|Execution is the hardest part of creating a branded customer experience. In our work with leading brands around the world we have seen a number of mistakes that are common to many failed initiatives. The good news is that they are all avoidable. We have turned these into our ‘Top Ten Tips’ for successfully managing your customer experience.
1. Leaders must be actively and continually involved
The most significant factor in creating strong companies are leaders who take personal responsibility for communicating, demonstrating and rewarding brand or company values.
2. HR, Operations and Marketing must own it
Each function has its particular part to play but to be successful, these three functions must operate as a ‘Triad’ to optimize resources, efforts and budgets to create an organisation – wide strategy for delivering the brand.
3. Focus on your most strategically important customers
A few customers will typically represent the significant proportion of your profit and these are the ones on which to focus your improvements.
4. Find out what these customers truly value
A key component of a branded customer experience is being differentiated in a way that is valuable to target customers. Focus on the top factors which drive their intention to repurchase or refer you.
5. Design CEM before designing your CRM system
Be absolutely clear how you want CRM to add value to your customer experience. Too many companies use CRM to stalk, rather than woo, the customer. The most forward thinking companies embrace CEM methodology as part of their solution.
||6. Use customer experience to retain customers rather than attempting to lock-in them in via so-called loyalty cards
Many cards create customer promiscuity because their rewards are usually incentives and discounts which attract customers who like a ‘deal’. True loyalty cards are about the organisation being loyal to the customer not the other way around.
7. Communicate to your people before your customers
Ensure your people first have the knowledge, skills and commitment to deliver the customer experience. Failing to deliver your promise to your customers will damage your brand.
8. Create differentiated training for your people
Bring to life the values of your brand in a way that is consistent, intentional, differentiated and valuable.
9. Measure and reward those activities and behaviours that drive the desired customer experience
Profitability and EPS growth are vital measures of business performance but they are lagging indicators – they are a result of differentiation, customer loyalty and brand preference. The answer is to measure the leading indicators that drive loyalty.
10. Measure customer experience rather than satisfaction
Satisfaction has become the price of entry not the way to win. The only true customer measure that correlates with improved business results is ‘advocacy’.
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