Three Key Success Factors to Transform Your Customer Experience

By Jim Sinur

(Aragon Research) – Are you proud of your customer experience? Most top executives are not!

According to a recent Harvard Business Review Analytic Services study with in-depth interviews involving 680 top performing executives, there is a lot to be desired: only 15% of the executives thought their customer experience was very effective. And perhaps those that thought so were basing their opinion on internal organization-created surveys.

How would you rate your customer experience?

The study found there were three key success factors for customer experience transformation: 1) a customer centric culture, 2) management/leadership buy in, and 3) getting real visibility into the actual customer experience.

1. Customer-Centric Culture

While 90% of the executives in the aforementioned survey believed that a customer-centric culture was important, only 45% thought they were effective. If you speak with the employees, however, I think you mind find the 45%  number is perhaps a bit inflated.

While CEOs and top executives often tout the importance of a customer-centric culture, this mantra often gets diluted by  the time it reaches the actual customer experience. Often, customer service representatives serve as the shock absorbers between poor customer journeys supported by tired processes, systems, and the actual customers. To combat this, organizations need to take a good look at their customer journey and redesign that journey, if necessary, in order to improve how processes, systems, and people interact with customers. This starts with customer journey mapping, something I will be speaking about in depth during my upcoming webinar.

2. Management/Leadership Buy-In

88% of executives surveyed thought leadership buy-in was key, but only 49% thought they were effective—this is because nobody really measures it and gets rewards based on real customer satisfaction. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) are not the real measures in a standalone way. There are other measures to track and reward. Of, course all executives want customer satisfaction, but this becomes lip service under fire. If it was important, it would be a bonus/reward factor for everyone.

3. Visibility and Real Understanding

This is where the survey hit the skids. While 87% of executives said that visibility was important, only 35% said they were effective at visibility. Three-quarters of companies were not able to act on the majority of data they collect because of disjointed systems and artificial stove pipes. Only 13% had a single source of customer intelligence—even though 30% were pursuing it. I would also guess few performed customer journey analysis in this mix, which is the key to obtaining insights into the customer experience in order to improve it.

Bottom Line

Customer Experience is a crucial step in Digital Transformation that can’t be skipped or band-aided for long. If executives were serious about customer journey mapping and mining, technology vendors would be over loaded with new business—but this is not the case yet.

If you’re interested in continuing this conversation and improving your customer experience, I invite you to join me next week on September 22nd as I show you how specialized Customer Journey Mapping technologies can help organizations identify pain points in customer journeys faster through digitally supported journey maps.

Source of the study mentioned in this blog: Harvard Business Review Analytic Services Survey, April 2017.