At some level, every organization understands the value of putting customers first. In a world where competitors can (and frequently do) copy products and undercut prices, deep, trusted customer relationships provide perhaps the only remaining competitive advantage that’s impossible to duplicate. But, of course, valuing customer relationships and creating them are two very different things. As organizations grow more sophisticated and complex, it becomes increasingly difficult to provide superior, loyalty-building experiences that transcend specific departments and locations.
So how do you move from good intentions and partial solutions to the kind of company-wide customer experience foundation that produces meaningful results? It’s an enormously complex question, but there are a few high-level principles and ideas that will help guide and inform your journey toward a more customer-centric business model.
1. Replace Company Centric with Customer Centric
Today, most business systems and processes are built to meet the needs of organizations, not customers. These systems are carefully designed to increase efficiency, lower costs, and meet specific operational requirements, but they’re often blind to important customer experience considerations. Ironically, many of these same systems and processes have the potential to contribute a wealth of valuable CX information and insights. By adding a strong CX component to your existing operational systems and processes – and then feeding data from those systems into a central CX data collection and analysis engine – you can start to turn every part of your business into a unified source of customer information that leads to deeper customer understanding and insights.
2. Consistency Is King
Most businesses can point to pockets of customer experience success. But replicating that success consistently across the entire organization is a much more difficult task. According to the director of customer experience for a leading financial services firm, “[We] were paying lots of attention to the end customer, but we did not have consistent methods of understanding the customer experience and measuring customer engagement and loyalty. To broaden our customer focus, we recognized that we needed better tools to measure NPS consistently and gather insights that would drive change across the organization.” Since then, this successful business has rolled out a comprehensive CX solution that promotes and enables a more consistent customer-centric culture across the entire organization.
3. Outcomes Are Everything
The ultimate measure of any CX program’s success is the degree to which it impacts real business outcomes. But, of course, making that direct connection between your CX efforts and tangible business results requires a CX solution that can collect and analyze customer data from every meaningful touch point, transform it into meaningful business insights, and then deliver those insights to the people who need them. This broad, technology-driven, closed-loop approach is what ultimately enables CX programs to deliver real business results on a continual basis.
4. Times Have Changed
In the past, businesses relied on traditional customer research programs to gather data – and then used software primarily to present the results. Today, that model is hopelessly obsolete. Of course, traditional research still plays an essential role in accurately measuring customer attitudes, satisfaction, and loyalty. But with customer feedback and information flooding in from literally thousands of solicited and unsolicited touch points every day, a robust, comprehensive CX technology platform is the only realistic way to collect, normalize, analyze, and understand all of the customer feedback across your entire organization. With this new technology-driven model, formal customer research feeds, informs, and contributes to a much broader landscape of customer data, and robust new technology algorithms transform it all into meaningful, actionable insights.
Build a Customer-Centric Business with MaritzCX
MaritzCX is ready to help you make the essential shift from company centric to customer centric – with a comprehensive, unified, and modern CX foundation that’s designed to create better business outcomes across your entire organization. MaritzCX is the only customer experience company that combines one of the world’s most advanced CX software platforms with industry-leading research services and world-class CX and industry expertise – all working together to help you see important business issues and trends earlier, respond faster, and ultimately turn every customer experience into a clear competitive advantage.
Kelley K. Johnson is director of communications and content strategy at MaritzCX (www.maritzcx.com) and is the blog editor-in-chief at CX Café (www.cxcafe.maritzcx.com).
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere