How Culture & Leadership Can Influence Customer Experience

How Culture & Leadership Can Influence Customer Experience
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In this opinion piece, Vicky Katsabaris (pictured below), customer experience subject matter expert at Qualtrics, identifies four ways for companies to achieve a customer-centric culture.

Vicky Katsabaris

Customer-obsessed companies can grow their revenues faster and build a more loyal customer base. While this sounds like a great strategy, companies are left wondering how they can actually achieve a customer-centric culture?

Having executive leadership and cross-functional alignment plays a significant role in influencing customer engagement. When customer-focused values and principles are embedded into the day-to-day lives of your people and processes, leaders have an additional lever to drive profitability, employee retention and revenue growth. By doing this, you are enabling the business to operate differently, so that providing great customer experience is a natural by-product of the way they work.

Here are four ways culture and leadership can influence customer engagement:

  1. Executive sponsorship

Research from Forrester shows that of the 84 per cent of firms that aspire to become a customer experience leader, yet only one out of five deliver great customer experience. In order to become a CX leader, the customer must be a top priority for the organisation. Senior leadership teams must show accountability for all CX metrics. This includes consistent communication both internally and externally on the successes and shortcomings of customer programs and metrics.

  1. Organisational alignment

Where you will see the most success is when various departments share the same CX vision, making it a shared responsibility throughout the organisation. While they might address different aspects, they all aligned on common processes and data sharing practices.

It’s recommended that an organisation has a central team to manage the overall CX program. They would be responsible for the overall integrity of the program, comprehensive goal-setting and ongoing tracking. Most importantly, they need to be supported by senior leadership.

  1. Common customer metrics

Whilst it’s essential to measure the success of your CX programs, it is more important to be consistent in how an organisation measures success. Doing so allows an organisation to compare historical data, measure improvements over time and identify trends for further improvement.

  1. Publish customer values

When creating your organisation’s customer values, be very specific and ensure that they clearly convey priorities and how these priorities translate to actions for each member of your organisation. Then, once you have your agreed upon CX values, communicating it to your customers is an excellent way to show accountability. Remember, talking about your values is one thing, then the next step is to deliver on those promises.

Customer obsession is an ongoing process. Organisations looking to become truly customer-obsessed must listen to feedback from their customers and act on it.

Organisations that use a sophisticated yet easy-to-use platform can gather real-time snapshots of their customers’ experiences and determine where they can make operational and strategic improvements. By gathering this kind of feedback and analysing it for insights, businesses are able to continuously improve their customer’s experience.

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