It is good to have a guide in life. Many of us share political creeds, religious beliefs and codes of honour to guide our decision making. Wouldn’t it be crazy good to have the same for the doctrine of Customer Experience? When I co-authored the book “CEM Success without Exception” back in 2006 Customer Experience Management was in its infancy.
Now a decade later we have the accumulated wisdom of the giants of CEM, proof that focus on Successful Customer Outcomes, Outside-In and working backwards are fundamental to winning organisations. It is with these thoughts in mind and the worthy experience of many that I set pen to paper to craft these tenets as guidelines for all of us seeking to maximise our deployment of Customer Experience Management.
1. Customers are first, center and last for everything.
Understanding that all the work an organization undertakes ultimately stems from a customer interaction is key. Work to engineer every experience to the optimum.
2. Listen to the questions customers ask you.
Resist voice of customer surveys (they are biased and unrepresentative) and focus on understanding and articulating needs.
3. Stop selling and let people buy.
Customers are now prosumers and most know what they want and how to get it. You will not win them if you force sell; in fact you will make enemies of them.
4. Map the Total Customer Experience.
This is both the stuff the customer sees (the customer journey) and the work that takes place to across the rest of the organization to support all interactions.
See the complete duck.
5. Create your brand and be the brand you create.
Customers develop trust when you say what’ll you do, and then do what you say. Conversely do not project yourself as something you are not.
6. Be consistent and truthful across all your channels.
Customers will interact in ways and times that suit them, so ensure you keep a coherent message across all experiences.
7. Act on People liking people.
Do not hide behind automation, whether that is voice systems, web interactions or even text messaging. The most intimate relationships are formed with people, not computers.
Keep in front of the song.
8. Creating memorable customer experiences requires anticipation and coordination.Fix problems before they happen, and when problems do arise (they will) pull out the stops to put things right.
9. Design every customer experience for the category of customer.
You should never ever treat all customers in the same way. Personalization and direct communication are proven winners in an era of standardization.
10. Employees are your first customers.
If they ain't happy your paying customers won’t be either. Treat your people well and let them know they are the most critical part of the brand and the total customer experience.