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:
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!