How culture and leadership can influence customer experience

Customer-obsessed companies can grow their revenues faster and build a more loyal customer base. While this sounds like a great strategy, companies are left wondering how they can actually achieve a customer centric culture? Vicky Katsabaris, Customer Experience (CX) Subject Matter Expert, Qualtrics said, “Having executive leadership and cross functional alignment plays a significant role in influencing customer engagement. When customer focused values and principles are embedded into the day-to-day lives of your people and processes, leaders have an additional lever to drive profitability, employee retention and revenue growth. By doing this you are enabling the business to operate differently, so that providing great customer experience is a natural by-product of the way they work.” Qualtrics have identified four ways culture and leadership can influence customer engagement: 1. Executive sponsorship Research from Forrester shows that of the 84% of firms that aspire to become a customer experience leader, only 1 out of 5 deliver great customer experience. (1) In order to become a CX leader, the customer must be a top priority for the organisation. Senior Leadership teams must show accountability for all CX metrics. This includes consistent communication both internally and externally on the successes and shortcomings of customer programs and metrics. 2. Organisational alignment Where you will see the most success is when various departments share the same CX vision, making it a shared responsibility throughout the organisation. While they might address different aspects, they all aligned on common processes and data sharing practices. Katsabaris said, “It’s recommended that an organisation have a central team to manage the overall CX program. They would be responsible for the overall integrity of the program, comprehensive goal setting and ongoing tracking. Most importantly, they need to be supported by senior leadership.” 3. Common customer metrics Whilst it’s essential to measure the success of your CX programs, it is more important to be consistent in how an organisation measures success. Doing so, allows an organisation to compare historical data, measure improvements over time and identify trends for further improvement. 4. Publish customer values When creating your organisations customer values, be very specific and ensure that they clearly convey priorities and how these priorities translate to actions for each member of your organisation. Then once you have your agreed upon CX values, communicating it to your customers is an excellent way to show accountability. Remember, talking about your values is one thing, then the next step is to deliver on those promises. Customer-obsession is an ongoing process. Organisations looking to become truly customer-obsessed must listen to feedback from their customers and act on it. Katsabaris said, “Organisations that use a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use platform, like Qualtrics, can gather real-time snapshots of their customers’ experiences and determine where they can make operational and strategic improvements. By gathering this kind of feedback and analysing it for insights, businesses are able to continuously improve their customer’s experience.” Reference: (1) Forrester -