Customer Centric Culture Change

Driving Customer Centric Culture Change

Customer experience is about more than simply offering great service. It’s about ensuring your customers are happy throughout all stages of their experience with your business. If you put your customers and their experiences at the core of your business culture, you can create lasting customer value and loyalty.

By implementing customer centric culture change into your organizational structure, your business can reach its full potential. Jim Tincher, CX expert and founder of Heart of the Customer, shares his tips and experiences below to help you drive customer centricity in your business.

woman on phone

Remember, Call Center Agents = Your Brand

woman on phoneHow’s your brand today?

Defining your brand used to be so much easier. In the good old days (for me, the good old days were the 80s), your brand was whatever your advertising said it was. Social media changed all that. Now your brand is whatever your customers say it is. And so your brand is largely determined by your call center agents – those often-ignored people who toil day and night to help your customers solve their problems.

Unfortunately, many companies treat call center agents as replaceable cogs in a system. When one leaves, bring in another and move on. During the downturn you could sometimes get away with this, because you could always find another worker. But every time a disengaged agent focuses more on getting off of the call then actually solving your customer’s problem, it hurts you twice.

First, it hurts your brand. That interaction just had more impact on your customer than your CEO. Your marketing, product development and innovation were all just made ineffectual because of a frustrated call center agent. That’s always been true, but we’ve been able to ignore that – even in the face of social media. Read more

Boardroom

Not ready for customer experience governance? Then you’re not ready for CX

BoardroomAs a passionate customer experience (CX) advocate, I frequently get to meet with companies just beginning their customer experience journey. I can consistently predict their future success when the conversation moves to governance.

Governance is the active involvement of senior leadership to guide the program and knock down barriers on the way to an improved customer experience. We all love the idea of a bottom-up approach, but it’s pretty much impossible to sustain change without customer experience governance.

An effective customer experience program changes how decisions are made.  If you don’t change the decision-making, you really aren’t changing the customer experience. And the most important decisions happen above your pay grade. That’s why you need customer experience governance. Read more

Interview with Laurie Englert – Customer Experience is a Team Sport

Laurie Englert HeadshotA new digital experience can make or break success for a manufacturer.  But what do you do when you discover that many of your customers’ pain points are analog?

That’s the situation that Laurie Englert was in. And the way she answered it was by creating an environment where customer experience is everybody’s job.

Laurie is the VP of Marketing at Milestone AV, a leading manufacturer of audiovisual mounting and display solutions. She is part of the commercial team whose primary customers are the independent dealers and distributors who sell and/or install their products into schools, corporations, hotels, stadiums and basically any other commercial application.

Building a cross-functional customer experience team

Milestone’s customer experience journey began as a web project. Two years ago they began building their digital experience, and Laurie co-created a customer experience team with her VP of IT. Read more

BCBSM Customer Experience Room

CX people are digital, customers and employees are analog

BCBSM-Customer-Experience-Room-3-300x199There’s been an ongoing discussion on the CXPA’s LinkedIn group around an article listing the most effective journey mapping tools.  Tools mentioned were Visio, a presentation tool and a spreadsheet. But this discussion isn’t really just about journey mapping. It goes to the heart of how we communicate with the rest of our organization.  And it shows that sometimes we fall into the same traps that we try to keep the rest of the company out of: thinking about ourselves instead of our customers. Read more

man having poor customer service

Training Customers = Losing

iStock_000024086772XXLarge“Customers aren’t filling out our form completely. We need to train them to fill it all out, and then we’ll be able to serve them better.”

“Our members just don’t understand the benefits of volunteering. If we educate them better, more will volunteer.”

“We just need to teach our customers how to use our website so they won’t call us so much.”

“If we can teach people trying to get their licenses that it’s okay to wait hours on end in really uncomfortable seats before talking to soul-dead, disengaged employees who are just waiting until 5:00 so that they can go home, everything would be much better.”

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These are all actual quotes from employees we’ve worked with while leading customer experience workshops. Okay, I made the last one up (it’s been a bad week at the DMV).  But the other three are real.

Read more

#CXDay – A Tale of Two Company Celebrations

i-heart-customers-high-resHappy CX Day!  If you haven’t already planned out your CX Day, head on over to www.CXDay.org to learn all that the CXPA has planned for this celebration of those driving customer loyalty through an improved customer experience. Two Minnesota companies that are making a splash today are Wolters Kluwer and ShopHQ.  I asked their customer experience leaders about their plans, and am sharing them with you in hopes that it will give you some good ideas to use for next year. Read more

Are you building a culture of customer experience? Or a failed ignition switch?

There has been a lot to press about the General Motors failed ignition switch.  There are many lessons to be learned about quality and manufacturing. But the most important lesson is about culture.

Culture is your most powerful tool to create change. Exploiting your culture can drive significant improvements quickly. But culture can also stymy the best-laid plans. Witness Best Buy, which thrived in the 90s and early 2000s, driven by a culture of individual innovation. But this same culture also made it hard to react when the top competitors Circuit City and Ultimate Electronics went out of business, and the new challenge was from low-cost providers Amazon and Wal-Mart. Read more

Go analog to create customer empathy with a customer experience room

Customer Experience RoomThere’s no question about it – we live in a digital world. Checking our Facebook statuses, watching our videos, sending texts, our instincts are becoming digital.

Given that, it’s no surprise that many efforts at teaching about customers are also digital. Citrix created a digital customer room. YouTube channels are another common approach, as are intranets. Companies create all kinds of ways for employees to learn more about customers and their needs.

So why isn’t it working?  Why are companies still so disconnected from the needs of their customers? Read more

“Don’t try to change your culture. Exploit it.”

With this statement, the CXPA Insights Exchange was off and running.

This was just one of ten customer experience lessons learned that at Oracle shared by Jeb Dasteel, their Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. But it’s the one that resonated with members, and was repeated throughout the conference. As just one bullet point in a longer speech, it didn’t get the attention it deserved. I would have loved it if he spent his entire keynote on just this one point.

Culture is a central customer experience challenge. You can’t seriously change your customer experience without factoring in your culture. We take on customer experience roles because we want to change the company – we want everybody to be as passionate about our customers as we are. And so we set about to change the culture. But perhaps we should focus more on exploiting what we already have. Read more