Mind your mouth: It's time to change how we talk about CX
Customer experience is not a fad or a trend or a buzzy phrase, yet organisations often treat it like it is. And communication is commonly the culprit. So how can you better communicate CX?
Customer experience is not a fad or a trend or a buzzy phrase. And yet, organisations often treat it like it is.
- They hang a banner, then ignore it.
- They announce it as an annual theme, then forget it by February.
- Or they simply talk about it without actually putting any rigor or discipline or even real goals to it.
That’s why the foundational work of defining CX at your organisation, through a CX Mission Statement and CX Success Statement, are so critically important to accomplishing real change and delivering on real outcomes through customer experience.
But if employees, partners, and others only hear about customer experience as a one-time or even once-per-year thing, how are they supposed to really understand and see its possibilities?
Organisations that focus on customer experience as part of who they are don’t stop communicating about it. It’s part of their internal communications and employee engagement rhythm.
This means communicating often and earnestly. Your employees need to hear about what customer experience means to your organisation, your customers, and to your employees!
Of course, each business is different, but consider a customer experience content calendar as a way to keep your employees focused on the why, the how, and the “what do I do about it?” of customer experience. Here are twelve ideas to get you started. Combine this with a customer experience champion programme within your organisation and watch culture really shift.
12 tips to help you communicate about customer experience
1. Start with the why
Has your organisation defined what customer experience means to you? Have you created a CX Mission Statement ? When was the last time you shared this with your employees?
- Ask your CEO to share why CX is important to them.
- Interview customers about how your organisation has lived up to the mission.
- Show how your customers benefit from the promise of your brand, and how that shows up in their journey.
2. Explain success
What does it mean for your organisation to succeed at customer experience? It’s not enough to say “deliver great experiences.” Share how customer experience drives results, and how your entire organisation will benefit from investing in customer experience.
- If you have a CX Success Statement , it’s a great time to share that!
- Show employees how everyone benefits from achieving these results.
- If overall revenue goals are tied to bonuses, stress how customer experience provides positive revenue outcomes.
3. