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Experts share their top tips for CX transformation

So, you’re embracing CX? Here are five tips to change the way you work

Many companies preach that they know their customers, but very few are willing to go the extra mile to structure their entire business around that promise.

But if you are one of the few organisations which has followed through on your promise to restructure around CX, you’ll know that delivering products, services, and brand awareness – with customer centricity to boot – is much harder said, than done.

While some organisations manage to embed their customer journey in every operation of their daily business, the majority only manage to adopt CX principles as a superficial company policy.

When we sat down and asked the people who were effectively championing CX in their company, the biggest warning they could give over adopting company-wide UX policy was that ‘talk is cheap.’

Often, organisations give lip service to customer centricity.

Historically, this was done by implementing a slightly expensive CRM (customer relationship management) system which made the company seem like they were involving customers in their decision-making processes.

And beyond engaging these customers, albeit superficially, some companies still continue to believe that measuring customer activity, and presenting this feedback to potential customers, is enough to change the perception of both their brand and culture.

But unfortunately, to be a leading organisation in customer experience, you can’t cherry-pick parts of the business culture to change, nor can you compromise the scale at which you do it.

So, now you’re probably thinking ‘What have we gotten ourselves into?’ or ‘How am I going to motivate and champion for genuine CX at my work?’

We know that this type of workflow overhaul is a massive task to undertake, so we asked some experts who’ve either implemented CX culture in their workplace or are still navigating the transition, to share their top tips for success.

1. Make sure you can clearly define your ‘customer’

For some, getting CX on the radar at their organisation is a natural transition. But for the non-for-profit sector, it was a big cultural shift to start thinking of their volunteers, members and donors as ‘customers’ for the first time.

Belinda Dimovski, Director of Engagement and Support at Red Cross said at first, it came down to creating value propositions that defined the relationship between the organisation and who they saw as the customer.

Unlike other organisations, Red Cross wasn’t able to bridge a customer relationship by offering products or services in return for people’s time, money or donations.

Instead, they started to offer a ‘return’ to their customers by sharing enriching stories with their customers about where their donations were going and the impact this was having on the lives of others. It was about creating a partnership with customers to try to solve humanitarian problems.

2. Bring everyone on the journey with you

Secondly, making sure everyone in your organisation is on the same page about why CX is important is invaluable. This includes your organisations Board of Directors!

So how do you communicate the value of CX to all levels of an organisation?

At Red Cross, Dimovski felt completely supported by her CEO, and the board, but still felt like she could have been clearer with them about what was happening in other industries and the success being experienced by organisations who were early adopters of CX.

“If I could go back in time, I would have taken the executive and board on a journey very early on to show them why this type of change is really important, I did it as I went along, but framing it up front would have been beneficial.” she said.

One way she managed to communicate value in her organisation was by inviting external speakers from other industries to explain how their own CX transformations had boosted their organisations and changed the way people worked – for the better.

3. Have ‘The Talk’ about CX

Elyssia Clark, Head of Customer Insights and Strategy at SEEK said an important part of introducing a CX strategy includes taking the time to understand what customer experience means to the organisation

“For some, CX is predominantly focused on the contact centre of their business,” she said. “For others there’s more focus on the digital experience. So, getting everyone on the same page on what Customer Experience actually means is important– as it grows in popularity, so do the variations in understanding what it is, and why it matters.”

But having some kind of common understanding of what CX means to your organisation gives you a much better chance that you’ll be talking the same language as your stakeholders.

And getting everyone on the same page is, after all, what CX is all about.

4. Remember, it’s a race to be different

For some companies, the transition to CX will already align with the organisations values, and how they want this to be expressed through the communication of their brand.

For these companies, the transition to CX becomes less of a conversation of how to develop CX, but more about how the brand will differentiate its strategy from its competitors.

This is the case for SEEK, which has always been about creating a customer experience which helps people live productive and fulfilling lives, said Clark.

“So fortunately for me, customer has always been front and centre,” she said.

“What’s different is that our competitors are also putting the customer front and centre, so the pace to differentiate on customer experience has gone from a light jog to a sprint in a short amount of time.”

5. You don’t need hard numbers to measure CX

How do you measure the impact of your CX strategy?

If you want hard numbers, you can take a look and see if your customer satisfaction score is increasing. But if you want the true answer, you have to look deeper at the impacts across staff members, teams and how well they are working together.

“If you’re doing CX right, and you’re really transforming an organisation, you also have to be looking at the soft measures,” said Dimovski.

Some of the questions you could ask yourself, to measure the impact of your CX strategy, include:

– What’s the cultural shift you’ve applied in the organisation?
– How open are people to having conversations that include the customer?
– Is there an understanding of what the customer voice is in every single piece of communication that is developed in the organisation?

At the end of the day, people who are championing CX in their organisation say it’s more about the intention, thought process, and having people adopt the strategy, than trying to measure against KPIs.

But what’s not always easy along this journey will be prioritisation.

Making sure you’re investing your limited time and resources on the right problems in your organisation will be trying to strike the perfect mix between the art and science which makes up CX.