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  • Writer's pictureDerek Bildfell

Two Ideas to Accelerate Your Initial Customer Experience Management Efforts

You’ve recently been tasked with implementing a program to improve the customer experience, possibly because a senior executive has talked to his peers or read a compelling review in the Harvard Review. To make your life easier, consider these two concepts as your starting point;

1. Leverage the CEO Personal concerns.

2. Start with a flexible and effective framework

CEO Concerns:

I’ve often discussed and presented the merits of a well architected customer experience management system, CEM. The benefits are very well understood by many people now – improve your customer experience as defined by the Net Promoter System, and you have an 83% likelihood of driving improved bottom line performance. The additional benefits include improved employee morale, improved innovativeness and reduced customer attrition risk. These are all great and I applaud all CEM practitioners for leveraging these concepts when establishing their ROI. Once you establish the business case for your investment expect your executive team to become impatient for results. I prefer to focus on something that is often more compelling to drive the investment – the CEO priorities.

New and growing CEO’s share a few pervasive concerns;

  • “Are the front line staff representing the company the way I would?”

  • “Is my growth strategy being executed effectively?”

  • “Is our client base stable?”

As a CEO this was always in the back of my mind, at least when we weren't fighting fires. We discovered that the best way to deal with this was to design and implement a closed loop customer experience management system that provided the CEO with an omniscient view. We simply ask the customers some very well structured questions, then drive actions across the organization to ensure that these 4 typically very difficult problems are being addressed.

  • Coaching opportunities at the front line are identified and addressed (and the front line was supported)

  • Customer perception of our brand priorities is used to drive alignment across the business

  • Aggregated analytics coupled with real time customer response systems ensures the best defence against client and revenue risk.

  • Unfiltered customer perceptions and suggestions are shared with the CSuite. This is typically the most value but very difficult to quantify!

An Effective Framework

It sounds reasonably straight forward, but one needs a good system to implement this in any sized business. At Acceleration Strategy, we have identified 25 questions (as easy as “what do you call customers in your organization", but there are some more insightful ones as well) which when answered will allow you to accelerate the adoption of a world class customer (or other stakeholder) experience management system.

We chose to build this on the Qualtrics platform. With Qualtrics, we have access to all of their capabilities including Target Audience, the Rest API’s, Vocalize and all of the newer reporting and dashboard capabilities. With Qualtrics we are able to address any client challenge using custom programming, other partner solutions and integrating feedback from any source.

The questions found in the Accelerated Customer Experience Interview Guide are divided into 6 realms.

1. Company Syntax

2. Strategic Alignment/Brand Priorities

3. Service Attributes

4. Offering Differentiation

5. Custom Questions

6. Customer Segmentation

The power is in getting all of this information up front, then basing your customer experience architecture around these key concepts. The ASI Accelerated Customer Experience System uses the results of the interview to build your initial system (such as a relationship management NPS system, usually a very good place to start) while creating a platform to easily extend your system as you become more sophisticated.

Customer Experience Management is addictive to executives. Once they sense the opportunity, they want to act quickly. Using an architected approach, we dramatically reduce the time to implementation of customer experience management while preparing our to grow in sophistication and scale at a any pace! In the first month of the program someone in the C-Suite will take action or get an insight which will pay for the programs for years. Then they will ask you to expand or speed up. We’ve seen it in every project of this nature for the last 10 years.

We’ve built systems for companies from $10B to $20M in revenue. The fundamentals are always the same, the customization is what transforms the system into a competitive edge. The ASI Accelerated CX system starts with the fundamentals and leverages your custom perspectives (rather than just accommodating them).

After all, in today’s world, anything is possible!

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