Organizations across industries have been forced to overhaul many of their processes in recent years as the importance of CX has risen to the fore. Customers’ expectations in areas such as getting immediate help, maintaining control, and personalization have grown as a result of the rise of “CX native” companies.
Meanwhile, privacy concerns have grown, social media has provided a direct platform for customers to voice their opinions, and the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way customers want to interact with businesses.
In this environment of constant change, a customer-centric culture is critical for companies to succeed—and outperform their peers. It calls for action on three levels: creating aspirations anchored in purpose, taking a comprehensive approach to business transformation, and establishing critical enablers that support and accelerate the transformation.
The first of these critical enablers is developing the necessary organizational capabilities and culture to plan, execute, and sustain the transformation. This step, at its core, distinguishes organizations that are changing their DNA to evolve from those that are simply going through the motions of change.
Programs to build capabilities and change culture are critical to changing the core of an organization. Companies that do not have them may fall victim to a variety of potential pitfalls that will jeopardize their goals. Our experience has shown that the six listed below are the most common (interactive).
1. Failure to connect CX and value
Many customer-experience transformations fail because senior leaders fail to connect the efforts to strategic priorities like revenue growth by product or geography. Without clearly demonstrating how a better experience will lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and attraction, and thus better business results, the effort will appear frivolous and will lose executive sponsorship.
Some customer experience leaders waste time by attempting to fix everything all at once. A proliferation of small, siloed initiatives that lack focus dilutes impact, resulting in at best incremental change.
3. Identifying and resolving touchpoints
Many businesses fall into the trap of resolving issues based on individual touchpoints—say, a call to customer service or a marketing email—rather than considering customer experience in the way that customers do, that is, by looking across the entire journey a customer takes to achieve a goal, such as resolving a billing issue. Addressing customer pain points at the touchpoint level without understanding how the pieces fit together often results in incremental CX changes that don’t get to the root of the problem.
4. Lack of originality
Many businesses struggle to come up with bold, innovative solutions to customer challenges and to foster a culture that fosters such creative thinking. It’s not uncommon for a company to dismiss new ideas because “we’ve tried that before,” “that’s not how we do things,” or “we’ll never get funding for that.” Employees’ creativity is limited to safe, incremental improvements as a result of this way of thinking. To truly transform, a new way of thinking is required.
5. Ignoring customers from the start
Failure to seek feedback in order to save time can prevent businesses from testing solutions with customers, and seeking it too late to make real changes can result in inferior products and poor financial results.
6. CX on its own island, no less.
A cross-functional mindset and a customer-centric culture are required to provide an excellent customer experience. Customer experience is driven not only by the CX team, but also by the customer-facing front line. Examining a customer journey in depth reveals that many employees, even those who will never see a customer, have an impact on it.