Are you prepared to gamble on your company’s CX well-being?
How to evaluate the current health of your company’s customer experience efforts
When was the last time your company had a ‘health-check’ to see how customer-centric it is? To put it more scientifically, when was the last CX Diagnostic on its proficiency in delivering CX outcomes that meet financial goals? Recently? Never? Or is this something your company shies away from?
Maturity assessments, audits or business reviews can be very effective ways of getting everyone on the same page with ‘where are we?’ and ‘where do we need to go?’. But they can end up being used to expose a weak link, which isn’t always good for morale. Done well, they can identify the best in people, reveal new opportunities, or even stimulate innovation. Sometimes they are essential to bring about a much-needed change.
A CX Diagnostic is more than its name suggests. It does identify current position and future direction. But it must also link directly with the ‘how do we get there?’ and ‘what is the financial outcome?’.
Is your company leaving its well-being to chance, like many people do with their own health? In the UK, people visit their doctor on average five times a year. Many people put off learning what may be wrong with them. But we must find out, or we may reap the consequences.
Companies are no different. In tomorrow’s competitive marketplace, fashioning competitive customer experiences that consistently deliver on financial goals is a matter of evolving to survive.
It is no small feat for any organization to be successful at this. It requires leveraging all the combined assets, efforts and talent from of an organization in a co-ordinated way. For this reason, any diagnostic has to engage the most senior decision-making team, not just the CX, marketing or insight team. Otherwise its recommendations will not get the attention or co-ordination they deserve.
What does get the attention of the board? There are generally four topics that get airtime in a boardroom: Strategy, Finance, Employees, and Decision Support. The first three are what you might expect. The fourth, Decision Support, is the management information and technology that helps execs make the right financial, strategic and talent-development decisions.
For a CX Diagnostic to have familiarity and relevance at board level, it must frame its findings and conclusions around these discussion topics. It must also ground itself in evidence that is drawn from the combined knowledge and experience of top management, that is, from those who have overview of the business.
Construct questions carefully. They must get a quantitative measure of opinion as well as a qualitative read on its context. Putting such questions to execs is a convincing way to get a fix on where managers perceive the company to be today, and on where it needs to be in the future.
At Owen CX Group, having gained many years of experience in running CX Diagnostics, we have devised a simple yet powerfully accurate set of 12 drivers. They fit neatly into the four topics areas. Furthermore, we have formulated a potent combination of ingredients, in order to deliver a desirable CX / NPS and financial outcome.
Let’s take a look at these drivers by topic area:
The company must have a long-term vision and focus. The vision and focus must include creating a differential customer experience. That experience in itself needs a strategy that designs for the right CX delivery to meet business objectives. And in this world of rapid digital transformation, the company must be well equipped to defend and exploit its position in the marketplace.
CX investments must be scrutinized for their financial viability. Delivered experiences need to demonstrate a return or other financial outcome. CX performance, e.g. NPS, must be transparently reported throughout internal and external communications.
The company’s culture must have a DNA that is aligned with the CX strategy. That culture also must be one where employees work cross-functionally in a spirit of collaboration. And they must, from top to bottom, be accountable for CX outcomes.
Executives must be armed with relevant, robust and representative competitive insights, to understand the threats and opportunities along the customer lifecycle (Customer Lifetime Value). They must be able to predict future outcomes and the impacts they will have on CLV. The technology must foster a standardized approach to organizing, analyzing and reporting customer data.
Is your company leaving its well-being to chance like many people do with their own health?
Companies must excel at these tenets of CX and financial success, if they are to become the CX champions of the future.
I remember some years ago interviewing a general manager at a world-renowned Japanese electronics company. He was a rising star and had the best sales results in the company. He wanted me to deliver an assessment that achieved a consensus of opinion across his management team, one backed up by empirical evidence.
When the results were presented to the team, there was no finger-pointing. It was a simple exercise in reconciliation and learning. It was also a wake-up call for consequences which they would have to bear if they did not take action.
It was a simple exercise in reconciliation and learning
They quickly drafted a focused action plan. They urgently, but thoughtfully, put in place a program of customer-centric initiatives. A few years later, this company went from bottom quartile to top NPS performance quartile over an 18-month period. It also exceeded its revenue and profitability objectives. The success was not exclusively due to the CX Diagnostic, but that Diagnostic fired the starting gun.
Does your company need a CX Diagnostic? Does it have the courage and desire to know what to change, what to be good at, what to leave alone, in order achieve outstanding customer experience and financial performance?
It is dangerous to gamble on your own well-being. It is the same for companies. They must carry out an independent Diagnostic. Then they can build a consensus for how to achieve customer and financial success.
ABOUT INSIGHTS FROM OCX COGNITION
OCX Cognition delivers the future of NPS. We ensure customer experience success by combining technology and data science with programmatic consulting. In our Insights section, we present a comprehensive and evolving collection of resources based on our research and expertise, collected for CX leaders committed to delivering business outcomes.