The most important elements for a customer experience programme

By Charlie Williams | 23/01/2019

Strategic thinking and careful programme planning are fundamental to developing a robust customer experience management process.

A successful programme should include the elements below:

  • Define the programme objectives
  • Identify what the success criteria looks like
  • Aligning these milestones and achievements to the business outcomes
  • Track and quantify the ROI as a direct result of programme implementations

Doing this provides the programme with credibility and justification, which will support organisation alignment and business engagement – it’s vital to the success of the programme that director level and senior management are all on board. Articulate the vision internally and demonstrate what ‘good’ customer experience looks like and the business benefits that are apparent when customer experience works.

Benchmarking and understanding the ‘here and now’ are critical to driving the organisation in the right direction. Before a company is able to make significant changes to their output, they have to grasp the intelligent understanding of what their current customer experience delivery looks like. Unearthing current strengths and weaknesses generates a starting point and prioritises the elements within the current customer experience delivery that require immediate enhancement.

Organisations that install a shared view of the customer experience, that work together to prioritise actions and shape the customers’ journey roadmap, strive collectively to improve not only their customers experiences, but their internal ones, creating an internal culture that installs a collective passion, drive and determination to deliver great experiences.

Often the prioritisation can feel overwhelming, with a vast number of actions and implementations to focus on at the same time. By plotting the customer journey and rating each element or touch point can highlight where your immediate or more urgent attention should be focused. Breaking down the journey and identifying underperforming elements, departments or people that impact on the customers’ experience, can deliver quicker results

The measurement vs. the experience

It’s imperative to review the tangible experience, not just the metrics contained within the experience. Measurement can support a quantitative observation; it can underpin current trends in the customer experience delivery but it has its limitations and doesn’t project the detail in the individuals’ experience – it’s this qualitative insight that displays a truer representation of the emotive and personal attachments each customer has throughout their own journey. This provides a better platform for informed decision-making, and helps programme management by identifying what elements to measure and any critical issues.  By using this method and allowing both qualitative and quantitative research findings to inform the CX programme, it will generate a more accurate account of your VoC (voice of the customer).

Listen and Act

Your customers have a voice, and they want to be listened to. Listening to your customers, understanding customers’ needs and wants – puts you (the business) in your customers’ shoes. Gaining common trends and opinions from a wide variety of customers is clearly important, but careful consideration when planning and profiling the style of feedback is required. A more informed process will lead to a more pertinent result, as knowing what solutions a customer values will provide advantages in the long run.

Once the feedback has been analysed, organisations need to be prepared to make the required changes to drive the business forward. It’s a simple notion, but customers’ experiences and their interactions with your business will only improve if you (the business) are prepared to change (for the better) the processes, services, systems, products and culture in which you deliver your customer’ interactions.
Improvements often centre on the intelligent use of customer insights and how these insights can be delivered consistently using an omni-channel environment.

It’s important for a business to remain open minded about their customer experience delivery. The reports and findings might uncover at best some uncomfortable situations and at worst ugly truths. It’s important to keep a balanced mindset – allowing the insight to inform on both reactive and proactive strategies.  Keep ‘top of mind’ the business objectives and desired outcomes set out in the plan and be empowered with the knowledge that unearthing the businesses’ failings and recovering from these is more likely to result in customer experience excellence.

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