At Planit’s recent “Adopting a Customer-First Strategy” event in Sydney, I talked about ten areas of improvement that not only enable organisations to get closer to their customers, but also keep them. Following my presentation, I was asked and answered the following questions about CX:
How do you ensure business leaders remain engaged during the CX journey?
The CX journey is an ongoing one. That’s why it’s important for a business leader to not just endorse CX improvement, but they (and other key decision makers in the organisation) can be asked to be actively involved in the changes required around CX engagement.
Leaders don’t have the time to allocate to all of it. That’s why they can choose the amount of time and energy they want to invest.
Leaders can start off by curating the customer-centric messaging. To truly embed this within the organisation, they need to be honestly driving this messaging internally and out to market.
Another core area that leaders can be involved in is taking on peer-to-peer relationship with key executives within their top accounts. There needs to be a realistic program of mutually high-value engagements from exec to exec.
Share with leaders the top three accounts per month/quarter while going through the detailed account plan. Ask for their advice on what else could be done to grow the accounts.
Regularly share with leadership team real customer insights, including anecdotal data. Ensure there is a regular cadence around customer win/loss, and executive teams understand the customers in real numbers.
What are the outcomes of customer-centricity?
Simply tangible outputs are happy, loyal, engaged, and referring customers.
Every company is at different levels of maturity around Customer Engagement. We would suggest doing a self-audit by looking at the financial data around customers for past three years, and then using it to develop a customer-focused account plan.
Ensure there is a common (and real) customer-centric language messaging around your company, its leaders, and core values around the customer. For the top accounts, there’s value in having a dedicated executive peer-to-peer leadership program.
How long does it see results from customer-centricity?
In terms of time it depends how much data you have and how big the challenges are. It can take as little as a week, to a month or more.
Start off by building out a simple, focused strategy that leverages historical data and customer interviews over a diverse cross-section of accounts. Then take those collective group of insights and map them into an improvement map.
Besides surveys, what other customer sentiment measuring techniques are there?
You can go quite deep on customer sentiment, but we find the best way to capture sentiment is via face-to-face customer interviews. It’s important to ensure that these are taken without any bias.
A good time to do them is at the point of a won or lost deal. Customers are generally very open to providing their feedback if done in a meaningful way.
There are some great tools out there that crawl the web and social networks to capturing all keywords associated with a brand, to then put together the social sentiment of a brand. These are quite useful for larger-scale digital sentiment analysis.
Customer-centricity starts here
If you are interested to find out where you are on your customer-centric journey, The Customer Agency has released a free e-book that contains a self-audit, as well as additional advice, best practices, and guidelines.
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