Focus on Culture to Drive Customer Engagement

Target CustomerIn order to improve customer engagement, the organization needs to understand the customer needs and work together as a team to support the changes necessary to deliver new solutions. The customer’s expectations have risen to learning what to focus on and how to invest your resources is critical to success.

We all tout the importance of customer engagement, but 49% of organizations haven’t even started on the journey. Of those who have hired resources, only 30% are actually starting to understand how to operationalize their customer journeys and build them into their culture. This requires education and guidance so your staff can drive the best possible results.

CX Maturity

We all want to find the magic bullet that will help us speed up the adoption process but cultural change is more complex and takes longer than technology change. Therefore, it becomes critically important for executives to start on the cultural issues immediately to meet their business needs for speed and agility. Having a great strategy will mean nothing if the organizational culture can’t perform well across the enterprise functions and business units, and focus on the customer.

We need to get everyone focused on the customer instead of assuming it’s someone else’s problem. We need executive leadership and cross functional teams to support collaboration and to have one unified definition of success. Each individual team may have different metrics but if it doesn’t all add up to the right outcomes it won’t work. All the teams need to be held mutually accountable for the outcomes. We need to move from “it’s not my job” to a mindset of “it is my job” and I will do my best to help everyone succeed.

Companies need to start by defining their customer experience vision. The Vision needs to be linked to a specific set of operating principles. For example, a health care company who wants to provide a “connection with me” service will have a completely different customer experience from one who wants to provide “world class innovation”.

Here is an example from the Cleveland clinic of a connection with my service versus a company who leads with world class technology and innovation:

Creating a short video brings your brand standards to life with stories of how it works to communicate your values that are well understood by all employees. Then employees need the training and feedback to create customer empathy and connect to the customer story. This puts an emphasis on training, accountability, and collaboration.

When everyone feels a part of serving the customer, employees will be quicker to resolve issues. They will lower the costs, reduce a number of errors and rework and create more rapid innovation through continuous iteration and testing. In other words- a faster, nimbler, and self-learning organization.

This only happens when management shares their vision, hires and trains the employees, and provides the right tools and incentives for employees to succeed. Management must trust the employees and provide continuous feedback so people know and understand what excellence looks like and how it can be achieved.

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