We all know the names: Amazon, Apple, Disney, Ritz-Carlton, Zappos. These are the companies that are consistently recognised as having the best customer experience in the world. They win CX awards virtually every year and dominate their respective markets.
- First Choice Liquor
- Boost Juice
- Red Energy
- Dan Murphy’s
What is it that enables these companies to deliver an experience that is consistently superior to that of their competitors?
In my experience of having spoken to the CEO’s and analysed some of Australia’s best-known organisations over the years, the reason these companies are so far ahead is that they possess many (or in some cases all) of the following twelve qualities:
- The CEO understands the economic value of CX and actively promotes it both internally and externally.
- They understand the customer problems they solve and constantly strive to uncover new unmet needs.
- There is a clear organisational purpose that is understood by all staff and easily communicated to customers.
- They define their aspirational customer experience and the strategy and principles that will support it.
- They evaluate the impact on customers before making any decision.
- They have one view of the customer – they collect and record information about customers from a wide variety of systems and store it in one central repository.
- Customer journeys are mapped and widely communicated and continuous improvement practices are applied to reduce the difference between the intended and actual customer experience at each touchpoint (and overall).
- They understand their customer value proposition and know why customers come, stay and leave.
- Customer feedback is recorded, analysed, distributed widely and acted upon.
- Staff are rewarded and recognised on the achievement of customer experience goals.
- The link between the employee experience and customer experience is recognised and they actively work to improve culture and employee engagement.
- New, differentiating experiences are constantly being designed for customers.
A good understanding of customers gained through a robust customer insights program is critical. Customer feedback is a necessity for qualities 2, 6, 8 and 9. And through an effective VOC platform like CentraCX customer feedback can also be used to improve culture and employee engagement (quality 11).
If you find yourself looking at that list and feeling a little daunted at the number of things you’re not currently doing, start with one or two and once you feel like you’ve embedded them, pick one or two more. It will take time but as the Chinese proverb goes, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
If you don’t currently have a Voice of the Customer program in place, start with a small survey and go from there. Collecting customer feedback is always useful even if you don’t yet have all your other processes and evaluations in place. Now more than ever companies need to know what their customers are thinking.
Finally, just remember that becoming more customer centric is a transformation. To improve your chances of success be sure to implement any changes you make to your business using change management principles such as Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model, ADKAR, or Lewin’s Change Management Model.
The companies with the best customer experience in the world are at the top of the CX mountain because they have placed customers at the heart of their organisations. By adopting the 12 qualities above, you too can follow the path they have blazed and join them on the summit.