Back in 2007, the Harvard Business Review published Understanding the Customer Experience, describing it as “the subjective response customers have to direct or indirect contact with a company.” While many other definitions have been offered since then, in the end, customer experience (CX) is really the sum of all experiences a customer has with a company, from the initial connection to the final transaction.
For organizations, this sum of experiences is critical to success. Customer experience is often the key differentiator for our choices when buying products or services – even more so than price, convenience and other decision-making factors. All of us can think of experiences, good or bad that influence why, where and what we purchase.
Given how customers’ experiences guide decisions, a well-designed CX strategy is a key differentiator for a company or organization. CX strategies can either avoid or resolve a multitude of issues, including customer dissatisfaction, disengaged employees, disjointed operations, lagging profits, erosion of customer trust and more. As a result, our Resigility team enjoys producing CX strategies that increase internal and external satisfaction, revenue and/or efficiencies, operational excellence and loyalty. We use proven methodologies and best practices to create tailored CX strategies that overcome the most daunting customer experience problems. By deeply understanding an organization’s internal or external customers, and unifying people, processes, technology and data, we help clients envision and deliver preferred and memorable customer experiences that accelerate and sustain success.
Applying CX internally
One current Resigility CX project involves the operating division of a federal government agency that sees internal employees as customers, providing everything from IT to finance to HR to facilities support. Agency employees cannot go through their day-to-day work without being touched by this division, underscoring that “customers” can be defined more broadly than consumers who walk into a store or go online to purchase a product or service. While at an early stage, this agency is using our proven CX techniques and adapting best practices to simplify how internal customers obtain what they need in a personalized and proactive manner.
In our research and discovery process, we heard this organization’s employees aspire to be like Amazon and other renowned CX leaders, but they were stymied by strict rules and policies, legacy systems and processes, siloed operations and pockets of resistance to change. The upside is that the organization’s leadership and majority of employees are embracing this opportunity to please their agency colleagues and eliminate pain points of internal service providers.
Creating a positive customer experience
For organizations working to develop a CX strategy, following these critical steps is essential to creating a positive customer experience:
- Get to know your customer at a deep level by understanding the perceptions of those receiving and delivering products or services.
- Break down internal silos and focus on customer success – not organizational results – to develop a customer-centric mindset.
- Use customer data you already possess to identify issues and opportunities to improve.
- Build on, adjust and emulate the best practices of CX leaders – companies and organizations you admire and refer to family, friends and colleagues.