Customer experience and the business case


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Business cases are reviewed, accepted or rejected based on a set of criteria that seldom includes any customer metrics or goals. Worse, customer targets are not the primary drivers for measuring business performance. Understanding the customer experience and acting on it requires a comprehensive approach that links the experience with the organisational consequences.

Connect the different elements of the organisation that customers experience
Customers experience a combination of staff engagement, internal processes and systems. In most organisations responsibilities for these areas is fragmented across the organisation and connecting them requires a broad framework. Such a proof-model can help organisations measure the customer experience and relate it to business objectives as well as understanding the impact on the internal organisation.

Customer experience is not customer satisfaction
Due to the bias for transactions customer satisfaction surveys, questionnaires and polls provide a fragmented view of the customers and reasons for (dis)satisfaction. Organisations struggle to understand customers’ experience when it is is based on multiple interactions and outside influences. Best is to measure how positive, or negative the customer experience is at key points in the customer lifecycle.

Queue_02 Customers experience a combination of staff engagement, internal processes and systems

Staff can change the outcomes for the customers
Employees exert tremendous influence on customers’ experience. They are either an connection or a barrier between an organisation and its customers. It is therefore important to measure and understand how to improve staff experiences and identify drivers of behaviour. Changing behaviour usually requires a combination of operational efficiencies, training and higher staff engagement.

Companies that prioritize the customer experience generate 60% higher profits than their competitors.

Determine overall impact on the business
Making a case for improving customer experience requires insights into how this will improve the overall business. Unfortunately improving transactions does not automatically lead to more business. It usually requires connecting improvements in one area – for example customer onboarding – to results in other areas i.e. fewer incidents. Without this connection, performance in one area of the business can hinder growth in other parts.

Know who is impacted in organisations
Changes in organisations have direct and indirect impact on at least one part of the organisation. Early identification of the internal departments and roles that are affected is just as important as understanding the level of impact. Knowing the key challenges and blocking issues for different functions allows for the identification of issues that need to be resolved in order to move the organisation forward.

A customer is 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related vs. price or product related.

System and process implications
Most customer experiences are a result of systems and processes. Keeping a sharp focus on what affects the experience helps us define and design the changes in systems and process. How the customer experience connects to systems and processes is fluid as organisations and customers keep changing their relations and interactions.

Proving value is not about numbers
Building a strong business case does not lead to great business success based on a great customer experience. Customers’ experience is strongly influenced by the staff experience and improving this has impact on the overall business, as well as supporting processes and systems. A broad proof model is required to measure and influence customer behaviour and aligning this with business performance.

Melvin Brand Flu
Melvin Brand Flu is an author, business, and strategy consultant with over 30 years of experience working for startups to global brands and governments. He advises management and leads projects on the cutting edge of business and technical innovation in industries ranging from telecommunication and financial services to the public sector and insurance.


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