7 lessons to improve your customer experience credentials

We reveal 7 key ways your organisation can improve customer engagement as a practice and cultural principle

5. Get the bosses on-board

Taking a customer-first approach to business isn’t something that can be enacted and led by the CMO or customer support team alone, it has to be completely embraced by the senior leadership team.

At NIB, Net Promoter Score (NPS) is not just as a measurement, but a call to action and company resource. Head of customer experience, Adam Novak, said NPS is now embedded into all plans and bonuses from the CEO to frontline staff.

The health insurer has also introduced a new consultant score based on a combination of NPS and call handling times to improve the approach taken to customer engagement in its contact centres, he said.

One way of getting senior executives on-board is by having the economic cases on-hand and being able to talk the language of the business, Bain and Company’s Swinton said.

“But also have the emotional case for change – sometimes we don’t give CEOs credit we should on the emotional side of things,” he said.

6. Sort out your UGRs

One of the more left-field but nevertheless insightful pieces of advice during Customer 360 was on the impact an organisation’s ‘unwritten ground rules’ (UGRs) have on customer experience. According to Keystone Management Services founder, Steve Simpson, it’s these strong but unarticulated perceptions employees have within their company that determine culture and in turn, the approach to customer engagement.

By tackling these UGRs, organisations can not only improve productivity and sentiment across teams, they can also change the mindset around customer experience.

“There is nothing more important than UGRs in your organisation but these are seldom talked about. And if you try and challenge these individually, you’re more than often pulled down,” Simpson claimed.

To overcome these potentially negative cultural traits, Simpson outlined several steps organisations can take to understand their culture and enable new customer experience initiatives to flourish.

As a starting point, he recommended companies look at envisioning the cultural attributes needed in order for their customer experience aspirations to succeed. These could include openness, collaboration, and a willingness to embrace “the grey area”, he said.

From there, organisations need to then assess current culture to identify UGRs, familiarise the rest of the business with these underlying beliefs, get people involved in creating and prioritising positive UGRs linked to value statements, and embed these in the organisation, Simpson said.

7. Think globally, not locally

Customer expectations of service are not just being set by your traditional competitors or by your specific industry segment – they’re being set through the interactions customers have with digital disruptors, in other sectors and via global players.

As Salmat’s McMillan pointed out, we are very much in a global economy where global players will set the standards for how customers expect service to be.

“No longer can you put yourself in your own bucket - customers are having these global experiences and they are setting the scene for expectations,” he said.

Read more: How CBA, Australia Post and Optus are wowing their customers

As a result, every organisation needs to keep to be constantly working to improve the way they engage with customers, speakers at Customer 360 agreed. To do this, the focus needs to be on building emotional connections, delivering value, providing and acting on real-time personalised engagement while keeping an eye on the brilliant basics.

“Customer is the most valuable asset not on your balance sheet – their advocacy and loyalty is what determines your future revenues,” Swinton added. “Your position should be maximising customer value.”

Nadia Cameron travelled to Customer 360 Symposium as a guest of Ashton Media.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

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