Are you considering implementing customer experience as a discipline inside your organization and wondering if a consultant is a worthwhile investment? Before you make your decision, decide if you need help in managing these five most common inhibitors that prevent companies from success in this work:
Often companies decide that they want to get some early traction by telling everyone to "focus on customer experience." What happens next is that people realize this is a big corporate priority and begin making plans and creating new scoreboards and taking action separately within their own operating areas. This is contrary to the discipline of company wide experience development and management. A lot of action occurs, executives get a "false positive" that action is occurring and traction is happening, but it eventually stalls out because the actions don't aggregate up to improve complete end-to-end customer experiences.
A good experience consultant will work with you and your executive team to:
- Reach agreement of the meaning and impact of customer experience transformation
- Decide how much your company can take on and the speed of the journey
- United communication from leaders on the path, and how it will unfold
- Create a path that is clear for the company to follow on how the work will be led and managed
Inhibitor 2: Not defining the customer experience and gaining alignment on the path of actions.
Many parts of an organization often independently map "their" portion of the customer journey, which means your company is not collectively focusing and prioritizing actions to fix and improve experiences. The organization needs to agree on the stages of the experience and the definitions of success. Defining the experience consistently and gaining alignment has major downstream implications if it's not done correctly and if the time is not done to get alignment.
A good customer experience consultant will work with you and a cross-functional team to:
- Build a company wide agreement of the framework for your customer experience journey
- Map a draft of touchpoints that comprise the customer experience journey
- Enlist correct resources to correlate experiences with varied methods of research on what is most important to customers and what they value
Inhibitor 3: Not breaking the work into actionable and repeatable competencies
Frequently companies take on too much work when they get on the customer experience band wagon. As a result, the infrastructure for creating an "evergreen" process for identifying issues and opportunities, aligning cross functional teams for improvement, and encouraging accountability aren't embedded into the DNA of how the company runs.
A good customer experience consultant will help you with the immediate and repeatable actions here:
Assist you in focusing the organization on committing to a few priorities to ensure success
Providing leaders with a new language set for talking about and driving accountability - based on your customers' journey
Help you build a repeatable process for
o listening to customer feedback
o building a cross-company competency for customer experience improvement
o implementing a monthly process for stepping through the life of a customer to drive focused, agreed upon actions
Inhibitor 4: Attaching early metrics to surveys rather than operational metrics people can impact
It's very enticing to jump to the outcome metrics such as survey scores. The challenge with this is that the outcome of a survey score is impacted by numerous factors, not all of which can be impacted by areas of the organization that are given the outcome metrics as their performance score. This can also drive behavior of chasing the score rather than working on the operation and processes that impact it.
A good customer experience consultant will help you to:
- Create a bridge between the priority experiences and the development of operational processes that require metrics to be identified and tracked with passion
- Communicate the importance of focusing on these experience metrics that impact the survey score first - to earn the right to the survey score
- Build out the competency for cross-functional experience mapping to identify the few most powerful process metrics to track
- Help you to introduce survey metrics that are most relevant for your organization, and educate on the most appropriate time to add those metrics to compensation and high-level score cards.
Inhibitor 5: Not having executives engaged in the effort.
Often executives will say that they want to focus on the customer experience - but they hand off the work to a department or area to work on. Leaders must commit to being personally involved beyond a perfunctory monthly "check in" meeting. They need to engage in the process of the work. Without executive involvement driving the new prioritization, driving out the actions that are in the way and giving people permission to work together, it's hard to sustain this work.
A good customer experience consultant will help you to:
- Build specific activities to engage leaders, such as having them call lost customers.
- Help you prepare communication for leaders to create continuity in messaging across your organization.
- Provide you the best approach for your organization to engage leaders into monthly stepping through the customer experience to continuously identify priorities and drive cross-company accountability.
- Help you rethink annual planning to start with the customer experience rather than silo-based individual priorities.