Earlier this month, I had the privilege of moderating an attendee discussion at Walker Information's B-to-B Customer Experience Summit in Denver on best practices and challenges around communicating customer experience initiatives across the enterprise. Constant communication to senior executives and employees is vital for ensuring that customer experience initiatives are visible, that they don't get lost amongst other corporate programs, and to safeguard that customer centricity is ingrained in the company culture. But crafting the right communications strategies can be daunting for customer experience leaders, particularly when communications isn't their forte.Some attendees say a key challenge getting is a communications plan off the ground. At least one fifth of the attendees in our 25-person discussion group say they either don't have a formal communications plan in place or hadn't even considered creating one until they arrived at the event.
Many customer experience practitioners I met at the conference come from a variety of different roles. Some said they've been "volunteered" to work on cx initiatives in addition to their full time roles. Many admitted that they simply don't have experience in communicating results.
To address this, some participants in the discussion group said they have one or more members of the company's marketing organization on their cx teams to help craft communications. Others are partnering with marketing team members to run copy past them or to get their guidance on effective communications tactics.
One attendee in our group talked about the challenge of getting customer experience results in front of the CEO since his team is competing for attention with other organizational initiatives.
Members of the discussion group offered a few suggestions, including partnering with a customer experience advocate such as an influential executive who would be willing to share cx results with the CEO.
Another attendee mentioned how she and her team use video presentations in quarterly all-hands meetings to engage people from across the organization about cx initiatives and the results that are being obtained.
A few participants from the discussion group stressed the importance of advertising and branding customer experience programs to help stakeholders recognize what's being done internally to address customer experience.
Patrick Gibbons, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Walker Information, shared the importance of storytelling to get critical points across. This includes weaving in a personal story about a customer, a challenge they may have encountered and how it was ultimately resolved. Storytelling can be an extremely effective technique that resonates well with people.
While launching a customer experience communications plan can seem intimidating to many practitioners, partnering with the right allies and brainstorming with others who have practical knowledge can be quite helpful.