01 May We’re Helping Companies With Their Customer Experience – This is How We Do It
There are many consultancies out there that are doing great work and combining a lot of experience and ideas to help organizations manage customer experience. I’m astounded each day at the depth of knowledge, theories and insights that come from these professionals. And while what I am reading from my amazing cohort of CX consulting professionals is valuable to me in expanding my knowledge—it doesn’t necessarily match up to what my clients are telling me they need. Much of what’s out there lacks pragmatic executional guidance—such as helping an organization set up a functioning customer research component or helping them establish a CX Center of Excellence staffed with deep competencies in strategy, personalization, omni-channel support, VOC, or helping them take all the necessary steps AFTER journey mapping, etc.
I’m often talking with executives and mid-level managers who care deeply about improving their customers’ experience with their brands. They share with me that they’re trapped in a reality where there is little material addressing the real problems and challenges they’re having. The information out there does equip them with more knowledge and they too love it for its theoretical value, however, is leaving them with more questions about what to do with the knowledge. It’s frustrating to leaders responsible for making Customer Experience a more profitable endeavor for their companies.
Plainly speaking, there’s a gap. And this gap spans from what most CX consultants are talking about and what CX leaders on the brand side really need for their companies. It turns out, this gap is wide…and consistent.
CX Pilots has set out to close this gap with a more pragmatic voice and a new simplified approach to CX Programs. We’re gaining traction by helping our clients suck risk out of a daunting CX Program execution experience inside their companies.
So, what are we doing differently? What makes CX Pilots unique? Our difference is found in four gap-filling attributes:
- We look at the entire customer experience ecosystem, pinpoint the precise areas that need the most improvement and then we deliver “delicate modular interventions.” We take a modular approach to deliver the greatest impact in the shortest amount of time.
- We employ sophisticated and strategic assessments to super-charge our modular initiatives.
- We have designed specific strategies to improve employee engagement and accountability with every step we take.
- We understand the value of strategic content – delivered to customers and to employees.
1. Modular Approach
We have developed an approach to Customer Experience Management that helps companies manage and control risk, cost, time-to-market and effectiveness through modular deployments of broader CX program ecosystems. First, we help our clients see the larger picture – help them stand back with that holistic ecosystem in view.
We believe that the conventional definition of customer experience is old and myopic. The old way: Customer Experience = the total sum of experiences a customer has with a brand across multiple channels and touch points. This view is entirely external to the company. In order to affect positive change in a Customer Experience you have to be looking internally and externally at the same time.
We help our clients better understand their current state (internally and externally) with custom CX Maturity Assessments (we call them Flight Checks). This help CX leaders pinpoint their most critical CX priorities. Once we have their priorities established, based on their custom assessments, we then drill down and isolate the specific module(s) of CX to develop a staged approach for improving CX. The result of this approach yields a company CX roadmap (we call it CX Compass) that tells us where we need to go first, and then second, and then third, and importantly, what we can do in parallel, etc.
The key difference here is that we help companies find the right cadence to CX mastery by using smarter assessments to zero in on their best quick wins. We don’t practice total program overhauls because there is too much risk, cost and change to absorb and this conventionally- delivered approach rarely, if ever, works. We offer a simple and practical way forward through incremental improvements designed to deliver the greatest impact in the shortest amount of time.
2. Strategic Assessments
What’s different about our CX Maturity Assessments? Two things. First, we run our clients through a CX Sobriety Check at the very onset of any CX Program work. This helps everyone involved know how well poised the company is at valuing the changes necessary and executing on them, seriously. Too often, companies embark on a program that is too large, too costly and ill-planned without total leadership buy-in. Through a sobriety check, we prevent that from happening.
Second, we custom-develop each CX Assessment (Flight Check) per client. We measure nine dimensions of CX competencies across all necessary business units and up and down the management decision-making hierarchy. This unique approach blankets the organization in both CX knowledge and awareness. It helps every stakeholder increase their understanding and investment in the customer and gives everyone a crystal-clear view of where the company is and where they need to go. This unique approach increases the value of the Maturity Assessment outcome and raises the confidence of the leadership and teams that need to improve their CX competencies. This approach is unique because the CX Pilots maturity assessment is not only a designed assessment—it’s a Trojan Horse. The results help CX leaders pinpoint their most critical CX priorities while also broadening their understanding of CX and its criticality. By its unique design, it assesses a company’s current state more strategically and is applied more broadly. It forges a deeper understanding and appreciation of CX out to all stakeholders. It increases confidence and vested interest, which typically leads to increased funding, increased cross-departmental synergies and collects broader employee ambition— all inside of one, custom-developed tool. We took a conventional assessment tool and re-invented it to do many important jobs all at once for CX leaders whose reputations are on the line. We heard them when they said they need smarter approaches that super-charge a company-wide initiative up front and out of the gate.
3. Employee Engagement & Accountability
Employee Engagement is the magic bullet to CX. With over 85% of the interactions with customers in the hands of front-line employees, their focus and engagement is mission-critical. CX Pilots develops employee engagement around CX initiatives by redesigning the employee journey toward CX mastery. We do this on two fronts. First, we’ve designed an internal CX workshops curriculum that delivers intensive hands on training that increases employee CX mastery relative to their industry and company culture. Each of these workshops provide employees the opportunity to gradually increase their specific individual skillsets while also developing stronger, interconnected team dynamics necessary to raise the company’s total CX quotient.
Second, we design patterns of accountability instead of job descriptions. We have found a way to increase employee engagement through instilling an individual and team accountability structure that re-calibrates authority and responsibility which, in turn, increases each employee’s individual and collective ambition toward the right CX outcomes. Knowing they are responsible and accountable for outcomes instead of tasks—and that they have the authority to make decisions toward outcomes, changes the entire game. We design patterns of employee engagement around this principle.
4. Strategic Content
We believe that every problem, question, challenge and obstacle is primarily human-centric. And that strategic communication is the solution to almost everything. We think about a company’s internal CX journey through a holistic content lens that we have found increases internal CX proficiency, significantly. When you look internally at the people who have the greatest influence on the company’s customer experience, you will notice that internal content communications is the vehicle upon which all knowledge, education, instruction, ideas and systems travel. And externally, content plays an increasing role in how customers experience the company’s brand. At the heart of every customer interaction, is an opportunity to say something or do something your customers value. That something is normally content.
Many of us come from a Content Marketing Operations background where we witnessed countless CX engagements where research-backed content comprised the most significant gains in CX proficiency internally, through better education, knowledge transfer, and externally, across all customer interactions.
With this, we believe that having a content-mindset that helps everyone understand the role strategic content can play in helping people do the work to understand their customer better. This is a key advantage that should be developed inside each CX program and should never be overlooked.
All four of these gap-filling characteristics are important in and of themselves—but rolled up together, provide a powerful, pragmatic and differentiating pathway companies can follow to better know their customers, better equip their teams, reduce risk/cost/time in deploying more valuable and profitable Customer Experience.