Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “A court ought not be affected by the weather of the day, but will be by the climate of the era.”
Martin Ginsburg: “The law is never finished. It is a work in progress, and ever will be.” (On the Basis of Sex, 2018)
Just like your customer experience journey.
In a world where products and services are becoming more and more commoditized every day, customer experience is really the one true differentiator. We know that customers are willing to pay more for a better experience, so price can no longer be that differentiator.
In other words, brands are competing on the basis of CX.
How do you compete on the basis of CX? What must companies do?
- I wrote about the Building Blocks of a Successful Customer Experience Strategy last year, and what I want to highlight from that is the foundation: culture; brand promise; mission, vision, purpose; executive commitment and alignment (on doing business – and competing – on the basis of CX); organizational adoption and alignment; customer understanding; employee experience; and governance.
- The reason I highlight the foundation is that (a) it is critical to success, and (b) in order to compete on CX, you have to conduct business differently, i.e., you will create new or modify existing processes, experiences, and your culture to meet the dynamic and ever-changing needs of both customers and the business.
- You’ve got to look inward at how you run the business. What are the priorities? Who are the priorities? Who is an after-thought? What’s the balance between stakeholders and shareholders? Where’s the focus, on the numbers first or on the people first?
- You’ll deliberately design a customer-centric culture, where everything that is done is because it’s in the best interest of the customer. (In other words, outside-in thinking and doing rather than inside-out.) As I like to say, “No discussions, no decisions, and no designs happen without bringing the customer voice into it. Without asking: How will this impact the customer? How will it make her feel? How will it help her solve her problem or do the job she’s trying to do? How will it add value for her?”
- Let me just reiterate here that customer understanding is and must always be at the center of those discussions, decisions, and designs.
- Everything you do – from product development to mergers and acquisitions to decision making and developing processes and policies – will be done with the customer’s best interests in mind.
- You’ll put employees more first and ensure that you design and deliver a great experience, from the interview process and candidate experience through the last day of employment.
- You’ll view your competitive space differently. No longer will you just compete against other brands in your industry but also against brands in other industries, e.g., the Amazon effect.
- Data is at the heart of designing and delivering a great customer experience. You must have quality customer data (e.g., feedback, transaction, and interaction data) that is accurate, not fragmented or incomplete, and accessible. This also requires integrated (not disparate) systems that work together to get the right data to the right people at the right time.
- Not only must you deliver value for customers but, obviously, also for the business. You’ve got to show the impact on customers when you deliver value for them – and then, ultimately, link that to outcomes for the business and how that drives value for the business, e.g., increased revenue, reduced churn, efficiencies and reduced costs, etc. When you prioritize projects or initiatives, that must be done through the lens of customer impact first.
What are the outcomes of competing on the basis of customer experience? The outcomes are many, and there’s proof that they are good news! Check out these posts for some answers:
- How Do You Measure CX Success?
- The Economics of the Customer Experience
- Customer Experience and the Bottom Line (contains links to several other related posts, too)
- The Elusive ROI of Customer Experience
- CX Journey™ Musings: Should You Invest in Customer Experience?
Doing business and competing on the basis of CX has a ton of benefits – for employees, for customers, and for the business. Where does your business stand?
Two more great RBG quotes that are completely applicable to CX…
Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time. … Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you. -Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Annette Franz, CCXP is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. In September 2019, she published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your CX game.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.