Creating a Customer-centric Culture: Four Steps to Get Started
After what feels like forever, I recently got a chance to re-engage in my favourite pastime – meeting people in person at a Quadient-hosted event located here in London, UK. At the Experience-driven CCM event, I had the opportunity to explore how Quadient can further solve the challenges that our current and future customers face.
As I mingled with our many customers and invited guests, two takeaways immediately became clear. The first is that businesses have taken the painful learnings from the recent pandemic and are translating them into a renewed focus on the customer experience – looking for ways to unlock the value of their customer interactions to support more durable, long-term relationships. Sadly, the second takeaway is that there’s still frustration on how to turn that focus into tangible results, especially for those just starting out on their CX journeys.
Fortunately, Quadient customers are a resourceful bunch! A genuine spirit of openness (combined with a few other spirits from the bar) helped me define four guiding principles that have enabled our customers to overcome the hurdles often stumbled upon when embarking on a journey towards a customer-first culture.
1. KNOW THE CHALLENGE AHEAD
Cultural change is difficult, but ultimately, worthwhile. Accepting that the vision can seem like boiling the ocean to less forward-thinking colleagues, and then embracing the challenge as your personal, long-term mission was critical for many of our customers. You’ll lose some friends that are reluctant to change, but gain a lot more in the long run. After all, an evangelist will always be seen as a pariah until they show the value of their aims and begin to attract followers. It’s a necessary step to take, so take it early, be confident you’re doing the right thing, and commit to the goal.
2. KNOW YOUR COMPANY
One of the first major mistakes many often make is believing that all experiences are equal. They’re not. The customer experience is a critical element in attracting and retaining customers who, ultimately, will then be more inclined to spend more money with your business rather than with your competitors. If you get it right, your CX goal leads to a financial reward. Get it wrong, and you just spent a lot of time and money fixing something that didn’t materially help anything.
So, understanding your company strategy is vital. Seek out the cost and revenue levers, and understand which areas influence them the most so that you can focus your efforts on experiences that will make customers smile AND support your business's goals. Ignoring some obvious failings may seem counter-intuitive, but you’re much more likely to get the investment you need if your goals align with those of your board.
3. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER
Picking the right project requires more than being able to recite strategies. If you don’t have the ability to understand your customers’ needs by visualising the paths they take when engaging with your organisation, and the points that cause friction, then you’re not going to be effective. After all, you’re going to have to ask for a budget, so you’re going to need evidence that you’re fixing problems that will make a significant, customer-wide impact.
Customer journey mapping (CJM) was almost universally accepted as being the starting point here, and attendees who still perform this task manually looked on with envy as others spoke about the benefits of CJM software. With the move to hybrid work, sticking post-it notes on the walls of a meeting room no longer cuts it, and remote collaboration is now a must-have. Solutions with the ability to support the prioritisation of tasks and identify quick wins were highlighted at the event, as this removes the painful job of manually ranking every individual task.
4. KNOW YOUR LIMITS
This final challenge stems simply from overconfidence, naivety, or perhaps— both. Many attendees admitted that when they first embarked on their CX transformation journey, they had only attended a single CX course, and believed they knew more than they actually did. Looking back, it was the equivalent of learning the rules of chess from a book and then taking on a Grandmaster in your first game, or passing your driving test and entering a Formula One Grand Prix the next day. It’s natural to make mistakes when learning, but these mistakes cost time and money.
With the benefit of hindsight, our customers agreed that it’s ok to ask for help! External business consultants support teams in large organisations every day, and there’s no reason for CX to be an exception to this rule. They play a vital role in taking you beyond the basics and holding your hand as you become increasingly self-sufficient, while helping you avoid numerous, expensive errors.
A Trusted Partner in Your Customer-centric Transformation Journey
At Quadient, we’re proud to support customers on every continent as they begin their own customer-first transformation journeys. Unlock the value of your critical interactions with Inspire Journey, our industry-leading customer journey mapping solution, or click here to contact us about our selection of accredited partners that can guide you as you explore the world of CX.