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It’s already May. Have you done any customer experience spring cleaning in your company?
Ah, spring… a time of new beginnings, a time for spring cleaning. What is spring cleaning, you ask? It is a much-celebrated occasion every spring during which we do a thorough cleaning of our households: out with the old, in with the new, in preparation for an exciting new year, summer, and more.
How does that relate to customer experience? The same can apply to our organizations; it’s a good time to do away with the things that don’t work and to try or implement new approaches that will help to improve the customer experience and, ultimately, to grow the business.
I’m pleased to share a three-part series co-authored with Peter Haid of E Source on this very topic. We’ll touch on three areas of engagement that could benefit from a second look this spring. Is it time to clean house and start over, or is it time to refresh your current approach?
Let’s dive in.
In Part 1 of this series, Peter takes a look at the first area of your customer experience strategy that will likely require some spring cleaning: corporate engagement, which is all about linking the customer experience strategy with the corporate strategy (and vice versa), developing a corporate customer experience ownership and governance structure, and monitoring the customer experience.
We all have to work hard to develop and to maintain the political capital required to advance our customer experience (CX) programs. I like to call this “working sideways and up” in an organization. E Source defines “corporate engagement” as “having a CX strategy and structure that integrate the voice of the customer to routinely improve its people, processes, policies, and technology while connecting to financial benefits and business outcomes.”
Following are some simple ideas to not only reconnect with your peers and executives but also to identify potential areas for spring cleaning.
- Interview 3x3x3. Ask these three questions across three departments at three levels in the organization (front line, director, and executive):
- What have we done right in the past year in connection to our CX strategy? (Promote this internally.)
- What is our single biggest blind spot internally? (Acknowledge this internally.)
- If you had $1 to invest in the customer experience, how would you split it up among people, process, policy, data, and system improvements? (Notice the difference at each level in the organization, and remember that most quick wins come from people and policy improvements.)
- Invite Finance to build your business-case template. Without backing of the Finance team, your spring cleaning efforts will not go far. Take your CX initiative list over to the head of Finance – hopefully the CFO – and ask him or her to develop the business-case template for you to determine priority. The trick here is that any numbers you put together without Finance will get challenged, and you’ll waste time. If Finance develops the ROI template, the view of payback for moving someone from unhappy to happy to loyal, you’ll have a great view into how much is possible along with expectations about what to start, stop, continue, or improve. With the CFO’s team behind your portfolio, you just got a shot of jet fuel.
Thanks, Peter. I love the 3x3x3 concept. Listening to employees to identify customer experience improvement opportunities is an often-overlooked approach. Your approach is a great way to get input across a swath of the organization and at various levels, knowing each level has different interactions and different viewpoints. And you absolutely must have buy-in, especially from Finance, before you undertake any spring cleaning efforts.
At the end of the three-part series, we’ll provide a link to E Source’s Customer Experience Readiness Assessment tool, which will help you identify both where your organization stands on CX maturity and what actionable next steps you can take to achieve your CX goals.
Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. – William Morris
I like the idea of the 3*3*3 interviews though I am reminded of the Chinese proverb "The people follow the example of those above them".
Maybe a 3*3*1 would suffice.
Maybe. But do we always want them to follow that example? Perhaps those who follow have other ideas, better ideas. The challenge is having those "above them" accept those ideas as worthy of consideration.