What's in it for me? - Part I
This is a rhetoric statement but very relevant considering the information overload for every stakeholder involved in making customer experience more meaningful. In the digital world, all stakeholders be it customers, employees or partners, everyone is connected and thus understands the value they bring into the table. They are much more informed and hence the decisions or choices they make are not random.
Hence, for an enterprise, the customer experience initiatives have to consider all stakeholders in order to make a meaningful change. In this part, let's look at the needs of customers/employees and how it can be tied to customer experience:
a. Customers - These are the folks for which the term has been coined and hence they are the prime stakeholder. For a customer, every active or passive interaction that happens with the enterprise has to be under the purview of customer experience. It is not service or marketing or sales or anything else for that matter. It is the enterprise as the whole. They want to be valued in all interactions.
b. Employees - These are the folks who execute the initiative, however since employees are from different functions, the needs are also varied. Honestly, in my experience, this is the biggest challenge of understanding the needs and accordingly designing the initiative in a way which can cater to each and every function's objectives. For an employee, it should help in their appraisals, to grow their functions to meet annual objectives.
Let us illustrate their roles with a simple scenario of a new product launch of a washing machine by a Hi-Tech manufacturer company in the following manner:
Employees Role or Function - Key Goals - Impact on Customer Experience - Reason (s) - Good CX will lead to
1. Senior Management -> Grow revenues and profitability, gain market share -> Very High -> They are the initiators and sponsors -> Higher brand recognition, Healthier financial need, better returns
2. R&D -> To solve a real need for customers -> Very High -> Ultimately the product performance is what will delight customers -> More budget for new activities
3. Marketing -> Successful marketing campaigns, lower customer acquisition costs -> High -> The communications should be balanced that can touch customers emotionally as well as technically -> More budget for further campaigns, Better word of mouth, Build stronger brand
4. Sales -> Meet monthly, yearly targets -> High -> They are torchbearers. Customers do not want be lured by false promises or expectations created by Marketing campaigns -> Higher incentives, Quick turnaround, More inbound sales
5. Service -> Retain customers -> Very High -> Customers should be supported in emphatic manner rather than operational manner. The experience can take a beating if customer is not satisfied despite a good product -> Higher customer & employee satisfaction
Thus, it is evident that why enterprises should buck up and realize the impact different functions have on overall customer experience.