How to Launch a Customer Experience Program in a Big Company

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Multiple Mergers Can Mean Migraine Sized Headaches

Trying to merge companies can lead to a customer experience mess.
Trying to merge companies can lead to a customer experience mess.
One of the biggest challenges in customer experience is aligning things internally so the customer’s experience externally is smooth and consistent.

Imagine how difficult that is when you’ve acquired hundreds of different companies and have to bring them all into a common brand!

That’s the situation Ben Easaw, Senior Director of Customer Experience at Thomson Reuters, faced not long ago. The company has some 50,000 employees spread over 100 countries.

Just think of all the different systems, attitudes, and customer expectations! How the heck do you bring all that together?

Should You Even Take the Job?

There’s not much hope of developing a successful customer experience program in that situation if you don’t have some pretty serious commitment from management. So if you are considering taking a position like Easaw’s, before you accept it, ask some tough questions to find out how committed the company really is.

Where to Start With the New Customer Experience Program?

To start on the right foot, you need to do a few key things:

Get to know the players

Who’s who in the various departments, and what are their goals and objectives. (We discussed this in episode 16 of the Frank Reactions podcast, with Reginald Chatman on how to win internal support for a customer experience program.)

Develop common terminology

Easaw found that “everybody seems to have a different definition of customer experience.” Depending on what your department does, you’ll see it in different ways. So you need to develop a common definition and vocabulary to work with.

Assemble a team

No customer experience program succeeds in a vacuum. You need representation from across the organization, and you’ll need an executive level sponsor or champion.

While some people assigned to such a team will start off skeptical, Easaw found that one on one conversations to understand what underlies their negativity can often turn them around.

And having some skeptics on your team is actually a good thing: it provides a reality check as you develop plans.

Dig for data

Find out what data exists, and start drilling into it for insights. Try connecting different sources of data across the organization to help you get a view of the overall customer experience, not just one department’s part of it.

Often there are plenty of people within the organization who know the key problems customers experience, but without the data assembled and organized to tell a convincing story, there is no way for them to prove their hunches.

Next Steps?

Hang in there. In a big company, customer experience improvement is a marathon, not a sprint.

To hear the podcast interview that went with the original version of this article that first appeared on the Frank Reactions blog, visit Http://frankreactions.com/83

Image credit: Pixabay

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