Who Owns Your CX Program? (Hint: It’s Everyone)

In my last post, we discussed the difference between interactions, engagement, and customer experience.  Now, I’d like to dive deeper into customer experience and the role everyone in your organization plays in delivering that experience. You heard me right: not one department owns the customer experience—it’s every department!

I often talk about customer experience lying at the intersection of communications, operations, technology, and employees.  Which really means it encompasses all aspects of your organization.  As Jan Carlzon, former CEO of Scandinavian airline SAS, once said, “If you’re not serving the customer, your job is to be serving someone who is.”

Every Team Owns Part of the Customer Experience

Marketing and Sales have to correctly position your products and services, and set proper expectations for how customers can use them and, more importantly, what benefit(s) they will derive.  Operations then has to deliver an experience that matches, or better yet, exceeds those expectations.  

All of these teams are supported by HR in terms of the people they hire and how they onboard and train them.  The org is also supported by IT and the technology platforms—such as apps and websites—that customers can use, as well as the internal systems that enable employees to deliver a great experience.  And of course, Customer Care is the safety net if something goes wrong along the way.  

Let’s Take a Closer Look at Revenue Management/ Pricing

As Mr. Carlzon suggested, there are also supporting functions that are in service to those who serve the customer. The one supporting function that I’d like to consider in terms of the role it can play in the overall customer experience is Revenue Management or Pricing.  

Recently, I was stuck in the middle of a prime example of how pricing can impact the customer experience when my family and I tried a new burger place in town.  The burgers, Cajun fries, and parmesan truffle fries that we ordered at the counter were outstanding.  But 4 burgers, fries, and drinks set me back $75 (and I don’t live in NYC, Los Angeles, or San Francisco).  It made me consider the role that price plays in my perception of value and more importantly, my overall experience.  We enjoyed the food, but at that price point, we are not likely to return, or at a minimum, it won’t be the regular Friday night meal after a long week.

CX Success Is One Motion

In my previous role leading customer experience for Hertz, I was also responsible for Voice of the Customer, CRM, and Loyalty.  This was intentional, as we wanted to closely tie together:

  • Understanding customer needs, wants and expectations (VOC)
  • Experience design to meet/exceed those expectations (CX)
  • Delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time (CRM)
  • Member acquisition, retention and frequency to drive business growth (Loyalty)

We also had a Customer Experience Council to engage the rest of the organization.  This governance component is critical to ensuring alignment and accountability in the organization around the customer experience.  Nearly all companies are organized around functional silos—sales, marketing, operations, pricing, finance, HR, IT, etc.  But the customer doesn’t care about your org structure, and managing the customer experience requires a shared understanding of customer expectations, and clean communications and executional handoffs between functions. 

At InMoment, our Continuous Improvement Framework has 5 stages: 

  1. Design
  2. Listen
  3. Understand
  4. Transform
  5. Realize 

Too many companies get stuck in the Listen and Understand phases because they are too focused on capturing and analyzing customer feedback and not focused enough (or organized properly) to take action on the data and then measure the ROI improvements from those actions. 

The organization component here is key. To make sure that you are facilitating transformational action across the org that will lead to tangible experience improvement, you must consider your internal communication methods and your organizational orientation and compare it to the customer experience.

Want to learn more about how you can put in place foundational tools that facilitate CX transformation? Check out Eric’s recent webinar “CX Transformation: The Key to a Truly Valuable CX Program” here and learn how to organize, action plan, and manage your portfolio for success!

How to Ensure Your Brand Promise and Customer Experience Are Always Aligned

One of the toughest challenges that many brands face is making sure that what they promise lines up with what their customers are experiencing. This alignment is huge for attracting new customers, keeping your current ones, cross-selling to your customer base, and lowering cost to serve. Brands want to succeed for themselves and their customers, so keeping these elements aligned is crucial. However, it’s not always easy.

If you’re looking to make sure your brand promise syncs with your customer experience, never fear! We’ve got a few quick steps you can run through to double-check that everything’s in order:

  1. What is Your Brand Promising?
  2. What is Your Brand Delivering?
  3. What Do Customers Think?

Step #1: What is Your Brand Promising?

This step isn’t as simple as booting up an ad or reading your brand’s website. Those things are important, yes, but be sure to get your marketing and customer experience folks together as you consider this question. Having these two perspectives in the same room is vital to assessing what your brand is promising. Marketing teams offer up ideal goals. Customer experience teams assess how well things are going on the ground.

It’s always good for these two teams to be aligned anyway, but take the time to hash out what exactly your brand is promising. Don’t be afraid to go beyond slogans; take a close look at your organization’s product promise and how it’s being transmitted to customers.

Step #2: What is Your Brand Delivering?

This step is another reason it’s so important to get your CX team on the line for this brand alignment chat. Making a brand promise is one thing, but a CX team will quickly tell you how well that’s playing out in customer interactions. This gives both CX and marketing teams a chance to see where things aren’t quite lining up between brand promise and customer experiences (and gets a good conversation going about solutions).

Step #3: What Do Customers Think?

Your CX team’s perspective is important, but when it comes to evaluating experiences, nothing beats seeing things through your customer’s eyes. What are customers saying about how and why they interact with your brand? How do they feel about the experience you deliver? Is your experience consistent at every touchpoint?

Questions like these go a long way toward spotting the gap between brand alignment and customer experience. More importantly, they give brands a chance to see where things could be better and to shape those touchpoints up. With this process handy, brands can work to align what they promise with what they deliver, creating a better experience for their customers and stronger bottom lines for themselves.

Click here to learn more about the crucial link between CX and marketing, and how uniting those perspectives can transform your entire brand!

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