10 ways to create a CX culture within your company
When the lines of ownership are blurred, CX management can be something of an organisational hot potato. But let’s say for argument’s sake that it’s marketing’s job to lead in making the brand customer-centric. And while we’re at it, let’s also concede that this means collaborating with other departments and monitoring all customer touchpoints.
In order to do this, there needs to be a culture that prizes customer experience across the whole organisation – not just marketing. But promoting a culture within a company where you carry little weight is a difficult business. Nonetheless, following these 10 steps will put you in good stead.
1. Give it the airtime it deserves
Be persistent and bring customer experience up in the conversations that matter. Ensure CX is discussed regularly at board level (or senior management level if you don’t currently sit on the board). Explain why it directly affects the performance of each department and suggest ways the respective heads of department can prioritise it.
2. Hire right
This in part comes down to the employer’s judgment, but bear in mind the individual’s propensity to show a strong commitment to customer experience when it comes to taking staff on. This can become apparent from as early on as the CV stage – have they specified customer-focused career highlights or demonstrated an understanding of client expectations?
"Just half an hour with a paying client can shed more light on the things that matter than hours of strident debate with members of your own organisation."
Offering both formal and informal incentives for employees who demonstrate commitment to CX is another way of embedding a CX-focused company culture. Do this by connecting CX goals and employee behaviours in formal KPIs and appraisals, and offering cash incentives or bonuses for customer-focused employees. Make sure you also celebrate good behaviour by highlighting excellent work via company-wide communications.
4. Choose a champion
Determine who, within each department, can act as a CX champion – possibly those who’ve previously undertaken customer-facing roles, or are particularly attentive to clients. Perhaps it's that member of the sales team who seems to know everyone or friendly Phil from marketing.
Many organisations exploit the enthusiasm of junior staff; these guys are often keen to prove themselves and can thus make great CX advocates.
5. Form a team
Bring these CX evangelists together and form a customer experience team. This mixed bag of employees should share a definition of CX and use their wide range of expertise to work towards the same goals – honing the practice along the way.
6. Go to the horse’s mouth
When possible, invite your customers to attend meetings – it will help put them at the heart of everything you do. They will be unbiased toward departments so their feedback will be candid and constructive. Just half an hour with a paying client can shed more light on the things that matter than hours of strident debate with members of your own organisation.
7. Train them up
Provide training on how employees can deliver the intended customer experience. From the start of any new role, ensure the onboarding process underlines the wider organisation’s commitment to CX.
8. Be flexible
Give employees a degree of autonomy in decisions relating to customers and create an open working environment in which changes to systems and process can be shared and discussed. It's important to expect and accept short fallings and encourage collaboration and constructive feedback.
Creating a deep-rooted culture of customer experience is a long process involving a lot of people, so it’s important to hone and adjust along the way. Forge feedback loops that allow employees to gather intelligence as quickly and easily as possible.
10. Put it down in writing
As you would a to-do list, make sure you have a customer experience mission statement. The more succinct and broadly appealing the better – this will serve as a reference point for the whole company and thus help keep CX front of mind.