The Three Best Practices Behind Every Customer Experience Strategy
Customer experience is constantly changing, but its core concepts remain the same. No matter what new technology or trends come on the scene, these three best practices will always be relevant and should be the driving forces behind every customer experience strategy.
1. Be Thoughtful.
Too many brands rush to get the newest and flashiest technology to serve their customers but overlook an important part of the equation: actually caring for customers. Before customers are willing to use a service or try a product, they want to feel understood and valued by a brand. Thoughtfulness is the psychological approach to customer experience. It involves building an emotional connection with customers and thinking about their needs. It doesn’t matter what amazing new technology a brand uses if customers don’t want to connect with them. Being thoughtful means putting yourself in the customers’ shoes and taking the time to build a strong emotional foundation before moving on to the next steps in your customer experience strategy.
Thoughtfulness starts by having the right mindset of being totally committed to serving the customer. With that mindset is an authenticity and true desire to understand each customer. That mindset drives a strong culture where everyone is focused on the singular goal of innovating to best serve customers. The final piece of thoughtfulness is creating a systemized leadership development program to identify and train future leaders with the same laser focus of being thoughtful towards customers.
2. Involve Everyone.
How a company operates internally has a huge impact on the external customer experience. Customers can tell when a company is disjointed because they have an inconsistent experience and can even get different information depending on who they talk to in the company. Over time, many companies find invisible walls have been built between departments so that each area has its own processes and data. In these situations, customer data often isn’t shared, and it takes much more time and effort to solve problems. Successful, customer-focused companies break down internal silos between departments so that everyone is working cohesively. Every employee has a role to play in customer experience, even if they aren’t directly interacting with customers every day.
Employees need to be empowered and have the right tools. They need to see the impact of their work on customers’ lives and the overall goals of the company. A single person shouldn’t own customer experience; it should be the responsibility of the entire organization.
3. Take a Stand.
Today’s businesses don’t operate in a vacuum. They are very much impacted by what’s happening in the world around them, for good and bad. Customers expect companies to take a stand and do more than just sell products. Trust in government is at near-record lows, which means it’s up to businesses to make real change in the world, especially on social and environmental issues. Customers want to do business with companies that have a purpose beyond just making sales. These are the companies that are involved in their communities, that give back and that take a stand on bigger issues.
Companies can’t stick with the status quo of what’s always been done. They need to push the envelope, especially when it comes to sustainability and environmental issues. Customers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods and services and want to do their part to help the environment. Brands should follow suit by offering sustainable products and finding ways to be environmentally friendly in their internal manufacturing methods.
About the Author
Blake Morgan, keynote speaker and customer experience futurist, is the author of The Customer Of The Future: 10 Guiding Principles For Winning Tomorrow’s Business and More is More: How The Best Companies Work Harder And Go Farther To Create Knock Your Socks Off Customer Experiences. She has worked with Comcast, Allstate, Genentech, Accor Hotels, Accenture, Adobe, Cisco, Parker Hannifin, Ericsson, and Verizon. She is a guest lecturer at Columbia University, the University of California, San Diego as well as adjunct faculty at the Rutgers executive education MBA program. Blake contributes to Forbes, the Harvard Business Review and Hemispheres Magazine and hosts The Modern Customer Podcast and a weekly customer experience video series on YouTube.
Follow Blake @BlakeMichelleM
This article is an excerpt from our new eBook Build a Better Customer Experience available here.