How to Get Everyone Working to the Same Customer Experience Goal

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I am sure that you find a big challenge in the subject of Customers Experience is getting all parts of an organization to work together. A lack of coordination between departments is normally a one of the many causes of a poor experience and causes gaps / overlaps appear.

As I reflect back to my 25 years working in blue chip companies the reality is people are naturally very focused on their own department, overcoming their challenges, and working to achieve their targets. But who looks at the overall experience of the Customer?

It is vital for any organization trying to improve their overall experience look across the whole Customer journey either by appointing a person, a team or establish a mechanism where this review can take place. Without this the experience will be uncoordinated and will incur additional costs. For example one of our Utility clients was trying to improve their Customer Experience. We discovered their call centre was very focused on speed in which they dealt with the Customer, getting them on and off the phone as fast as possible to meet their targets.

Upon researching the Customer Experience the fact that this was the root cause of an overall poor experience was noticed but was not their concern.

The Customer was contacting the call centre and reporting a fault. The agent took the information and past this to the engineers to visit the Customer. On too many occasions the Engineers arrived with little information and did not have the right tools, as the fault was not investigated thoroughly by the Call centre. This meant the Engineer needed to revisit. The Customer was upset as they needed to take more time off work to be at home for their visit.

The economic are simple. A call into the call centre is £ 3 ($ 5) an engineer’s visit £ 150 ($ 225). Thus by increasing the diagnosis by the Call centre saved a repeat visit by the Engineer. The Customer was happy as it is was completed the first time and the company saved money.

This is the type of cross department challenging issues that needs to be identified and solved.

In our experience a Customer Experience program is best achieved when an organizations establishes a regular Customer Experience Council. The purpose of this meeting is to bring together key people within the entire Customer journey to help improve the Customer Experience.

The objective of a Customer Experience Council is to:

+ Bring together all departments who impact the Customer Experience
+ Work as a team to improve the end to end Customer Experience
+ Ensure everyone understand the inter-dependencies between departments and the effect on the customers experience
+ Identify gaps and overlaps
+ Ensure everyone is creating the desired experience.
+ Review Customer data and measures making decisions to improve the experience
+ Prioritize activity

Who should attend?

Any part of the organization that affects the Customer, including outsourced suppliers.

In terms of personnel, this should be attended by people senior enough to make decisions and stick by them. They need to be able to understand the issues and understand the implications of any decisions being made.

What type of issues should be discussed?

+ Understand and record the end to end journey of a Customer not the organizations process
+ How the organization are performing against their Customer measures.
+ What can be done to improve the Customer Experience
+ How the individual departments are performing against their Customer measures
+ Deciding on initiatives to improve the Customer Experience
+ Prioritizing activity

What is best practice?

Typical Agenda

1. Actions from last meeting
2. Results of overall Customer satisfaction measures
3. Reports from the various departments on their Customer Satisfaction measures and what they are doing to improve the Customer Experience
4. Ensuring best practices are being cross fertilized
5. Review of current initiatives/programs
6. Review Customer measures
7. Prioritization and planning of future initiatives
8. Review of any Customer research taken place
9. AOB

By stabilizing this process people start to see the whole Customer journey and realize the impact they are having on the overall experience of the Customer. Through the right measurement, overlaps and gaps can be identified and opportunities to improve the experience can be worked on. Finally it is a signal to the rest of the organization that the Customer Experience is important.

Colin Shaw
Follow me on Twitter www.twitter.com/colinshaw_CX

7 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Colin,

    The challenge of getting the entire organization to embrace customer experience oriented strategies is huge. Recent research published by the CMO Council reports that 83% of marketers say they face change-resistant corporate cultures, conflicts and competition between internal constituencies, and a resistance to operational accountability, visibility and measurement.

    I like your idea of an integrated Customer Experience Council and would like to learn more about how you convince organization to start one. Then, once they start one, how do you keep the undercurrents of turf wars from undermining the real function.

