6 Steps to Great Customer Experience
What is the secret sauce of Jeff Bezos, the powerhouse behind Amazon? Three words; the customer experience. Bezos has a “relentless focus on the customer” – and it works. While we have yet to experience the full force of Amazon in Australia, it continues to be a global powerhouse with analysts predicting continued enormous growth worldwide.
What are some of the key elements that you can deploy today to build your organisation’s focus around the customer? Here are six:
1. It’s all about the experience!
No-one wants the products or services your organisation provides. They don’t. They want the “experience” of using them and the outcomes derived from their use . It’s all about the experience. An understanding of how to delight the customer with a unique customer experience needs to be embedded into your organisation. The metrics that the staff focusses on must align to delivering not just amazing products or service, but amazing experiences! Employees must be aware of the overall customer journey and how they contribute to it, so that amazing experiences result.
2. Delighting the customer – from the top
The CEO must be focussed on delighting the customer with delivering an exceptional experience. An engaged CEO who supports and advocates the value of customer experience must create alignment throughout the organisation and ensure all staff focus on it. How about appointing a Chief Customer Experience Officer to ensure this alignment takes place? A senior executive whose role focusses solely on customer experience and works closely with the CEO (such as a Chief Customer Experience Officer) is one way to ensure the focus permeates the organisation.
3. Know and communicate how customer experience contributes to the bottom line
To keep customer-experience front of mind, everyone in the organisation needs to know the actual monetary value of happy and delighted customers. Clearly demonstrate the relationship between improved customer satisfaction and bottom line profits and communicate internally regularly.
4. Create personas for your customers
Customer personas drop you into your customers’ world and force you to empathise with their needs, gains and pains. Each of your customer segments is different, and requires messaging tailored to them. Personas are an easy way of understanding the profile of each segment, but also bring them to life when you talk about the value proposition to each of the personas.
5. Understand the customer journey of today
Both customer satisfaction and frustration stem from the overall experience of the touch points with your organisation. Carefully examine the customer’s overall journey, including individual micro steps and their purpose. The different stages on a customer’s journey with your product or service will form their view of the overall experience, and hence their propensity to return.
6. Encourage customer centric behaviour by rewarding it
As with innovation generally, reinforcing people’s behaviour by recognising and rewarding is one easy way to ensure focus in your organisation. The rewards need not all be financial, people just appreciate being recognised, so awards and mentions from senior management can work as well as financial rewards such as vouchers and prizes.
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Managing Director, The Strategy Group
Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.