In late November, I had the opportunity to fly to Stockholm, Sweden, to attend CX Transformation Nordics, a 3-day conference dedicated to all aspects and challenges of Customer Experience (CX) transformation.
It was terrific, but I didn’t see you there. Maybe you were taken hostage by your boss, spouse or kids? Maybe you are afraid of flying? Whatever the reason, no need to let FOMO bring you down: I braved endless nights and freezing snowy weather to get you the 10 key takeaways.
#1: Employee first, customer second
In any CX transformation, you will hear about the importance of putting the customer first. But, make no mistake: there is no way to deliver outstanding CX without engaged employees, united around a clear purpose, shared values, and aligned capabilities. There is a proven correlation between employee experience and customer experience.
So, take care of your employees first, so that they will know how to take care of your customers.
Don’t know where to start? Start with finding your why.
#2: CX as a brand signature
By trying to be all things to all people, you become nothing to anyone. That’s why good brands have the courage to stand for something.
Fixing pain points through isolated actions only goes halfway towards improving your CX. To elevate your experience to the brand level, you need to build a compelling brand with strong and authentic shared values and CX principles.
Then, and only then, will you become an experience-driven company, able to differentiate yourself with your brand experience and benefit from the full extent of the exponential growth generated by CX transformation.
#3: Measure, Measure, Measure & Repeat.
Taking actions is vain without systematic measures and follow up. For every action taken, you need to make sure of and understand its impact for the customer. Use whichever metrics are relevant to your company goal and to your “why” statement. Even though Net Promoter Score (NPS) seems to be a universal customer metric, creating your own metrics, such as a happiness index, or a love score, or whichever is most relevant to your context, might be the best way to go.
#4: Go beyond CXJM
Customer Experience Journey Mapping is a great tool to create and share understanding and insight about your customer experience. However, it can quickly turn out to be extremely complicated and overwhelming when you tend to be exhaustive. There are simply too many different journeys. Use Customer Experience Journey Mapping not for its own sake, but as a tool to create value. Always bear in mind that what matters in the end is not beautifully designed maps but a list of identified pain points upon which to act.
#5: Change is the sinews of war
The most challenging part of change is changing the hearts and minds of the people in your organization. To become a truly customer-centric brand, you need to instil passion for the customer into not only customer-facing employees, but into every employee. Changing their mindset requires linking the employee value proposition with the customer value proposition and connect each employee’s experience to the customer experience.
Change also requires a shared narrative that carries purpose, frequent injections of momentum, and trained and ready change ambassador.
#6: Make voices matter
Any CX transformation effort should consider implementing Voice programs to get feedback, monitor KPIs and share insights across the entire organization in real time. Such programs allow companies to get deeper insight by listening to the Voice of the Employee (VoE) and the Voice of the Customer (VoC) across multiple channels, and by pairing that feedback with other business and HR data.
Thanks to personalized dashboards, they empower every employee to make effective, better informed decisions that drive their company forward.
Almost all companies collect massive amounts of data and customer feedback, but very few use them to drive change.
Spending a lot of time to create relevant customer insights out of them is useless if you will not act on those insights. What matters is to decide which customer insights are important and meaningful and then carry out targeted actions.
# 8: Fail Early, Fail Fast, Fail Often
Taking action does not mean rushing to add large and costly projects in your roadmap for the next few years. It’s wiser to ideate and prototype potential solutions, then test them, to learn as much as possible about their customer impact. No need to build the real and fully functioning solution. Just fake it! Small investments make it okay to fail, and allow you to test a myriad ideas in an aggressive time frame.
It’s only when such a product or service test is successful that you should consider investing to build and scale the real thing.
To learn early, fast and often, always start with the customers, and end with the customers.
#9: CX Transformation as growth driver
All companies present at the conference testified that they have significantly grown their revenue and profitability for several consecutive years as a consequence of their CX transformation program. CX transformation is more an investment that drives growth of your company and accelerates future businesses than a cost saving approach.
As any investment, measuring ROI is key.
#10: Keep calm & build a business case
Customer experience programs can often be seen by senior management as fluffy initiatives, first to be cut when looking for cost reduction.
Since a CX program requires significant investment, it needs a clear business case to make executives understand its real and concrete value and gain their attention.
Like any other corporate initiative, a CX business case must demonstrate actual return on investment, not just benefits, to ensure executive buy-in.
Special bonus #11: Never underestimate the power of toilets.
During this 3-day conference, it turned out that a crucial element of customer experience, that is often overlooked, is a simple one: clean toilets. We all laughed a lot envisioning our speakers submitting their toilet projects to their C-Level.
But, let’s get serious for a minute! Even though creating WOW moments and new services is indeed key to improving your CX, they should not make you forget about fixing basics and finding solutions for continuous improvement. We should all have down-to-earth projects like this in our next year’s roadmap. And guess what? Fixing toilets does not require IT at all 😉
See you there next year!
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Customer Experience Manager