Our approach to customer experience elevates the issue to the corporate strategy level. Our specific point-of-view is as follows:
Customer experience impacts your top-line results.
This holds true even if company success is largely driven by offerings or cost advantage. Case studies show examples of Fortune 100 companies selling mature products in mature markets increasing revenue 2-6% – driven by improving and differentiating their customer experience.
Developing your unique customer experience strategy matters.
Having a customer experience strategy for your business is a critical step to moving past a general acknowledgement that customer experience is important. It must tie experience improvements to financial benefits, demonstrate support for existing strategies, and describe the changes required across traditional functional areas:
• HR (engagement, performance, retention)
• R&D (collaborative innovation, designing to fundamental needs instead of competitor parity)
• Marketing (Brand promises, product positioning)
• Sales (market positioning, price premiums, price elasticity)
• Service (retention, cross-selling, cost of sale)
• IT / Operations (prioritizing experience over cost)
The changes you must make are predictable.
Typical change management suggests that much about change is irrational and hard to predict. In practice, we find change is not only predictable but also measurable and manageable. Most change programs stall because organizations fail to consider the risks of implementing a change. A simple risk assessment at the outset can identify specific risks early and provide a practical set of actions that dramatically improve the odds of success.
To successfully change, you must go beyond installing new systems.
Many organizations “install” improvements – technology, organizational changes, processes, and data – but are surprised when behavioral resistance blocks the anticipated benefits. In addition to installing changes, you must change the way people behave. Executives who fail to identify and manage the few critical behaviors that need to change will face an uphill battle. The biggest difference between successful and unsuccessful change efforts is breaking past installation to achieve value realization.
If you want sustainable revenue increases, customer experiences must continuously improve.
While executive sponsors are necessary, succeeding at change means activating influencers across multiple functional areas and at multiple levels of the organization. Although direct line managers traditionally have the greatest influence over individual behaviors, organizations frequently operate under a matrix structure. Key influencers at multiple levels of the organization must be identified and engaged to support effective change adoption. Finally, the health of the influencer network must be continuously monitored to ensure strong support for the change initiative across organizational functions.