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  • Writer's pictureDevon Harris

Defining Customer Experience Success for C-Suite Leaders

There is a common pattern that occurs when a CEO or other C-suite leader becomes passionate about improving customer experience. They may announce their commitment to this idea and even assign someone, such as the Chief Marketing Officer, to lead the effort. However, there is often no formal plan or strategy in place, no dedicated resources or team, and no clear goals. As a result, the leader tasked with improving customer experience is unable to effectively address the issue and may ultimately be replaced, with the focus on customer experience being abandoned. To avoid this outcome, it is important to make a strong case for investing in customer experience and to ensure that the C-suite understands and is committed to managing this effort.

The Importance of Intentionally Managing Customer Experience

Customer experience is the overall perception and emotions a customer has with a brand, and it is constantly occurring whether we acknowledge it or not. It is not just about implementing a specific tool or technology, but about intentionally creating a positive end-to-end experience for customers.

Effective leaders understand this and proactively work towards a vision of excellent customer experience through strategic planning and consistent execution. Simply discussing customer experience is not enough to make it a reality - it requires a clear vision and a goal for the desired outcomes.

Investing in a tool or technology is not the same as investing in customer experience. To truly succeed in this area, leaders must be intentional, proactive, and consistent in their efforts to manage and improve the customer experience.

The Connection Between Customer Experience Strategy and Business Success

Merely stating that the goal of your strategy is to "create great experiences" or "exceed expectations" is not sufficient. It is important to clarify what constitutes a great experience and whose expectations you are trying to exceed, as well as how much you hope to exceed them by.

Defining measurable outcomes, such as "increasing retention by X%" or "reducing customer service calls," can help demonstrate how improving customer experience can lead to overall business success, through increased revenue and reduced expenses.

Customer experience strategy should not be solely focused on pleasing customers, but should also consider the impact on the overall organization and its success.

Repeated Communication in Customer Experience Efforts

Many traditional business education programs do not cover customer experience strategy and discipline, and as a result, business leaders may not be familiar with the concept of considering the entire customer journey in their decision-making. Additionally, managers may not be given clear expectations for how to innovate in the realm of customer experience.

Therefore, it is important for organizations to communicate their commitment to customer experience consistently, through specific messages that convey the CX mission, what success looks like, and what is and is not working. This helps to reinforce the importance of customer experience and empowers employees to identify and address issues and find creative solutions. It is not enough to simply discuss customer experience at a single event - it must be integrated into the way the organization operates. C-suite leaders must show their dedication to this effort in order for it to be effectively implemented throughout the company.

The Connection Between Employee Experience and Customer Experience

Employee experience directly impacts customer experience, as it is the employees who are responsible for delivering it. To provide the best customer experience, it is crucial to support, empower, and recognize employees when they excel in serving customers, the organization, and their teams.

Brands that promise respect to customers must also demonstrate respect for their employees. When employees are treated well, they are more likely to be satisfied and committed to delivering excellent customer experience, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and employee retention. In turn, this can lead to reduced hiring costs and increased employee referrals. Improving employee experience can create a positive feedback loop that benefits both employees and customers.


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