Stephanie Clarke is the Director of Content Marketing at Quadient, responsible for developing and executing Quadient’s global content strategy. Stephanie has more than 14 years of experience in the software, technology and manufacturing industries. She has a proven track record for designing and implementing winning and profitable B2B marketing strategies for global technology brands. Stephanie holds a B.A. from Wilfred Laurier University. She is very active on LinkedIn and Twitter – please connect with her by clicking the icons above.
Before 1999 the field of customer experience was virtually unheard of. There were no best practices in place. How to proceed and what course to take was uncharted territory.
The responsibility for blazing the CX trail was thrust on the shoulders of a select few; men and women chosen because of their innate ability to understand and appreciate the customer perspective and how all aspects of a company’s business affect it.
CX Expert, Annette Franz spoke to five of them and asked them to provide their best advice for fellow customer experience executives. Here’s what they shared:
Be prepared to wear many hats
Change is never easy, especially when dealing with a large organization with many departments and hundreds of employees that are used to doing things a certain way. Facilitating CX change and successfully navigating the politics that come with it will draw heavily on the customer experience executive’s versatility. Donna Peeples, CCO, Pypestram, explains.
“CCOs have to be a bit of a salesman (influencer), a politician (it’s a campaign you’re running; it takes shaking hands and kissing babies), a technologist, a customer advocate--all with a complete understanding of the business model. You have to be able to zoom in and zoom out quickly, to see the white space and fill the gaps.”
Make CX tangible as soon as possible
Isabelle Conner is the CMO/CCO at Assicurazioni General Spa. She believes one of the keys to company-wide adoption of your CX strategy is confirming the impact it will have on the bottom line.
“The faster you can link CX to economic value, the better. Your CFO needs to tangibly see the value of investing in CX.”
Don’t try to be a hero
Transforming an organization from being company-centric to customer-centric is a big job. Nick Frunzi, CCO at Esri, advises that you don’t try and do it all yourself.
“You must teach and empower others to do this work with and for you. Don’t be afraid of that. If you get the executive mindshare, educate colleagues, and make the customer essential to the DNA of your organization, yes, it’s possible, you will work yourself out of a job. If you do, consider yourself a tremendous success, and don’t worry; there will be plenty of other organizations that still need your help and guidance on this journey.”
Claim the KPI early
Ingrid Lindberg has served as the CCO at four organizations during her career. She is adamant that one of the most important things to do early on in the development of a CX strategy is to define which KPIs your success will be measured against.
“I’ve always first identified the metric that mattered, tied that to my customer lifetime value, and actually signed up for that revenue number. Own it, don’t run away from it. I’ve always said, if my strategy is right and we’re executing on it, it will only help the revenue. Claim it early, so you don’t have to chase it later.”
Don’t forget your own people
As a CX executive it’s easy to spend most of your time focused on meeting the needs of your external customer. However, Christine Corbett, CCO of the Australia Post, reminds CX executives to not lose sight of another important group.
“If it’s a pain point for your customers, it is generally a pain point for your own people too, so it’s important that you continue to stay closely connected to your frontline teams and take action based on their feedback. I firmly believe in the importance of empowering your people and equipping them with the tools they need to deliver great customer experiences. After all happy people, deliver great customer experiences, which drives great business outcomes.”
For more sage advice on CX best practices, we invite you to download our free e-book: Rise of the Customer Experience Executive.