Hi, we are a 100+ employee business in the software industry and we've been discussing the customer experience a lot recently. Which department in our organisation should be taking the lead with our customer experience project? At the moment nobody is taking the lead.
I welcome your comments.
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First you need to understand what customer experience means for your company and then map out the customer journey in terms of what that means when they interact with any part of your business. Once you flowcharted that down than look at that affects departments. If you have a dedicated customer service team, then they could be the lead dept. if not then you should look at a project manager who has the ability to lead such a project then define the purpose and the corresponding project deliverables. If it is in the heart of your business then you will likely have a sponsor who will make this a priority, usually at senior level but you can promote the cause also.
For it to be successful, it should be the CEO. Only the CEO has the power to bring together all the different functions that contribute to the customer experience. Also the CEO sets the culture which will determine how succesful any CE initiative will be.
That said, the customer service team can make some tactical interventions that can improve the current experience. Below is a link to a article I have written on this for mycustomer.com
I also wrote a couple on how to get started on improving the customer experience using tactical initiatives and using low cost research techniques, but these seem to have been deleted from the archive. (Neil?!)
No fear - they've not been deleted!
You can find the aforementioned articles at the links below:
Best practice guide: Using cost-effective research to improve the customer experienceFour ways to improve the customer experience on a shoestring
Customer experience management should be owned by all employees, as their processes, policies, hand-offs, attitudes, and daily decisions have a ripple effect on customer-facing employees, and ultimately, on end-user customers as well. As such, you should stream relevant customer feedback data to every department and integrate customer experience improvement actions into their day-to-day work.
Businesses exist to serve a customer need, which results in a profitable revenue stream. As such, there's nothing more important than customer experience management (CEM) to be championed by the entire executive team. Some companies establish a VP-level Chief Customer Officer (CCO), but whoever guides the company's CEM business processes should be a catalyst and facilitator for enterprise-wide engagement in CEM. I've seen a lot of CCO's agendas relegated primarily to customer acquisition or revenue growth, which is a huge mistake. Marketing, and Sales in particular, already have customer acquisition emphasis. Most CEM efforts in place are non-integrated revenue-oriented programs from earlier customer satisfaction, loyalty, engagement, and CRM initiatives. What's missing, typically, and necessary for the CCO to champion, is truly customer-centric culture, and ongoing scrutiny of business processes and policies for full alignment with customer priorities and customer experience innovation opportunities.
-- Lynn Hunsaker is a Customer Experience Strategist, and head of ClearAction customer experience management consulting. She specializes in customer-centric culture, customer experience innovation, and employee engagement in customer experience optimization.
As was previously said, this is a multi-disciplinary issue that requires cooperation from several departments. You have the marketing side, information/CRM technology, and also telephony issues. I hope the last item does not surprise you because with regards to audio quality, according to the latest UK Contact Centers Decision Makers guide, improving audio and speech quality can positively impact overall contact center performance: “calls were handled more quickly, fewer mistakes were made with data collection and overall, agents handled an average of 10% more calls per day”.