What are the 7 deadly sins of CX?
With C3 only slightly more than one week away, I’m really looking forward to hearing from customer experience guru, Annette Franz of CX Journey, who will be presenting in the CX track on Wednesday, May 11 on The 7 Deadly Sins of Customer Experience.
As Annette explains: “The seven deadly sins are mortal sins, considered to be the root of all other sin. If you commit these sins, failure is certain. Are there more than seven sins in customer experience? Yes, probably. But the seven we’ll cover in this presentation are the most egregious; if you’re guilty of these, your customer experience transformation efforts will fail.”
Those are daunting words, but if you attend this session, we’ll all have the opportunity to atone for our former sins (no flogging required) and move forward toward a sinless CX existence. To not miss out on this invaluable talk, REGISTER for C3 by clicking here.
As a sneak preview, I’ll share with you Annette’s Number One Deadly Sin of CX: No executive commitment. I couldn’t agree more. It’s next to impossible to change anything major inside an organization without executive buy-in. She writes: “If company leadership isn’t on board with focusing on the customer, then forget it; it won’t happen. Oh sure, you might have localized or departmentalized efforts, but those will be silo’d efforts that translate to silo’d experiences for the customer. Without executive commitment, you’ll never get resources – human, capital, or other – to execute on your customer experience strategy.”
This ties nicely to a point articulated in Annette’s last guest blog for Clicktools, Creating a Culture that Delivers Results for the Business. In it, she wrote: “Executives are key to success of any culture transformation. Without them, it won’t happen. Executive commitment, not just buy-in, is a must. Not just one executive, all of the executives: the CEO and her entire e-staff. Without their commitment, you won’t get the resources (human, financial, etc.) to get things done. Without every executive across the organization, there will be barriers that will inhibit any progress toward a cohesive, consistent culture, and ultimately, experience for the customer. Without executives setting the tone and the direction, change will not happen.”
I wanted to add a bit of commentary to these points because the time has come for executive teams to put the customer journey in front of corporate processes. The best companies are doing that and it’s apparent when you do business with them. Today’s top leadership teams should come together to define all customer-facing interaction points and strive to improve them by imagining them from the buyer’s perspective. This means being able to answer tough questions such as, “What matters most to the customer at this particular touchpoint?” This is a difficult exercise and frankly, something that most executives aren’t willing to do. That’s unfortunate.
Especially with great enterprise feedback technologies at your fingertips, the answers to those questions are readily available if you ask. And, even if you think you know, ask anyway! It’s critical to use a feedback solution to collect and analyze customer opinion and sentiment. Especially in the boardroom, anecdotal “evidence” can dominate. Rather than guessing and arguing, devise strategic feedback mechanisms to truly know how customers perceive you.
Keep in mind also that carefully designed customer journeys (and the CRM processes to support them) have an effect beyond earning and retaining customers. They also have a massive impact on keeping employees happy. With feedback in CRM, teams have the information and context needed to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively. Even better, launch an employee feedback program that holds as much weight and value to the business as customer feedback, as I discussed in my recent post, Fresh Eyes on Employee Feedback.
The good news is that executive support of customer and employee experience initiatives is picking up steam. We’re seeing more and more titles such as Chief Customer Officer, VP of Customer Success, and similar popping up. That’s encouraging to have a named leader to coordinate strategy and be the customer champion on the management team. It also hopefully means being or working for a CEO who truly understands the power of customers, happy employees, and the business value of their positive experiences.