important to get all the right players in the same room.
Aligning the right stakeholders also enables organizations to close the outer loop, i.e. adopt a company-wide culture dedicated to customer success and continuous improvement. Metrics like the Net Promoter Score and its underlying philosophy, the Net Promoter System, are also helpful here.
Stakeholder alignment ultimately prevents customer experience from being relegated to one departmental silo and instills it as a fundamental value of doing business. This can help gear an entire organization toward continuous improvement and, ultimately, success.
Key #3: Visibility
There’s another reason why it pays to make CX an organization-wide effort: visibility. Visibility goes a long way toward inspiring employees and departments to work in concert toward an improved experience.
As we just discussed, keeping CX initiatives cooped up within a single team or department actually makes executing those initiatives harder. Sure, organizations might attain some results, but making initiatives visible across departments enables those other groups to help work toward more ambitious goals and, again, inspires all employees (customer-facing and otherwise) to work toward a better experience and transformative achievement.
Key #4: Accountability
Focus and alignment can help a CX program proliferate—accountability helps ensure that the work actually gets done. This point begs little elaboration, but once brands focus and establish both goals and KPIs for their CX program, the stakeholders involved need to hold each other accountable if they hope to hit those goals.
More specifically, CX teams should establish a regular cadence for meeting, reviewing metrics, and looking for ways to adapt today’s progress to tomorrow’s CX goals. It’s key that stakeholders review KPIs, customer data, and financial and operational metrics at these times.
Key #5: Management
Focus, alignment, visibility, and accountability all feed directly into this fifth and most important element. Effective CX governance means effective management, which means defining a specific focus for a CX program, aligning all of the key players and resources, allowing CX enthusiasm to flourish organization-wide, and keeping those aforementioned players accountable.
All of this is easier said than done, and there’s no silver bullet for the job, but great CX management comes from effectively governing its four preceding elements. Organizations that can pull that off will reap the success they’ll need to (re)establish a foothold in the post-COVID world and beyond.