Building Your Way To A More Customer-Centric Organization | USA
Building Your Way To A More Customer-Centric Organization

Amazon has a reputation as a leader in customer experience (CX) innovation, but it has not happened just because they have a great customer service team, it is an approach to the customer that comes from the top. Founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, still includes an extra chair at every management meeting to remind everyone on the team that the customer is there in the room with them.

This type of leadership is essential if you want to create an organization that truly values the customer and naturally creates a great customer experience. You simply cannot create great CX by relying only on the customer service team to deliver. This ignores the fact that customers interact with brands in many different ways – not just through service interactions. Every small interaction adds up to the entirety of the customer journey, and therefore the experience that the customer has.

Transforming your business to reflect this can be a daunting challenge. You can talk of vision and future states, but after those uplifting presentations and town hall meetings, will anything really change? Of course nothing will change, unless you have a real plan to change the entire organization.

But, you need more than just a project plan. More than just a team of consultants advising on the right systems, software, and training you will need to be a more customer-focused organization. You need building blocks that translate into both values and actions.

This CX transformation strategy published in Customer Think is a good summary of how to start. First you need to define all the building blocks that will go into the transformational change you want to see. This includes foundational blocks, such as culture, values, support from the executive team, and defining a mission. Then there will be the core block that defines the expected outcomes and the infrastructure required for change – the people, processes, and technology you need to change the organization.

One of the main challenges executives face today is that the customer journey has evolved to be far more than just post-sale service calls. Customer interactions today are engagements that build a long-term relationship. Thomas Reby of Google talked about this recently on the CX Files podcast and suggested that brands need to stop measuring customer interactions in minutes and start thinking about a 50-year ongoing interaction. Reby meant that the brand should be able to pick up on a customer conversation where the customer left it that last time, just like texting a friend and being able to see the most recent messages whether they were from 2 minutes ago or 2 weeks ago.

This creates a serious organizational challenge because it means that you need to create a combined customer interaction strategy. Any internal department that interacts with the customer needs to either be integrated or at least managed together – that means marketing, sales, customer service, Public Relations, Advertising, and any other team that directly interacts with customers.

The use of building blocks to design a CX transformation strategy is a great start. It helps to create a framework around a daunting challenge. Designing a more customer-centric organization can seem like such an enormous challenge in large organizations, but at the end of the day if the leadership really wants to change and they have a vision of how the future should look then it is possible.

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