So you’ve got a great understanding of who your customer is. You know their demographics, their lifestyles, their preferences and behaviours.
You’ve mapped out the customer journey, so you’ve got a handle on your customers’ ‘moments of truth’. You’ve worked out which touchpoints don’t add value and you’ve spotted where there’s excessive customer effort.
The findings have been presented to the exec board and they’ve given their support. Resource has been assigned and the prioritised plan is in place. Brilliant.
So you’re on it.
There are some easy wins; low hanging fruit. Those bits that get easy buy in and have a strong impact. Efficiencies have been made, process re engineering has been achieved and repositioning of customer messaging is in place. You’ve spent the first few months nailing a chunk of stuff and everyone’s happy with what’s been achieved so far.
But hang on. What’s this? Something lurking in the background, waiting for the end of the honeymoon period?
This is the bit you really need to watch out for if you want your new bright and shiny customer-led organisation to stay that way. It’s the crucial bit where the ability to foresee and prevent common pitfalls is vital.
One Year On: 5 Common Barriers to Fully Embedding a Customer-led Culture:
- The exec team, although initially supportive of the concept, they’re now ready for the next big thing. They wanted to impress shareholders at the time and saw customer experience as a great ‘initiative’. After the initial flurry, priorities shift.
Your initial strategy needs to acknowledge this risk and there should be some longer term milestones in place. Whoever is heading this baby up, must also be influential and visible to ensure they maintain top level support and momentum.
- Individual insecurities can be heightened by any questioning of their status quo. They were originally supportive because they were told to be. If you handled this badly during your initial flurry of activity, you could now be viewed as interfering.
If you involve, value and collaborate with your stakeholders from the very start and really work on your relationship with them, they’ll stay behind you.
- Contact centres often have long-held approaches that are at odds with a great customer experience. Persuading them to let go of stuff they’ve been doing for years can be a challenge. If you shoved something at them at the initial stages without getting full buy in, somebody will eventually hit the ‘reset to factory settings’ and they’ll go back to what they’re comfortable with.
You must engage the training team and call centre management from the off. Don’t ever lose interest in these people. It’s crucial that they understand and back what you’re trying to achieve.
- Ownership of some areas can be a bit ambiguous (One of the most common ones I’ve come across is the IVR, which is why customers experience a patchwork of “Please press 1 for…”). If you put improvements in place and didn’t find a true owner, other fingers will get into the pie and sooner or later all your hard work will be unravelled.
If there isn’t a clear owner, either get one assigned or, if it’s feasible, own it yourself
- Your organisation doesn’t have a clear set of values. Staff don’t get targeted against these values and certainly not on customer outcomes. You can do all the sexy stuff you want on customer experience, but if these basic foundations aren’t in place, embedding a customer-led culture will be an uphill struggle and you’ll eventually fail
Before you try and roll out anything, you need to make sure a strong set of company values are in place and that everyone at every level has a good set of objectives that genuinely drive this stuff
If your organisation is serious about offering a great customer experience for the long run, then you must get the right person and the right strategy in place from the very start