GOAL: Generate real customer experiences to engage customers
Customer experiences that add real value lead to emotionally engaged customers...
These emotionally engaged customers drive your bottom line.
If you’re reading this article you believe, like many others, that CX is one of the best ways to establish a competitive advantage and to engage your customers. Your company has probably set out the different customer journeys and identified the associated touch points. You’re ready to generate amazing customer experiences with your customers on the moments of truth. But you can’t do this alone, you need everyone in the company to join you on this journey.
Not everyone in your company might feel they impact the customer experience because they’re not in customer-facing roles. Or maybe some of your colleagues don’t really know what is expected from them when they’re asked to ‘put the customer first’. Finally, we all know old habits die hard. If you want your fellow workers to create more customer centric habits, they need to be reminded regularly about the mission to put the customer first.
A customer obessed company can think along with the customer, exceed expectations, proactively service the customer and thus create real value. A customer-oriented culture cannot be bought, it needs to grow in the company. Employee engagement is a prerequisite for a customer-obsessed culture that can generate heart-warming customer experiences. Employee engagement should thus be high on the priority list of every company that wants to differentiate through their customer experience.
How do you engage your employees so that a customer-focused culture is anchored in the organisation?
From experience with our own customers, we’ve abstracted 4 best practices for a successful journey towards employee engagement and a customer-focused culture that enables employees to generate wonderful experiences with customers.
This model for behavioral change is very simple but effective. The conduct of an employee can change when 3 conditions are met:
An easy way to get started is by sharing (positive) customer feedback from the start of this change journey. You’ll see the change in the engagement of your colleagues rise when they understand the customer appreciates their efforts!
Build a step-by-step change approach towards a customer centric culture.
Starting small and easy gives people the feeling of self-efficacy. Individuals who have high self-efficacy will exert sufficient effort that, if well executed, leads to successful outcomes, whereas those with low self-efficacy are likely to cease effort early and fail.
Customers trust product or service recommendations from people they know over other sources of advertisement. The same applies to this change journey. Positive word of mouth by peers is extremely valuable for the success of this journey.
Build a team of stakeholders of different levels in the organisation. These engaged employees believe in the value of customer experience, have a natural customer centric predisposition, and have a strong profile within the company.
Create an environment where these customer centric ambassadors can share their best practices and communicate memorable experiences with customers through storytelling. For some colleagues, the threshold to ask questions about customer centric behaviour is lower when they can talk to their peers.
Finally, it’s of utmost importance that the highest levels of the company lead by example for the rest of the company to stay motivated and participate. Communicate loudly and continuously about the support of C-level for this shift towards customer centricity.
Patrick Gibbons puts it this way:
"Company leaders don’t need much persuading—they know customers are important. In fact, many of them spend quite a bit of time with some of their top accounts and they will stress the importance of customers in company and department meetings. And yet the majority of employees need more than a pep talk to prompt a change in their behavior."
Start listening to your customers, capture feedback about their experiences with your company and share this feedback throughout the organization. Everyone in the company will understand what is appreciated by customers and they will feel empowered to go the extra mile. By sharing feedback, everyone is constantly reminded that this shift towards customer centricity works! Employees will enjoy working for your company even more and engagement will increase. More delightful experiences will occur and your customers will become more engaged. Happy employees lead to happy customers.