Does your vision for customer experience match your customers’ vision? If yes, then you’re on your way to customer-centricity, and the growth touted by customer experience management. If your answer is “kinda”, then you’ll be leaving money on the table. Customers are the source of paychecks, budgets and dividends. Being in-sync with the hand that feeds you is common sense that may not be common practice.

Inconsistent vision means inconsistent value:

  • Does your customer experience vision, as a facilitator within your company, match the C-team’s customer experience vision? Are they on the same page with you?
  • Furthermore, is everyone on the same page about customer experience within the C-suite?
  • Different visions for customer experience at different locations of your company presents a variety of problems.
  • And sometimes customer-facing staff has a distinct customer experience vision that is at odds with their upstream value chain (engineering, IT, finance, production, marketing, supplier management, etc.).

Consistency is the key. Jumbled perspectives translate to jumbled outcomes. Shared vision is the first step to minimizing chaos, building trust, and maximizing value.

Shared Vision
A common way of establishing shared vision for customer experience is to declare a target Net Promoter ScoreTM or First Contact Resolution percentage or customer retention rate. The risk with this approach is pursuit of the target by any means. What’s needed over and above a number target is a clear description of how you hope customers will feel and think — throughout the customer life cycle and the customer experience journey. This becomes your brand promise. In turn, this description becomes a guide for how your whole company needs to think and do. This is your blueprint for customer-centric culture.

In fact, instead of starting off your customer experience strategic planning with voice-of-the-customer targets and methodologies, you’ll gain more value by starting off with defining what’s needed from every part of your company to consistently deliver your brand promise.

Customer experience context should be crystal clear for every job role. A free pass to any group, including suppliers and alliance and channel partners, is a doorway to inconsistency and lost value. Giving free passes is skin-deep outside-in culture. Everyone has a ripple effect on customer experience. Inconsistencies cause your customer-facing staff to act as a buffer. This takes a toll on morale and staff turnover, which erodes value financially and strategically (e.g. knowledge management and relationship-building).

Customer experience vision silos are perpetuated by assumptions, metrics, and processes that aren’t in-sync with the customer experience journey and life cycle. Customer experience goals should inform corporate strategy, organizational structure, and culture-building. Why? Because customers pay for everything you are. It’s about getting in-sync with the hand that feeds you. Mis-matches between your customer experience vision and your company’s overall strategy and structure perpetuate weaknesses in shared vision — and limit growth.

Customer Experience Management Vision Silos
An important reality-check is an assessment of whether the way customer experience is managed is a contributor or limiter of customer experience excellence.

  • Do your surveys interrupt customers or allow them to give feedback however and whenever they prefer?
  • Does your voice of the customer (VoC) portfolio require customers to step into your shoes or the shoes of your supervisor to evaluate you, or does it allow them to talk about their own world?
  • Does your customer relationship management (CRM) software focus on upselling and cross-selling or does it minimize repetition for customers and strengthen relationships?
  • Does your customer loyalty and engagement programs emphasize volume purchases and evangelizing your brand or creating mutual value?
  • Does your employee engagement strategy reward busy-work or emphasize employer affinity, or does it meaningfully engage employees in making a difference for customers’ well-being?

This reality-check answers the first question in this article: Does your vision for customer experience match your customers’ vision? If your answer is “yes” to the first option in any of these assessment questions, you’re limiting the value you could otherwise be reaping.

Create shared vision between your customers’ definition of customer-centricity and your customer experience management practices. Bridge silos across everyone’s vision of customer experience excellence throughout your company and beyond. Consistency will propel the growth you’re seeking.

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