Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Did Your Company Make the #CX Naughty List This Year?


Image courtesy of miserablespice
I originally wrote today's post for Intradiem; it appeared on their blog on December 16, 2014. Two years later, it's still relevant!

'Tis the season... Santa's making his lists and checking them twice.

Oh no! Your company shows up on his CX Naughty List! What did you do wrong this year? In short, a lot.

There are (at least) five categories in which companies continue to fall down when it comes to the customer experience. For each category, I'll call out some of the most egregious reasons for being on Santa's CX Naughty List. Trust me, there are a lot more reasons; I could write a book about all of them.

1. Customer Culture
Customer Culture is all about setting the stage for successfully designing and delivering a great customer experience. If you don't have a leadership team who supports and drives a customer-centric culture, forget it; it won't happen. Here are a few things your company did or didn't do around developing a customer culture this year that caused you to land on the Naughty List.
  • You still don't understand the importance of focusing on the customer experience: your executives don't get it, but there are plenty of examples and statistics as to why focusing on the customer experience pays in spades.
  • You think and operate inside-out rather than outside-in: your focus is on processes that are designed and implemented based on internal thinking and intuition. The customer's needs and perspectives do not play a part in this type of thinking. You make decisions because you think it's what's best for the business.
  • You don't make the employee experience a priority: employee engagement is down, turnover is up, and you still question why you should focus on delivering a great employee experience.
  • You still think the purpose of a business is to maximize shareholder value: so that's how you prioritize your decisions and investments in the business, based on delivering a great rate of return for your shareholders. The real purpose of a business is to create (and nurture) a customer.
2. CX Strategy
CX Strategy refers to your approach to delivering a great customer experience. Some of the reasons you may have landed on Santa's Naughty List this year include:
  • You listen to customers but only focus on the metrics: instead of taking what you heard from customers and improving the experience, you decided to focus on the numbers and what moves the numbers. You promised your customers free oil changes if they rated you all 10s!
  • You don't have a customer experience vision: without a vision, you're left short-sighted when it comes to the customer experience.
  • You believe you already deliver a great customer experience: honestly, this is about short-sighted and egregious as it gets. Why? Because you don't.
3. Constituent Understanding
Do you know who your customers are? They might be partners and/or end customers/users. Why do they buy products and services from you? What are their needs? What problems are they trying to solve? What are they trying to achieve? You made the Naughty List because of the following.
  • You don't listen to your customers (or other constituents): you either don't understand why you should listen, or you don't care.
  • You don't know who your customers are: you've decided to focus on target segments instead of personas, when personas will get you closer to the customer and to a better customer experience design.
  • You don't map the customer journey: without mapping the journey, you truly don't understand what your customers are experiencing, which means "empathy" also isn't part of your vocabulary.
4. Analyze
Analyze is all about how you tease out meaning from your customer data. The following behaviors got you on the Naughty List this year.
  • You don't analyze unstructured data for insights and sentiment: there's so much richness in that unstructured feedback, but you've chosen to ignore it because it seems like too much work.
  • You focus on the wrong outcomes: there are a few different ways to look at this one, but in your case, you decided to focus on growing referrals, when it's not all that relevant to your business.
  • You don't tell a story with your data: you deliver dreadful charts and statistics to your employees, hoping they'll know what it means and how to apply it to delivering a great experience.
5. Operationalize
This is where the rubber meets the road. It's time to execute. It's time to improve and to deliver a great customer experience. You made the Naughty List based on this category due to a few shortcomings
  • You don't train employees on what it means to deliver a great experience: if they don't know what it means or what it looks like, how can they deliver it.
  • You develop products without understanding customer needs or what they are trying to achieve: you haven't listened to customers or tried to learn more about them; as a result, your products don't meet needs and frustrate customers.
  • You spend a lot of money on marketing to acquire new customers but can't keep the customers you currently have: it's a lot cheaper and easier to focus on the customers that you have than it is to acquire new ones; if you focus on delivering a great experience for the customers you have, they will help you acquire new ones.
  • You do nothing with the valuable feedback that your customers provide. Enough said.
Santa's hoping you'll do better next year! Focus on the things that matter to your customers and to your employees. Address the issues outlined above. And let's see if you make it to the Nice List in 2017.

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. –Oprah Winfrey

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