    Clearly, facilitating organizational change is the major hurdle to overcome for those who believe in the business value of the customer experience. Most marketers can espouse the main tenets of being customer-centric. The same is true for people in support roles. Most don’t know how to implement change that trancends their immediate department. And, failure involve the whole organization marginalized the initiative.

    I how you will share you insight in future posts.

    John

    John I. Todor, Ph.D.

  2. Hi Colin,
    I very much applaud that you bring this up. Please don’t take this personal but I think your approach is doomed to fail. It is that old “get together, pretend you know, find a solution, tweak it for a while, and go for it. Boom – nothing happens. Well tweak the reporting until it looks good and go on to something else”.

    Now what is it that made me a bid sour?
    1) The MOST IMPORTANT PARTY – the C U S T O M E R is missing in your plot. They are the ones who not only contribute but should LEAD that process.
    2) You bring up “Customer Satisfaction” and “measure”. Not sure how you suggest to measure it but I can tell you – there CANNOT be any customer satisfaction. At best an OK feeling that “it isn’t that bad after all”. How can overly advertised and totally stretched marketing messages get to satisfaction? The best you can get is “Well it isn’t quite that fabulous but – who believes the marketing BS anyways”. For some it may be: “Customer satisfaction is if you haven’t gotten into a lawsuit” – not not sure that you subscribe to that 😉

    Just my intuitive response.

    @AxelS

  3. John

    Convincing an organization to undertake a CE Council, and then continuing it is an art in itself and a greatly dependent upon how many things. The top three things for me are:

    + The engagement of the leaders – are they serious about improving the CE?
    + The politics of the organization.
    + Whether the senior team “gets it”.

    We spend a great deal of time just getting people to understand what CE really means and the implications to their organization which is needed to make this type of thing fly. Hope this helps.

    Colin Shaw
    International Author. Lastest book “The DNA of Customer Experience”

    Blog: ExperienceClinic.com
    Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter/colinshaw_CX

  4. Thanks for your thoughts. The main purpose of getting this team together is that everyone starts to interact. The reporting mechanism is a part of this but a key part is the cultural side of getting people together to talk about the end to end Customer Experience. In this blog I have used Customer satisfaction as a generic term for Customer measurement. As you will be aware the whole area of Customer measurement is a complex one.

    Finally I have seen many companies implement this to good effect. So not all implementations are doomed to failure! 🙂

    Colin Shaw
    International Author. Lastest book “The DNA of Customer Experience”

    Blog: ExperienceClinic.com
    Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/colinshaw_CX

  5. Colin,

    Excellent article, excellent concepts. Whilst I also agree with one of the comments in that the customer needs to be involved (at least in B2B), the internal mechanisms must already and absolutely be in place. The CEC needs to be pro-active before it can be re-active.

    What still dumbfounds me, several years after we introduced our service management software concepts, is that so many organizations STILL do not involve the majority of people / departments in servicing the organisation and, therefore, its customers. I agree with John Todor – he is absoutely spot on with his very first sentence.

    While each department rightly has its own focus, an organisation as a whole must develop as a support community – cross department – to do whatever it takes to keep those customers. Implement the 80-20 rule: 80% of anyone’s job is their job, the other 20% is supporting the orgnaisation and its processes. We’ve always championed that support software must not only make the end user feel like they are simply walking down the hallway to ask a question of someone they know can solve their problem, but also give them the feeling that if their friend can’t solve it, then their friend knows someone who can. How extraordinary then, if that concept is in turn championed by the C.E.C.?

    Regards,
    Richard Stevenson
    http://www.cobblesoft.com
    “Because Service is Personal”

  6. Hi Colin,

    I strongly believe that taking care of your clients/customers is making good business. After all, who gets all the benefits if you have a happy clients/customers. Here at TryBPO – where I’m currently working, TRUST is the most important thing( How to Foster Trust with Your BPO Clients ) besides all the technical things we offer.

    The idea of forming a Customer Experience Council is a wise thing to do. I might suggest it to our boss.

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