Times are changing. The customer experience isn’t just something for consumer brands to think about anymore, CX is mission-critical to B2B brands as well. In a recent article, Improving the Customer Experience Starts with Corporate Culture, Jennifer MacIntosh, Coveo’s VP of Customer Success, explained why delivering a high-quality customer experience, consistently, across the entire organization, must start internally. In it she shared ways to make customer-centric behavior adoption a probability, not just a possibility. If your organization is considering, or is in the midst of, a customer experience transformation, it is important to consider that there will be significant barriers to employee behavior change. Knowing these barriers and proactively planning for them will make it much easier for employees to adopt the right behaviors.
“The best customer experiences bring the company’s distinctive brand values and attributes to life, and the same is true of employee experiences.” – Denise Lee Yohn, Author & Brand-builder
Knowing that your employees play a critical role in delivering your customer experience is one thing. Knowing how to prepare and equip them to shift from a product-centric mentality to a customer-centric one is quite another. These vital four steps will help your organization to prepare employees for a CX transformation:
Share your customer experience vision.
Establishing a customer experience vision is a critical first step. Consider weaving in your company’s core values and brand promise, in an aspirational statement for the desired future state of your customer experience. Your customer experience vision will help to bring the human part of business to the forefront of everyone’s minds and behaviors. Express how a customer-centric culture aligns with your corporate vision and will allow you to remain innovative and agile. In this step, be mindful that your team has not necessarily been privied to all the information that has gotten you to this point so painting the big picture may require some finesse. Some key components are:
- Explaining the need for change and the improvements that are required
- Articulating the sense of urgency and what’s at stake by not acting now
- Getting their buy-in by highlighting the benefits of change and what’s in it for them
2. Have clearly defined processes.
Once the company’s vision of a customer-centric culture has been shared and your employees know why change is necessary, it is important that they understand how to make it happen. When you explain how the change impacts the entire company, along with a roadmap of what to expect throughout the process, your employees will be more engaged and have a better understanding of how their personal improvements contribute to the intended customer experience.
Temkin Group reported a strong correlation between employee engagement and success in customer experience. In a recent Employee Engagement Benchmark Study, the firm showed that companies that excel at customer experience have one-and-a-half times as many engaged employees as customer experience laggards do. Another report by Gallup found that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share. You can drive employee engagement within your company by offering detailed behavioral guidance of what’s already working, as well as drawing a connection from the purpose of the transformation to each person’s role will encourage behavioral change company-wide and make it easier to adopt other necessary customer experience transformation practices.
3. Introduce and enforce new policies.
Conducting an employee CX assessment will give insight into what your employees do and don’t know about your customers, their journey and your customer experience as whole. This knowledge will help to identify old policies that ought to be removed or revised, as well as new ones that should be implemented to support a customer-centric culture. Use your results to drive your CX transformation by introducing new policies through proper training efforts and enforcing them by providing the right tools that give your employees visibility to your customer journey and equip them to deliver the experience your customers expect to receive.
4. Properly integrate new systems.
Your customers engage with your brand through end-to-end experiences, not touch points. Many companies are disillusioned: they have invested in – and made improvements to – individual touch points, which are performing well; but they’re not yet seeing how it all works together for an overall experience. A critical component of an effective customer experience transformation is making sure that you have the right tools and systems in place to see and optimize the entire journey. Inefficient and flawed systems will prohibit your entire CX ecosystem from adopting and implementing a customer-centric strategy. Gain a real-time understanding of what your customers need and quantify what matters to them through usage analytics. And help ensure that your employees are empowered with access to the most up-to-date and relevant information to get your customers what they need.
So many companies begin the customer experience transformation process and abandon the strategy prematurely due to the lack of employee preparation. Our customer, Xero, was able to drive agent proficiency, enabling them to become customer-centric with the power if AI-powered search. Learn about their journey and measurable success by watching this on-demand webinar, “XERO Improves the Customer Experience by Increasing Agent Proficiency.”