How to Achieve Cultural Alignment Around the Customer Experience

Achieving cultural alignment around the customer experience starts with changing behaviors. Until people inside the company change what they are doing, the experience customers have will not change either. In our research we have identified seven practices that customer-centric companies do, and do consistently, that separate them from their company-centric counterparts. The following is a list of best practice behaviors that create the customer-centric culture needed to achieve your customer experience vision.

Practice #1: Make Customers Central to the Mission

Best Practice Behaviors:

  • Write the customer into your mission statement
  • Make a public announcement around new customer experience efforts
  • Define guiding principles that will direct how leaders, managers and employees will bring the customer experience vision to life

Practice #2: Focus on Highly Loyal Customers

Best Practice Behaviors:

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  • Send thank you notes to your most loyal customers
  • Trade in your satisfaction metric for a more stringent measure of customer love or willingness to recommend
  • Use customer feedback to understand how you can replicate experiences that create loyal customers

Practice #3: Invite Customers to Give Feedback

Best Practice Behaviors:

  • Implement Voice of the Customer software that will allow for ongoing tracking of the customer experience
  • Make it easy for managers and employees to take action on the customer feedback that comes in

Practice #4: Invite Employees to Share Ideas and Suggestions on Improving the Customer Experience

Best Practice Behaviors:

  • Use the anonymity of online focus groups to better understand the sensitive internal barriers that could be damaging your customer experience
  • Conduct in-depth interviews to assess if your culture is ready to deliver the desired customer experience
  • Measure Employee Engagement and give managers the tools needed to take action on their feedback

Practice #5: Provide Employees with the Necessary Resources to Solve Customer Problems

Best Practice Behaviors:

  • Remove internal metrics more focused on efficiency and productivity than customer delight
  • Make sure employees have the tools they need to do great work

Practice #6: Share Customer Feedback with Employees

Best Practice Behaviors:

  • Use consistent shift meetings to regularly report on the customer experience
  • Create regular reporting structures that support operationalizing customer feedback
  • Provide regular updates from executives on how customer feedback is being used to guide strategic decision making

Practice #7: Tell Employees When They Have Done a Good Job Serving Customers

Best Practice Behaviors:

  • Use your customer feedback survey to ask customers if an employee went above and beyond for them
  • Create a Recognition Wall filled with positive feedback from customers
  • Celebrate your Brand Ambassadors who consistently delight your customers

Photo credit: esther** / / CC BY-NC-SA

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