We've written about customer experience in various blogs on this site and over at our sister website. Whilst some organisations view customers experience as a living, pervasive focus in their business that ensures ongoing transformation and customer-focused improvement, others see a customer experience programme as an executive initiative that makes a difference whilst it is running but that can be ignored as the business returns to normal.
Which group are you in?
To help you evaluate, why not take a step back and conduct a customer experience audit? By this we don't mean an audit of your customer experience but rather of the progress you are making in transforming it within your organisation.
We'd recommend you use a structured list of questions that allow you to evaluate your current delivery on a set of dimensions that are vital to your customer experience delivery.
There are no right or wrong questions, so long as the answers give you insight that you can use to improve. As a starter, think about some of the following:
Your stakeholder committment
Stakeholders across your organisation need to have the commitment to continue and sustain the customer experience transformation. They will need to contribute their time, their energy, their funding to make it happen. They will also need to be supportive of the programme of work and its future milestones. They will need to prioritise or deprioritise other initiatives to make it happen. Ask yourself critically how your stakeholders feel about your customer experience programme and whether it is truly on their radar right now?
Your customer understanding
You need to consider how you customer understanding has evolved as a result of your customer experience focus. Has your programme made a measurable difference? What information do you now have about your customers and how do you leverage it? What do your customer KPIs tell you and how has your performance improved over time?
Challenge the assumptions you might have made whilst developing your customer experience strategy. Are these assumptions still valid? Has your business and your operating environment moved on? How do they align to your current priorities and business needs? Make sure that you challenge yourself to think differently and approach your previous programme from a fresh perspective. Consider benchmarking your programme against others or taking on board new learning and ideas on what might work.
Your processes and delivery model
One of the aspects that challenges many organisations is their organisational silos and internal blockers between different departments, teams and priorities. We've written before about the need to break these barriers down to allow your organisation to deliver a true multi-channel customer experience. What's more you need to ensure that your organisational structure is clear and supports your desired customer experience as much as possible. This should include operating procedures, operational roles and responsibilities and the way in which your employees deliver against your overall priorities, of which your customer experience is ideally part.
Your customer experience strategy needs to resonate with employees at all levels of your organisation. It shouldn't be a programme that is done to them, or seems as something that managers did sitting around in workshops they weren't involved in. Rather they need to understand what it means for them, what actions they need to take as a result and experience the role modelling of the behaviours needed to make the change.
What to do
A good audit is taken at a point in time and is ideally part of a systematic review. It needs to be conducted by people who don't have an agenda and ideally aren't too close to your programme but understand it. It is best conducted if it provides an open and honest assessment of where you are at now and where you need to go. You can then think about what needs to be put in place to close the gaps and either get things back on track or accelerate the good things that you are doing. It is best if the output is a set of actionable goals and a plan that you can put in place to deliver on them.
How we can help
Leadent Digital helps organisations to achieve transformational change. We love developing apps that transform customer experience and help you deliver a more frictionless service experience across all of your contact points and channels. Why not get in touch to tell us more about your current CX priorities?