In the past few years, telco-giant Vodafone has engineered a customer experience turn-around, building customer loyalty and creating a disruptive customer experience that challenges that market.
According to Rob Glennon, head of customer experience, quality and insights at Vodafone, this brand transformation was enabled by a bold vision that was brought to life by being linked to the long-term, overall business strategy.
“Customer experience needs to be treated like any long term, end to end business strategy because that’s exactly what it is. It needs to be strategic, it needs to be aligned, and it needs to be visionary. You have to have clear markers and know what you want your customers to experience. Otherwise you’re just flying blind,” said Glennon.
While linking customer experience back to the overall business strategy is important, Rob believes the most important element to a successful customer experience strategy is it needs to be enabled in order for it to be bought to life.
Below are Vodafone’s four commandments of customer experience.
Embed a customer centred culture
A great customer experience on the outside begins with a great employee experience on the inside. If you want your people to deliver service with a smile, then you have to give them something to smile about. Ultimately the employees need to know why the business exists, what they are there to deliver and ultimately the customer experience they’re trying to deliver.
Very rarely do you see world class companies doing an amazing job for customers that have inefficient processes. Process excellence is absolutely compatible 100 per cent with a world class customer experience. If you look at the likes of Amazon or Apple, many of these companies were trying to be customer centric, but first off they were just trying to be efficient. A lot of these companies who are simply trying to be really efficient actually find they deliver an amazing experience almost by accident, because a lot of the basics are automatically fixed.
Align organisational objectives with customer experience
Ensure the objectives and organisation alignment is compatible with customer experience. This means short term financials cannot be created at the expense of customer experience. Objectives need to long term, they need to be aligned across the organisation and also they need to be aligned from top to bottom.
In any customer experience strategy, the sponsor needs to be the CEO, no exceptions. The Chief Financial Officer also needs to be completely on board. If you haven’t got those two guys on board, you can forget it. They need to be champions right from the top. In most of the great customer experience strategies I’ve seen work; the CEO is the top evangelist. Every single time he or she stands up, the customer experience strategy is the first to be mentioned and the last to be mentioned and he or she is always reinforcing that that’s the reason the company’s seen and the brand is in the market, to deliver for the customer.
To learn more about Vodafone’s customer experience turn-around and the strategies needed to engage with the digital customer, join Rob Glennon at The Customer Conference taking place at MAD Week 2014.