“ Can you remember what you were doing in May 2019? I must admit, I sometimes find it hard to remember what I was doing yesterday, let alone months ago!! Fortunately, my Microsoft Outlook diary is my saviour when it comes to reminding myself of activity completed in the past. “
-Ian Golding, Global CX Specialist, Customer Experience Consultancy
In May 2019, I delivered my first public Customer Experience (CX) Masterclass in Helsinki. Delivered in collaboration with my friends at Shirute Ltd, the one-day event was quite unlike anything I had experienced before… not because it was held in Helsinki, but because it was delivered within a themed environment – the theme was based on the 1990’s US TV series, (C)X-Files.
For the many who attended the day, the memorable acting of Mulder and Scully may be the only thing that they remember!! Indeed, seven months after the event, the likelihood of remembering all of the knowledge that was shared that day is slim!!
As a result, in the spirit of continued learning, validation and recollection, I have decided to pen this post sharing my top 5 tips that will hopefully have been retained somewhere in the minds of the masterclass delegates.
The following is also good advice for those of you who are still wondering about joining the upcoming CX Masterclass in Helsinki. This year, we will dive deeper into each of these topics, as the CX Masterclass will be extended to a full two days workshop-like experience.
1. Adopt a CX Framework
Too many organisations continue to ‘do’ CX without any form of structure or rigour – this has led to a phenomenon that I describe as the ‘accidental’ experience – organisations doing ‘stuff’ related to customer experience, but in an ad hoc, accidental manner.
To make the management of CX intentional AND sustainable, it is essential to adopt a form of CX Framework – this is most commonly done through the adoption of a CX maturity model. So my question to you – have you adopted (or are you continuing to use) a framework since the masterclass?
2. Define what you want the Customer Experience to be
To deliver an intentional experience, you need to know what you want that experience to be in the first place. A customer experience strategy solidifies what the desired customer experience is, clarifying how your organisation wants its customers to FEEL, every time he/she interacts with you.
Having defined the desired experience (with the input of customer research and insight), it is then necessary to determine how well it aligns to the business strategy. Creating a ‘strategic balance’, aligning business wants and needs with those of the customer, will enable an organisation to effectively connect its purpose (the reason it exists) with the experience it delivers to its customers. Has your organisation defined its desired customer experience?
3. Adopt an approach to managing the customer journey
To drive demonstrable, tangible change to the customer experience, simply mapping the customer journey is not enough. It is essential that an organisation adopt a cycle of continuous, never-ending and interconnected activities to MANAGE the customer journey. These activities include:
- Knowing who your customer(s) are
- Mapping the end to end customer journey(s) to represent the current state experience of all types of customer
- Implementing a measurement system that captures customer perception (Voice of the Customer) of the end to end customer journey(s)
- Implementing a measurement system that captures employee perception (Voice of the Employee) of the same end to end customer journey(s)
- Implementing a measurement system that captures the ability of internal processes to deliver the end to end customer journey(s) (Voice of the Process)
- Identifying accountable process owners for every stage and touchpoint in your end to end customer journey(s)
- Reviewing the measurable performance of the customer journey(s) as part of your strategic decision-making review processes (in line with the way you measure business performance)
- Having a programme of activity addressing/improving the priority issues in the journey(s)
- Reviewing the customer journey(s) as part of your business planning cycle – monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly
- Updating and validating your customer journey(s) maps at least once a year
- Ensuring every employee in your organisation knows the role they play in delivering the end to end customer journey(s)
4. Enable people to think and act in the interests of the customer
To become a sustainably customer-centric organisation, your people will need to have the ability to go ‘beyond the tasks’ written in their job description. Performing tasks is essential, but only when being done so by people who are thinking about how the task is perceived by the customer.
Transforming the environment and culture of an organisation to enable people to think and act in the interests of the customer does not have to be difficult – from ensuring the customer is on the agenda of meetings, to having an empty customer chair at the board table – there are many examples of how organisations are doing it.
Has your organisation done anything to create an environment that enables your people to think and act in the interests of customers?
5. Learn from your peers
Transforming the way an organisation behaves is no mean feat – in fact, it is as difficult as it comes. The role of a CX professional is one that often feels like being on a rollercoaster – with lots of ‘ups’ and many many ‘downs’. The most effective CX professionals in the world are those with the courage, persistence and passion, to keep going, despite and whatever barriers are put in their way.
As a result, being a CX professional is tough – it can often feel like you are the only person in your organisation who ‘gets it’. The reality is, you are not – and you are most definitely not alone.
The thriving CX community in Finland and around the world is vital in supporting all CX professionals in their quest to ‘do the right thing’ – for customers, employees and shareholders. The more we talk to each other; share with each other; learn from each other; the better! Are you becoming an active member of the CX community in Finland (see www.cxpa.fi)?
Those of you who have heard me speak know that I could go on!! I hope that these tips have brought back more memories than just the CX-Files themed room. If you want to be reminded in more detail, you are absolutely welcome to come to the masterclass again – I will be back in 2020 – and very much look forward to meeting and sharing knowledge with more CX professionals in Finland!
Ian Golding will be leading the CX Masterclass training on May 7th and 8th. Ian’s last visit to Finland was in 2019, but this year it has been expanded into a two-day event with more insights than ever before. Get your tickets here!
Ian Golding is a renowned CX specialist, who advises leading companies with their CX strategies, as well as measuring and developing CX and listening to your employees. He is the first one to have achieved the Certified Customer Experience Professional certificate and acts as CXPA UK Ambassador.
”Transforming the environment and culture of an organisation to enable people to think and act in the interests of the customer does not have to be difficult. Has your organisation done anything to create an environment that enables your people to think and act in the interests of customers?”
– Ian Golding, Founder, Customer Experience Consultance