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Customer experience is top of mind in every organization.  Keys to a successful enterprise are centered around realizing the lifetime value of a customer and designing work processes that create customer “delight”, resulting in their likelihood to recommend you to others.

According to our recent customer service experience report, 80% of consumers say they will switch to a different company because of bad customer service, and only half say they would consider returning – the stakes are high!

customer experience representative

Too often enterprises focus only on the front-line channels, those people and processes that directly interface with customers.  However, when it comes to customer experience, best in class firms take a holistic, end-to-end view.  It starts with examining how customers are acquired, that is the steps in their decision-making process, then moves to how their service is established or their purchase fulfilled, which is the first test of your ability to delight them, and finally on how the customer relationship is nurtured for life long retention.  Back-office functions often measure their success by defect-free throughput, and those departments operate within their silos to drive efficiency and scale.  But to get breakthrough results in customer experience, enterprises must look at how those operations contribute or detract from the front-line channels’ ability to deliver an exceptional customer experience.  Everyone in the workplace has a role in customer experience!

Following are three steps to ensure every department understands how they contribute to an exceptional customer experience:

Conduct a business process improvement exercise, but do it from the customer’s perspective. Select some back-office personnel to “walk in the shoes” of a customer.  Sit side by side with those front-line channels to see first-hand how the back-office work fits into the big picture.  Excessive manual handling can create error fallout which contributes to issues that will ultimately impact the customer.  So, examine the process to see if there are opportunities to improve the work flow, minimize hand-offs, increase mechanization, or re-align the work so that the customer journey is more effortless.

Use omni-channel customer feedback to get business process insights. There’s nothing like having the director of warehouse operations or the VP of network maintenance listen to customer calls, review on-line chats, or read social media feedback.  Those customer interaction channels are rich with business insights about back-office operations and hold the keys to creating a path towards providing exceptional customer service.

Examine your metrics and scorecards as if the customer were rating you. Do you have a dashboard with a visible “golden thread” that measures the end-to-end process from the customer’s point of view and that links the factory floor to the C-suite?  Or is your scorecard unique to each department and with no connection between the measure of success at a worker level to the success criteria of the enterprise?  Do you have so many metrics that you can’t see the forest for the trees?  If everyone in the organization, all departments and all levels of the organization, doesn’t have their eye on the same goal line, you can’t achieve exceptional customer experience.

Customer experience is a critical success factor for businesses, and delivering exceptional customer experience happens well beyond the boundaries of just the front-line customer channels. Making sure everyone understands how they directly contribute to the end customer experience, and identifying opportunities for improvements across silos, ultimately contributes to an organization with a total focus on customer experience.

For more information on how to conduct an end-to-end customer journey map, or to design a golden scorecard or to develop an omni-channel voice of the customer program, get in touch with our consultants here.