10 Ways to Get CX Efforts Noticed
With 2016 winding down, some of you may have already started thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. For those involved in customer experience (CX) initiatives who feel they must plan ahead, here is an idea for you. Resolve that in 2017, you’re going to focus on ways to ensure your CX initiatives get noticed.
For CX efforts to be successful, employees must be engaged. Ultimately, if your colleagues aren’t aware, informed, and convinced of the value of customer experience, then you can’t really expect them to take the necessary actions to deliver excellent experiences to your customers.
Here are 10 ideas for revving up CX initiatives—and bringing your colleagues along for the ride.
1. Hire right. Let’s start with people. One of the best ways to build engagement is to begin by hiring employees who are naturally empathetic to customer concerns. This is an emerging trend in hiring circles. Include customer experience topics in new employee orientation so everyone views CX as a priority from day one.
2. Build a brand. Can the name you give your CX initiative really make a difference? Absolutely. Too often, it is referred to as the “customer survey” or “customer feedback” program. It’s more than that; it is a vital strategy that merits having an internal brand. Customers First, Customer Matters, Customer Connections, Total Customer Experience, Vital Signs, and Customer Heartbeat are a few of my favorites.
3. Build an army of advocates. Implementing a strategy across a large organization is difficult. So it makes sense to have a cross-functional team in place not only to help do the work but also to act as CX ambassadors, promoting the strategy and ensuring all parts of the organization are informed and engaged.
4. Conduct trainings. It’s not enough just to put the word out and expect people will magically understand what to do. To drive action and change, it takes effective in-person and/or virtual training to provide the necessary detail so that everyone understands the goals of the program, what activity is taking place, and what they are expected to do.
5. Right message, right person. Like any promotional initiative, the message must be tailored based on who it is directed to. Executives, sales professionals, product managers, customer support reps, account managers—they all have different information needs. To ensure that everyone takes action on insights from customers, make sure the insights are relevant to each group you serve.
6. Launch a promotion. Effective CX initiatives typically have a well-orchestrated promotional campaign. Special announcements, informative emails, company intranets, videos, headquarters displays, giveaways, contests, prominent mentions in company newsletters and at company meetings—all of these are effective ways to get the word out. The more creative, the better.
7. Throw a party. Believe it or not, there is actually a day set aside to celebrate customer experience! Spearheaded by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), “CX Day” is on the first Tuesday in October of each year. Companies around the world have been known to have elaborate special events to celebrate their commitment to customers. What’s more, there’s no reason to limit it to one day a year. Any day is a good day to celebrate CX.
8. Tell a good story. CX professionals are often required to make presentations. And when they do, the best way to get their point across is through storytelling. Instead of showing a graph to cite a declining trend or a problem to fix, dig deeper and find a story about a real customer dealing with those same issues. Data is often forgotten, but stories get remembered.
9. Seek C-level support. Executives recognize the benefit of customer experience. In fact, a recent Walker study found that CEOs cited customer experience as the best way to create a customer advantage. With that in mind, make sure the C-level in your company is actively engaged in CX efforts, leveraging customer insights and ensuring change occurs throughout the organization.
10. Make an impact. The absolute best way to engage your colleagues in CX? Show that you listened to customers, implemented changes based on their insights, and improved the performance of the business. In other words, you made an impact. It could be a process improved, a customer salvaged, a quality issue addressed, or a new innovation released. Show how these examples are the link between CX and the success of the business.
Consider making 2017 the year your CX initiatives get noticed!
Patrick Gibbons is a principal at Walker, a leading customer experience consulting firm. You can read his blog at http://blog.walkerinfo.com/blog/engaging-the-enterprise. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.