‘Customer-focus is important for certain job roles, but for other roles, we rely on our own wisdom.’ This is poisonous thinking when some parts of your company are excused from customer-focus.
When anyone in your organization is disconnected from customers, their decision-making may in fact interfere with your company’s customer centricity and ability to maximize value to and from customers. Certainly, customers aren’t expected to have the wisdom required to run your company — but the point is, that your wisdom in all areas should be guided by customers’ values and concerns. Like a set of dominoes, what happens in one part of the company has a ripple effect on customer-facing employees, and possibly on customers as well. Every group in your enterprise can benefit from understanding their own role in improving or hindering the customer experience.
How can every part of your organization get involved in customer experience management?
Idea #1: Relevant Customer Data Streams:
Stream relevant customer comments to each group on a regular basis — at least annually, but perhaps real-time. Based on that data stream, build a company tradition of creating group-specific customer experience improvement action plans, and monitoring action plan progress at least quarterly across the enterprise.
Idea #2: Big-Picture Connections to Customers:
Work your way backwards from customer touchpoints, to ‘peel the onion’, as the saying goes, identifying work groups that contribute one way or another to each touchpoint. Ask each group to identify what they do to help the successive layers toward the customer to be successful, from the customer’s viewpoint. Build awareness within each group of ways they strengthen or weaken the ripple effect on the customer touchpoint. And encourage ongoing creative thinking within groups to innovate policies, processes, and other aspects of their work in favor of superior customer experiences.
Your payoff will include stronger teamwork and employee morale, process synergy, improved customer centricity from the customer’s perspective, and less waste, enabling higher profitability.