Becoming customer-centric doesn’t just happen. It begins with a vision which, over time, becomes a fully-immersive reason for and way of doing business. It’s more than an initiative—it’s a business discipline—a way of life within a brand. Here are five key areas that serve as building blocks for infusing customer centricity into your brand.
Vision: A vision is not simply a mission statement; it should specifically tie to your brand’s promise and guiding values. It should be clearly defined and communicated to employees and understood—and expected—by customers. When you have a clear vision, you’re more likely to follow through, and more importantly, you’re motivated to improve.
Executive Commitment: In an ideal world, customer-centric culture and business practices begin at the top. In fact, researchers and analysts believe that if the CEO is not leading the CX conversation, then a company will never become a CX leader and reap the related benefits. CX professionals need to build a compelling business case that supports executive goals so that the relationship between CX success and the bottom line is evident.
People: Once you define your vision, it must be infused across hiring, training, coaching, and professional development to build and nurture a customer-centric culture for the long run. Your vision should help define the specific behaviors and traits of employees required to deliver on the brand promise. This means shifting hiring practices from a skill-based to a personality-fit mindset so you can hire within the scope of your company’s CX vision.
Environment: Maintaining a customer-centered company takes a comprehensive commitment, and incentives that match those objectives. Find ways to recognize people for upholding the brand’s promise and reward those who continually strive to improve the customer experience. Also, design KPIs, track net promoter score, and establish communication and recognition programs to reinforce the message that you both hear and heed employee contributions.
Communication: A vision is only effective as the way it is communicated throughout the organization, and to the world. Internally, discuss expectations, listen to the voice of the customer, list challenges, and recognize successes constantly.. There must be continuous follow up and clear, consistent communication to all employees. Externally, publicly state and provide updates to investors, analysts, media, and other external stakeholders regarding CX efforts and their impact on the business. This not only brings you credit where it’s due and ensures future accountability, but helps attract the right kind of employees—and customers—to your business.
Cultivating CX-centric DNA is not only essential to creating lasting relationships with your customers, but it is also a foundational pillar for a successful CX Strategy.