A major focus of ours at Phase 5 is applying data and industry expertise to help companies improve and refine their customer experience. This discussion is more important than ever in the current climate, as many outdated modes of CX are cracking under consumer pressure, especially in essential businesses. Now is a good time to get back to basics and re-think your CX for the post-COVID world.
So what are the basics?
Brand, Culture, and Experience.
These elements must work together like 3 legs of a stool.
Each one needs to be defined and carved out as a single piece, but it won’t be effective unless it is working together with the other two pieces. Below is an overview of each one, including how it interacts with the other two. In future blogs we will conduct a deep dive into each element on its own.
As Andreas Noe, CX Lead for Phase 5 notes, “It’s not enough for the three legs of this stool to be same length. For true alignment, those legs need to be made from the same fabric and materials, designed around a set of core values that are shared by the organization, its people and its customers, and refined and adapted again and again as the business environment shifts and evolves.”
What can your customers consistently expect from your product or service, every time they engage with you? That is your brand promise. What challenge will you solve for them, what value will they receive, how will they feel before, during, and after the transaction? How will you connect with them emotionally? These answers should be defined and understood by everyone in your organization.
While defining your brand promise is a key success factor, it means little if the customer doesn’t believe in or receive the promised value. Delivery of that promise via a thoughtfully designed customer experience will ensure it comes to life. But for employees to fulfill a customer experience that delivers on the brand promise, they need a culture that supports it.
Let’s say you have done extensive research to understand your customers, their needs, and their preferences, and you have used those insights to develop a strong brand promise. The next step is to communicate that promise to your colleagues and partners so that they understand it as well. But that isn’t enough.
The next step is to live that promise by making it the foundation of every strategic decision about people, processes, tools and technologies. Demonstrate its importance by applying it as a filter every day, and by leading your employees to apply it in their jobs as well. Empower every person to make his/her own decisions and solve problems because s/he knows it is important because it was promised to customers. This type of environment will set your organization up to be able to deliver a great customer experience, even when exceptions are required.
You know what you need to deliver, and you’ve empowered your employees to deliver it. Now, ensure that delivery is always as efficient and effective as possible by designing a customer experience with all of that in mind. A well-designed customer experience will also make it as easy as possible for employees to do their jobs, reinforcing a positive and supportive culture.
The best customer experiences are developed based on a solid understanding of what the customer values. A combination of behavioural data and attitudinal research can provide the necessary foundation. Depending on the customer or customer segment, sometimes white glove service is expected, but other times speed or a low price is more important. Knowing upfront what is right for which customer can save valuable time and precious resources.
Addressing all of the above elements can be challenging, especially during these unique and trying times. However, we believe the conscious, planned interaction of brand promise, organizational culture, and customer experience will set your business up for long term success. At Phase 5, we understand what it takes to tie these together.