Every company wants to achieve an excellent customer experience. Yet, if one looks at Forrester’s annual Customer Experience Index, one can see that very few companies are actually able to achieve the holy grail of high CX ratings.
So, then, how can organizations start moving toward optimal levels of the customer experience maturity? And once they’ve gotten there, how can they stay there? As with many business practices, achieving a goal means clearly defining it, understanding what actions it will take to get there, delineating affordable procedures that will make sure those actions are realized, and then guaranteeing that organization has the resources and drive to maintain achieved levels. In other words, it’s a design, implementation, and management issue.
Below, there are 5 important ways you can succeed at this complex task of using design, implementation, and management savvy to achieve the optimal customer experience maturity.
1. Think Design
In many ways, the future of customer experience lies in the intricacies and forward-thinking practices of a smart, comprehensive design. Before you can head out on the road toward the customer experience maturity, you’ve got to design what you think that road should look like, how it should feel, and where it should go. Driving blindly onward is only going to lead to a crash. For instance, if you’re in the business of web app development, and you want your app to have a great customer experience, then you’ve got to start your design with that in mind. In other words, customer experience is the result and the goal, not just some byproduct, of the design that is tailored to producing an amazing customer experience.
2. Know Thy Customer
Of course, to truly build a great house, you need to know a lot about the people who are going to live there. Their heights, their habits, their wishes, their demands, their abilities, their handicaps, etc. In short, you’ve got to understand customers deeply by listening to who they are and what they want. Heading into the customer experience design without a solid sense of who you’re designing for is like building a speedboat for people who prefer to sail.
3. Measure, Measure, Measure
The quickest way for any business to waste its time is to not have measurement systems in place that can clearly show how much time is being wasted. While measurement is often the last thing companies get around due to how expensive and time-consuming it can be, setting up accurate and routinized measurement practices should actually be first on the budget list because it’s the one budget item that will save money on every other budget item. As you attempt to achieve the customer experience maturity, also be sure and measure how it’s going. Get data, crunch it, and respond structurally to it. You, and your customers, will thank you for it.
4. Assign Every Task
To really soar at customer experience, you’ve got to get specific about tasks. This is a management process that basically has its own mantra: “If there’s something to do, get someone to do it.” So much of the customer experience maturity is about not letting your customers fall through the institutional cracks you could have prevented by assigning every task. So start your customer experience maturity journey by detailing all the actions that will aid in optimal customer experience, then get the right person on the job, and then make sure you consistently manage their performance.
5. Customer-First Culture
The big picture of the customer experience excellence involves making sure the culture at your company, from top to bottom, is all about a customer-centric approach. Known as customer experience governance, this means a number of things. When new employees start, they need to be trained in the mindset of putting the customer first. As employees stay on, they need to be refreshed in this form of thinking. And in every company meeting and document, the idea that achieving a supreme customer experience is the best way to keep business going, needs to be front and center. If you can create a native and sustainable culture of attention to customer experience among your employees, you will go a long way toward making sure great customer experience actually happens.
That’s what it takes to achieve the customer experience maturity. It’s a lot of work, but the benefit is a thriving business.