Experience-led businesses are normally the first to recognize shifting patterns in how their craft, and the people who buy it, are changing—and they adapt it. Make sure your customer experience strategy accounts for this.
Your current and future client’s perceptions matter. When capability, scale, quality, price and service delivery marches toward parity, people take note. When you’re purpose-built to continuously offer something distinctively different, innovative and hard-to-copy—that’s relevant.
Experience-led firms are designed to remain relevant in the face of perpetuating change by focusing on service design and delivery that is distinctively different, innovative and impossible to copy.
Experience-led businesses realize that experiences are loosely and predictively encoded by the firm while rigidly and meticulously decoded by their client. Customer experience strategy needs to reflect this.
Because client experience is about the set of interactions between the firm and client, experience-led firms yield to how clients are likely to decode them. Journey-based interaction mapping allows experience-led firms to put their client experience through a metaphorical MRI to see what’s happening beyond educated guesses. They then isolate moments of truth, points of friction and opportunities to innovate based on real journeys that will determine client loyalty.
Experience-led businesses believe compassion is a force-multiplier and that anticipating interaction outcomes with empathy will outperform anything. To this end, they study all interactions that matter and plan with a continuous-improvement mindset.
Mistakes will always happen and poor experiences are inevitable. Recovery is the lynchpin. Experience-led businesses develop iron-clad recovery models for every interaction.
All services perish once consumed. Some are remembered, most are forgotten by the remembering self. What do you want your client to remember? Experience-led businesses learn just enough science about client experience memory to ‘hack’ these highly subjective phenomena to their advantage.
Client’s experiences are stored in either ‘episodic’ or ‘semantic’ memory. Services that cannot reach into the experiential level and cannot gain enough distinction in the minds of their clients, are doomed to semantic or procedural memory—or the forgotten.
Savvy, experience-led firms learn to ‘hack’ service experiences so their clients are able to mentally relive each part of their experience with the firm—focusing on the distinctive and valuable elements when they are asked to advocate or refer you to others. This is a difference-maker.
Early Stage CX is about orienting the firm around the experiences people have with one another. It’s a time to get excited! You are about to level up! In this stage, we walk firms through what it’s like to manage CX and begin seeing tangible results. It’s about teaching firms how to inject more purpose into every interaction while improving the top and bottom line. We’ve walked many firms through this process and have helped many executives turn their firms into the best version of itself through managed CX programs.
The very first step is to set the right foundations for implementing CX into your firm. In order to accomplish this, we recommend starting with a two-part leadership workshop. Part one “Looking-In” looks inside the firm (culture, employees, roles, processes, finance, marketing, sales, etc.) to help leadership understand CX from the inside out. Part two “Looking-Out” looks outside the firm (clients, partners, competition, external communications, etc.) to help leadership understand how to compete more effectively through CX. Following the workshops, we recommend completing CX Pilots’ CX Readiness and Maturity Assessment to determine the firms baseline relative to where it wants to set goals and objectives.
Once leadership has gone through the two-part workshop and the CX Readiness and Maturity Assessment is complete, we recommend revisiting the firms purpose/vision/mission statements and aligning CX to the firms existing corporate objectives. CX Pilots has created a way to make CX and CX management subtractive, which means we resist making it another corporate initiative and instead work to weave CX into existing initiatives. We then facilitate a Value Planning exercise to help firm executives thoroughly understand what value the CX program will create for the firm, its employees, the culture, the clients and the outside partners. There are 188 value drivers in our library. We work to help the firm start small and pragmatically and steadily grow measurable value over time.
Once the firm has set its foundations, aligned its purpose/mission/vision to corporate objectives and gone through the Value Planning exercise, we help the firm create its CX Strategy and Roadmap. Once these are complete, we help train the staff on the foundations of CX and tie actions, outcomes and incentives to individual roles, accountabilities and measures. At the end of this stage everyone in the firm knows what CX is, why the firm is embarking on its CX journey and how it impacts them on every level.
In this stage we are following the CX Roadmap and beginning to execute on the CX strategy together as a team. The foundations have been set and tied to the firms purpose and mission, we all understand the value we’re pursuing, it’s now time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
In order to successfully accomplish the elements of the CX Strategy, we have to know how we’re delivering value and how we’re receiving value through managed CX. In this step, we begin mapping client journeys so we can understand precisely where value is hidden or trapped in the process of working with clients. Once Client Journey Mapping is complete, we work with the firm’s leadership to carefully design a measurable value exchange formula. Example: What is CX making us do differently that provides added value to employees, clients and partners, in exchange for added value received (more top line revenue, lower cost of marketing, deeper employee engagement, higher NPS/client loyalty, etc.). To sustain added value given and received, we help the firm develop CX Governance, which, as a result, keeps the firm accountable to steady delivery and accrual of this added value.
Once the firm has Value Delivery, Client Journey Mapping and Governance under control, it is time to establish CX Metrics (measurement strategy and approach) and a strong closed-loop client feedback management system. This step is imperative because it ensures that everything the firm is planning and executing is being done and governed toward the value it seeks in a measured, managed and predictable manner.
Data < Information < Insight < Knowledge < Improvement < Value This step is all about the process of cultivating insights the firm can use to improve the value it gives and receives. Insights are generally created from employee and client feedback. When the firm is processing feedback into insights and driving insights back into the firm, a CX-trained culture will know exactly how to convert those insights into actions across every role, team and department. When everyone in the firm is acting on insights, the firm’s leadership is pulling insights into executive meetings, and key firm decisions are being made by virtue of these insights, you’ll know the firm has hit an optimal state of CX.
Late Stage CX Management is about the firm reaching “CX cruising altitude.” At this stage, the firm is in advanced stages of managed CX where a culture of trained and enthusiastic people are completely and collectively involved in advanced states of creating more value for every client, through every interaction, every time. This is the point at which firms begin to find innovative ways to harness collective ambition toward milestones they could have only dreamed about before CX.
This step focuses back on the Client Journey Mapping yet goes deeper and wider to encompass more journeys. In this step, we walk firms through the process of mapping more discrete interactions—in a more surgically precise manner. We will map the employee experience journey, a wider array of client journeys (to cover more segments) and drill down deeper into the art and science of enhancing every point of interaction the firm has. We then take all the information and find specific opportunities to a) remove friction, b) create an innovation, c) remap an accountability.
In this step we take the information and outcomes from the Interactions, Experiences, and Outcomes step and move into Design Thinking to find new ways for the firm to differentiate itself. This step helps firms envision new market opportunities and adjacencies in some cases, and in other cases merely finds a new and better way to deliver more quality into an existing service line.
This step requires little explanation. For most firms this is the graduation phase where the firm has full autonomy to manage its own CX program through the CX Governance structure set up in Step Four. At this point CX Pilots has taught the firm everything it needs to manage its own fully-functional CX program. Our next step is to remain on call and do six month check-ins as per contracted.