August 02, 2016 | Jason Veenker

Why Your Customer Experience Strategy Isn’t Working


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In a perfect world, organizations would remember that the only reason they’re still in business is because of the customer. Unfortunately, we’ve lost sight of the customers’ needs and set out on our own initiatives and projects to make our own processes easier and more efficient — ostensibly with the “customer value” in mind.

In other words, we’ve lost sight of the forest for the trees.

This has created a culture that is “inside-out” focused, rather than “outside-in”. We naturally lean towards making our own lives easier rather than considering first how to make our customers’ lives easier and more satisfying. Ironically though it’s been proven that companies that focus on satisfying their customer financially perform better than their peers who don’t.

So what’s preventing any organization from shifting the tides of operational focus and inward thinking to a customer-centric culture focused on satisfying customer needs and enriching their experiences? While reasons vary, two key components are consistent any time we’re privileged to speak with companies that have yet to find success with their customer experience programs: Technology and more importantly, Methodology.

Proper purpose of measuring

To measure and improve customer experience (CX) correctly, you need the right tools — but you need to know how best to use them so that you’re getting the desired results.

The industry certainly has provided an overwhelming amount of choices, all trumpeting their advanced technology solutions to help organizations hear the customer. And they can be really, really good at overwhelming organizations with quite a bit of unstructured (and some structured) data. This leads to underwhelming results when the one department charged with capturing the voice of the customer can’t deliver anything “worth” of value or actionable.

Unfortunately, those who need those insights will then often seek their own solutions and the proliferation of differing technologies, data, and guesswork ensues. An ugly reality of this “technology without a methodology” is the resultant “silo” culture — or everyone attempting to do “their own thing.” This hampers communication and understanding, and ultimately, undermines the entire customer-centric focus.

Without a methodology in place that provides a consistent metric across functions and operations, that guides prioritization and predicts improvements, and delivers context of experiences through benchmarks, the technology will simply automate the mistakes we may have made anyway.

Organizations doing it right

We were privileged to hear from four top performing organizations at our recent Summit event that are doing customer experience right: ComEd, Humana, Three, and Home Advisor. Just as every top performing organization, they too recognized the importance of moving towards a customer-centric focus. But for them, the challenge lay not just in choosing a technology to capture the voice of the customer, but a way to help them tear down the silos that existed due to the existing technology and processes in place.

We saw how ComEd and Humana relied on a methodology to bridge gaps and start to speak the same language, bringing marketing research, IT, and analytics together to improve customer experiences. Both Three and HomeAdvisor leveraged advanced visualization technology within the context of customer satisfaction methodology to bring the right teams to the table and effect real business impact and change.

But what really sets all four apart is the demonstration that technology with a proven methodology can bring an organization together, tear down silos, and enable communication across the organization. For them, being customer-centric and focusing “outside-in” starts with the marriage of technology and methodology.

That’s why Customer Experience and Voice of the Customer must be run with the same rigor and certainty that the other core pillars of organizational operation are: Finance, HR, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Marketing, Sales, etc. All are intertwined and dependent on each other, parts of the whole. And all must speak to each other daily in order to achieve a smooth running organization. If any one of these performs poorly, it affects the whole. So it is with Customer Experience.

Interested in learning more about how ForeSee approaches Customer Experience Measurement and Improvement with powerful technology driven by a proven methodology? Contact us today.

Happen to be local to the Atlanta or New York area? Learn more in person at our upcoming regional CX Forums! For more information and to register for the Atlanta CX Forum on August 24, visit here. Get more information and register for the New York CX Forum on Tuesday, September 13 by clicking here.  

Categories: Healthcare,Retail

About the Author

Jason Veenker is a passionate advocate for customer experience measurement and serves as a trusted adviser for improving financial customer experiences with ForeSee. He brings over 13 years of partnering with Fortune 500 organizations to help maximize their technology investments. Prior to ForeSee, Jason supported organizations with their strategic business and technology decisions, most recently with Gartner. He earned both his BS in Marketing and MBA through Azusa Pacific University.

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