Engaging Employees in CX Transformation
Use these three dimensions to involve the entire organization in CX success
Most organizations have a team responsible for their CX program, ranging from a ‘team of one’ to a dedicated group. This Central CX team must not be the sole carrier of the CX torch. All employees must know that they can participate to create a CX difference.
Great CX initiatives often go nowhere. We hate this waste and this failure to reach achievable goals. The key to success lies in how engagement is organized.
To skirt the pitfall of diffusion of responsibility, which can spread inaction, we need the right balance – between the CX team and the rest of the organization – of responsibility, activity, and decision making. Extensive experience has taught us to identify three axes:
- Central Sponsorship >>> Distributed Ownership;
- Central Consistency >>> Local Relevance;
- Central Guidance >>> Local Optimization.
Effective sponsorship at Executive level is crucial. Without it, your program will make no real difference
Central Sponsorship >>> Distributed Ownership
Effective sponsorship at Executive level is crucial. Without it, your program will make no real difference. Process and service improvements require investment of money, people, and / or time. Investment requires senior level agreement or direction.
In an organization of size, the vast majority of CX improvement will be decentralized, from a functional and perhaps also geographical perspective. The Central CX team must also share and distribute responsibility. Failing this, employees assume that if they need to do anything different from their usual job, then someone will tell them. The Central team manages the program, but it does not, by any stretch, carry out all activities.
What the Central team does do is:
- Program planning with the Executive sponsor;
- Disseminate best practices;
- Report corporate level results to board and management;
- Liaise with third party survey provider(s) to ensure consistency and cost efficiency;
- Facilitate analysis and action planning with local teams;
- Inter-coordinate teams (for example, where geographically dispersed teams are working on solving a common problem);
- Manage a limited number of improvement initiatives that cross business and functional lines.
Local (geographically based) and / or functional teams may:
- Administer any surveys (particularly transactional);
- Provide analysis and insights to management and teams;
- Liaise with management to organize action planning;
- Track and report progress both to management and to the Central team as required.
These local teams are the essential ambassadors for the program at employee level.
Remember that even employees who do not interact directly with customers can have a stake in designing and delivering the ideal customer experience. Why? Because they are customers of other companies. They can be just as knowledgeable about what customers want!
A CX initiative may contain a training component. Through it, employees should feel able to provide suggestions, to work on local initiatives, or to participate in cross-departmental projects. You should scope and design using the relevant teams – those closest to the customer – to ensure that the outcome is deliverable, delivered, and impactful. In addition, involve local management in determining which initiatives will have the best chance of success.
Note that corporate finance may be best placed to draw together the financial and operational data, in order to understand the linkages between investments and business outcomes.
Central Consistency >>> Local Relevance
Successful programs have sufficient data to understand the current performance / situation and to set targets. Data is:
- Information about customers – name, location, what products / services they have; also how much they spend, level of service and so on;
- Information about individuals – name, influence level, contact details, what language they speak;
- Survey feedback – relationship and transactional responses, invitation records.
The data must include a core set of fields, those which the Central team need.
Central Guidance >>> Local Optimization
Avoid the temptation to create centralized reports for regular (monthly, say) distribution! More likely than not, they will receive no more than a glance at local level. Let local teams produce the reports. They can drill down into the relevant data and add local business and economic context. Those reports will get read.
The Central team can set the broad report framework, as well as reporting at corporate level.
A customer may interact with more than one part of your organization. Their experience, in terms of any CX program, must be of an integrated company that communicates internally. That obligation for integration is on the Central team. It should design and share template processes for follow up and measurement points, to enable tracking and comparisons across teams. In addition, set minimum levels of activity company-wide. For example: “At least all detractors should receive a call or email contact within 48 hours.”
Within the constraints set by the Central team, local teams can take the templates and adapt them, to decide: which customers will be followed up; responsibilities for closing the loop (who will do it and how); how actions will be initiated; action ownership; and escalation processes.
Your CX program is a partnership between the Central CX team and the whole organization. To act globally in CX, think global. But have faith in the local too.
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