Explore six ways to become more customer centric and deliver winning experiences.
Each moment in the customer journey is an opportunity to stand out – for better or worse. To provide excellent customer experience (CX) day in and day out, your whole company must be in sync, embracing a culture of customer centricity.
Customer centricity isn’t a sales pitch, the service department’s mantra or a poster on a wall. It’s a transformational culture change program for your entire company. If all of your colleagues were asked to work differently tomorrow for the sake of CX, would they be ready?
To win in customer experience, leadership teams may need to change the behavior of hundreds (or even thousands) of people. Here’s how to make a successful, companywide shift toward customer centricity:
Establish CX as a priority.
Customer-centric organizations consistently outperform competitors in both market share and revenue growth. To become customer centric, management needs to “walk the talk” and demonstrate that CX is a strategic priority. They should visit contact centers, connect with the salesforce and listen to customers. Leaders need to hear direct feedback and bring it back into their firm as an instrument for change. It takes courage and strong leadership to build a purpose-led culture and set the right standards.
Communicate your shared purpose.
People change habits when they are intrinsically motivated. At work, employees need to understand how their work matters to customers. Every employee should understand the company’s “why” and its CX ambition. Shared language around CX is key, so everyone understands the goal, what’s expected of them, and how to achieve it.
You can train and inspire team behaviors that you want to see. CX training prepares employees to expertly handle “moments of truth” and change embedded behaviors that aren’t customer-centric. Start by creating a shared foundation of knowledge with courses on the fundamentals of CX and customer sentiment tools, like Net Promoter System℠. Advanced courses in journey management and journey design provide additional context and background to help teams deliver winning experiences. With the right training, employees can learn to pick up on customer signals, respond appropriately (and proactively), and feed new data into the business through effective feedback management.
Establish (or adjust) consequences.
Let your employees work in the best interest of the customer – even if it sometimes defies policy or business rules. For example, if you want employees to resolve a customer issue completely, don’t punish them for exceeding a handling time limit. Instead, establish policies that empower employees to go above and beyond and help customers. Likewise, incentives should be structured to reward behaviors that are customer-centric, not self-serving. For example, don’t directly tie NPS to individual performance review ratings.
Praise employees who make customers happy. Publish stories about employees putting their CX training to work. These case studies become tools to inspire customer-centric behavior and establish CX as a cultural norm across the organization.
Make customer feedback transparent and visible to employees, especially if it affects their daily work. Staff need to hear the customer’s perspective to change their behavior and the business.
Winning in CX and customer centricity is a long-term game. It must be a consistent priority, where fundamental elements are revisited and reapplied, time and again. Customer experience must remain a focus despite leadership changes, turnover, growth or disruption. And employees need regular training to continue providing exceptional CX.
Customer expectations and needs also change, especially in our digital age. Companies that deliver exceptional CX listen to their customers all the time and are prepared to adapt and change course as needed. Train and engrain CX into your company culture so you can design and deliver experiences that keep your customers coming back for more.
Start here. NPSx from Bain & Company offers in-depth CX training and certification for individuals and teams.