Bruce Temkin of The Temkin Group just published a great white paper entitled, “The Four Customer Experience Core Competencies” (http://bit.ly/9b5zrI).
In it, he describes what organizations that want to become customer experience leaders need to master in order to become a “customer-centric organization.” That is, an organization that continuously aligns its resources with customer needs.
Here are the four competencies and the elements of each:
1. Purposeful leadership — operate consistently with a clear set of values:
– Develop a clear purpose — go back to your vision, mission and values and ensure you and your management team are living them on a day-to-day basis
– Act consistently — on a day-to-day basis, what you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say
– Embed it into the H.R. fabric — look at what Tony Hsieh has done at Zappo’s, they’re beating Amazon, their owner, at customer service
– Market to employees — ensure they understand the vision, mission and values of the organization and what it means to them
2. Employee engagement — align employees with the goals of the organization:
– Make it easy to do the right thing — be open to employee feedback on what’s working and what’s not
– Don’t under-spend on training — ensure that every member of the team knows what’s expected of them and knows how to execute what’s expected of them
– Measure employee engagement — Tony Hsieh offers employees $2,000 to leave after two weeks, would your employees take the money or stay?
Engaged employees provide a great customer experience which results in loyal customers that generate strong financial results.
3. Compelling brand values — deliver on your brand promises to customers:
– Reaffirm the brand tenets — in all of your communications about the brand
– Define clear brand promises — reinforce those promises in all of your communications, this gives the customer the reasons to buy
– Widely communicate your brand values — ensure they are owned by the entire organization
– Keep your brand promises every time you interact with customers — customers will tolerate incompetency more than they will tolerate dishonesty
4. Customer connectedness — infuse customer insight across the organization:
– Focus on target segments — especially the 20% that’s responsible for 80% of your profit (note I said profit, not revenue — do you know who your most profitable customers are?)
– Develop strong user-centric design for all customer touch points (e.g., website, iphone app, CSR script, billing statement, store layout)
– Make customer insight widely available throughout the organization — empower employees to obtain their own customer insights to share within the organization to improve your products and services
To determine if your company is a customer-centric organization:
1. Perform a self-assessment
2. Have group discussions — perform a SWOT analysis of the customer experience provided by your company
3. Develop plans to address the areas you need to improve upon
4. Track your progress every six months with steps one and two
Does your company have what it takes to become a customer-centric organization?