Do you force customers to navigate your organization chart? The answer is probably "yes" - even though your company and your leaders have not have thought about this much.
When the silos are the starting point of actions and decisions, we force customers to knit together our actions. The experience we deliver is not deliberate, but rather the defaulted outcome of each silo acting and measuring actions separately.
Customer experience efforts hit the wall for many companies because they sync to the silos. Answer these questions to determine how deliberate your company is:
- Is there company wide clarity for the emotions you want to earn from customers along each stage of your customer journey?
- Have you identified what customers need to accomplish to perceive value in each stage?
- Do you start with customers' lives or the silo objectives in planning, budgeting, and reviewing 'success' in activities and actions?
Deliberate companies, on the other hand
* Are clear about their higher purpose in serving and supporting customers' lives.Focus actions and priorities by imagining the customer experiencing an outcome.
* Are clear about what they will and will not do to support a customer or enable an employee to deliver value.
* As a result, the deliberate companies are not the outcome of each silo doing their own thing, but rather show up to the customer as a united set of interactions that improve their lives. This earns social media accolades; it earns recommendations and business growth.
Deliberate Customer Centricity Can Be Achieved.
True customer experience improvement that earns customer growth can be achieved. But you can't get there if you don't change the starting point of leadership conversations, silo based conversations, and priorities of the business. People are often baffled that they can't make traction in this work. And the reason is that they have not addressed the important work of uniting the silos in one deliberate and united direction.
Here's An Action For Deliberate Customer-Driven Growth
This change is not going to happen overnight. But here's one action that you can begin doing that starts to unite the organization and establish some behavior patterns for how you will and will not grow your business.
I call this building your "code of conduct," which is a proven practice from my book, Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine. We've been using this around the world to unite the C-suite and give people permission to be deliberate about improving customers' lives.
Get your organization together to build a deliberate path of actions and behaviors across your customer experience stages. Define them as what we must "always" do to earn customer trust and value and what we will "never" do to lose customer trust and erode value.
Then do the same thing for employees as they deliver to customers across that same set of journey stages.
It's critical that you don't turn this into a "one and done" session, but that these standards for deliberate behavior are woven into how your company behaves and conducts itself.
These "prove it to me" behaviors are critical if you want to earn customer-driven growth that is sustainable. Starting with a few simple actions in embedding deliberate behavior is a solid way to take this customer experience work from conceptual to operationally relevant across your organization.