Customer Experience (CX)
Mean It Many firms have ill-defined their purpose, usually mentioning terms like we want to be loved or most trusted. The problem with this is that without clear directionality, how can your brand execute the right behaviors?
For instance, I worked with one Indian firm that clearly stated their intent: to be the most loved brand. Now with words like that, you have to question whether this is really all lip-serving; but never mind at least they were thinking customer. Except that when it came down to brass tacks, ‘love’ was not an invested behavior. There was no response to data that demonstrated a failure at the customer service and billing end and there was no interest in connecting network engineers to the CX stakeholders.
Clearly, ‘most loved’ meant nothing at all! And I think the reason for this had been again the rush to purpose. There had been no unfreezing of the organization and the inculcation of a platform for cultural change and learning prior to throwing marketing concepts out there and hoping for the best. This for me is a fatal mistake: you need to start inside the organization before you can hope to do CX.
Mindset Change: Be Consistent While Maintaining Flexibility
McDonald’s and Disney are brands with clear directionality and consistency of approach. They understand that it’s what you do that really matters, the behavior’s not the metric. Contrast this with brands that are either too strict in defining their criteria – hence failing to evolve and see how markets change – or lack consistency to define and drive through a clear CX approach. Finding this balance is crucial. Who wants to work 194 Customer Experience Management Rebooted in a firm which gives you no room to breathe and likewise how many customers want to pay for a brand experience in one store only to find it’s different in another.
In one Thai-based operator, for instance, I found their CX programs completely disjointed and all over the place, a bit of support here, a bit of money there, a head of CX with no power but under the remit of the call Centre manager. This does not help spread belief in the program. Likewise with a Dutch telco, a UK financial services provider and a global transportation company, a bits and pieces CX approach was enacted. In this environment, without leadership traction, any efforts will die from disillusionment.
Mindset Change: Focus on Customer Value (Move the Curve Not the Metric)
What is important is a mindset focused on investing in improving the customer value (to cost) equation. Bearing in mind that much of what is ‘of value’ is ill-reflected in traditional driver analytics which tends to ill-consider fleeting affects (modulators, emotion, the nonconscious); and just as important fails in its focus on ‘as is’ drivers to consider that these may lack differentiation (all operators offer good network reliability) and that the same score could drive different value as they mean something different, as in Harrods’ food quality is 8 out of 10 as it is in Sainsbury’s but each number means something different.
Author STEVEN WALDEN,