I’ve been listening to customers for a long time.
Over the years, I’ve seen call centers evolve to contact centers that include nearly every possible channel for customer communication – including that little computer many of us carry around in our pocket, otherwise known as a smart phone. The consumer’s ability to communicate anywhere and everywhere about his or her experience with a product or service has been a game changer for brands around the world.
So it’s no wonder that many of my peers are anointing a single individual in their organization as the chief customer experience officer. I have no argument with the idea of driving accountability when it comes to customer experience. But what I cannot understand is assigning it to a single person.
Customer experience is everyone’s job. Look at nearly any organization and customer touch points exist throughout the ranks, from the C-suite to entry level positions. Instilling organizational accountability requires measurement, analysis, insights and communication at every level.
End-to-End View of the Customer Experience
More and more, B2B enterprises are being challenged to adopt a B2C approach to customer experience. The line between the two categories is blurring. After all, businesses are interacting with individuals, not entities, regardless of category. Technology and mobility means that consumers are more sophisticated and are demanding more from all organizations, not just from traditionally consumer-oriented entities.
A great example is healthcare, an industry that’s becoming increasingly consumer-driven. Innovations like call-ahead emergency room queuing and patient concierge services are a top-down response to bottom-up feedback. The feedback didn’t originate from a comment card or a survey, but rather from an engaged and tech-savvy customer, accustomed to making their opinion known at a moment’s notice, in-person and via social media.
Traditional customer satisfaction survey methods like customer effort, customer satisfaction and Net Promoter metrics no longer provide the depth and insights necessary to drive brand loyalty. At Northridge, we encourage our clients to track feedback from all customer-facing channels including the call center, social media, web forums, and face-to-face communication. Integrating this end-to-end data into a single view allows our clients not only to leverage feedback from the greatest body of customers, but to connect the dots between different feedback channels, allowing clients to get to the root cause of customer issues. In essence, this approach gives Northridge clients access to real-time focus groups…and real-time response.
Customer Experience is Personal
How then do you ensure that front-line feedback makes its way to the boardroom and is acted upon in a timely manner? External change starts with internal process and goes beyond ensuring that feedback loops are in place. At Northridge, client accountability is part of every employee’s success metrics. As we anticipate and respond to our own customers’ needs, we define what success looks like based on client insights. We set goals and hold each other accountable for client satisfaction through ongoing measurement. From millennial to seasoned pro, all of our people are expected to work with their teams and make the client’s mission their personal mission.
When individual accountability is part of your culture, employees not only feel ownership for customer experience, but become personally invested in the process. A winning scenario for everyone.