The Quest For Customer Centricity: Stage 4 – Make the Change

2020-05-27 |  Neil Sharp

How easy is it for you to improve the way customers do business with you?

Change happens more efficiently in customer centric organisations, because they have a governance structure in place, and a system for not only tracking the impact of the enhancements, but telling customers about them.

You can learn how to do this with our CX measurement framework. It’s a simple, practical and effective 4-step process to becoming customer centric. We’ve broken it down for you in this blog series.

In last week’s blog, we covered how to get to the root of your issues and develop recommendations for CX improvement. Today, we’ve reached the final part of our framework, Stage 4: Make the change.

Set-up the right governance structure

You’ve got the insight. You know what needs to be done. And now you need to make it happen.

To effectively deliver, monitor and champion the customer experience changes that your insight recommends, you need a clear governance structure - an effective way to implement the changes that have been approved. Without it, you’ll struggle to make customer experience a real priority in your organisation.

Some organisations put a senior Customer Experience Board in place, which sets direction, helps with prioritisation, provides decision-making clout and sometimes provides funding for larger changes.

Other organisations find that a more junior Customer Experience Forum works better to find out what needs to be done and then drive the root cause analysis and solution design which feeds into the normal change framework. Some even have both.

Customer Experience Forums and Boards work best when the group contains a mix of the following two types of people:

  1. Sponsors – people who are sufficiently senior within your business, with enough decision-making clout to make stuff happen.
  2. Advocates – employees from different parts of the business who are enthusiastic about maintaining and improving the journey.

Advocates will also act as flag bearers for your new CX initiatives; sharing good news and excitement about the changes being made, and taking ownership for them, which will have a ripple effect on motivation.

With this structure in place, CX improvements won’t feel like an uphill struggle every time you need to make a change. Instead, the forum will give you a clear structure, direction and support. This enables customer centricity to become self-sustaining in your business.

Monitor the impact of changes

Once you’ve made the change, you need to know whether it’s having the intended impact of actually improving the customer experience.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by getting further feedback from your customers via a survey. For example, if you’ve launched a new service on your website, you might ask: “How have you found the new service?” or “is the service any easier to use since you last tried?”

If you make several changes at once, you may be able to combine your questions into one survey, but it depends on the situation. Just try not to bombard the same customer with several different surveys.

If the feedback you get is good, then it’s time to shout about the changes

Keep your customers informed

The final step in the CX life cycle is to tell your customers about all the work you’re putting into CX and the changes you’re making. This is often overlooked, but it comes with two great benefits.

Firstly, it makes customers feel valued, because they can see that you’re acting on their feedback. And secondly, it gives you an excuse to promote the good things your company is doing, which is good for marketing and brand perception.

A great recent example of the power of keeping your customers informed was when Tesla’s Elon Musk responded to a Tweet by somebody complaining about a pushy sales guy while shopping for a Tesla Model X.

Musk replied: “Def not ok. Just sent a reminder to Tesla stores that we want people to look forward to their next visit. That’s what really matters.”

Whatever your views on Elon Musk or Tesla, this level of responsiveness made Tesla appear like a company that cares about its customers, and prompted a flurry of fans to talk about the positive experiences they’d had at Tesla dealerships – generating more good news off the back of it.

An example from one of our clients

Our client provides retailers with in-store technology which is used to sell products. The retailers are serviced through account managers, and a complex technical support process.

They wanted to improve the retailer experience, so, after mapping the journeys and measuring the experience at moments that matter, we helped them set up a Customer Experience Forum where account managers and staff could discuss the results, prioritise improvements and implement the preferred solutions.

Several immediate opportunities for improvement were identified, and several more complex changes were agreed. The company then shared news of the changes:

  • Briefing the retail support staff on what had been fixed
  • Holding events for the account management teams to thank them for their feedback and tell them what changes had been made on the back of it
  • Publishing news updates in their retailer newsletter, again designed to thank them and share the changes being made

This had a positive impact on the experience and helped strengthen the relationship with retailers – something their business relies on.

Create a Customer Experience Forum now

To help you deliver, monitor and champion the CX changes you’ve identified, we've created a free toolkit of our best CX templates, including a template Terms of Reference and detailed how-to guide for setting up your own CX forum.

Download the toolkit

Confession: The customer centricity quest is endless

Having walked through all four stages of our CX measurement framework in this blog series, you now know the steps to take to enhance every aspect of your customer experience – and if you follow this process, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a truly customer-centric business.

But true customer centricity takes more. It takes a commitment to working through this CX improvement cycle again and again.

It needs to become part of your DNA.

Why? Because as products, services and technology evolve, customer behaviours change. And when behaviours change, expectations change. So, you need to be doing all you can to keep pace with those changes, before your competitors steal a march on you.

Once customer centricity is part of your DNA, it will impact how your business is run. You’ll begin to put customer considerations at the heart of every business decision – even if it doesn’t look like it will offer immediate financial rewards.

But providing you adhere to the steps outlined in this framework - understanding your customers, measuring the moments that matter, developing insight-based improvements and then implementing these through an effective governance framework – your business will always benefit in the long term.

If you’ve found this blog series useful, you can download our full CX measurement framework eBook to use as a reference point for your future CX initiatives. This eBook gives you everything we’ve explained in this series in one easy to use guide.

If there's anything you don’t understand within our CX measurement framework, or if you’d like us to run you through at least one cycle of it, please get in touch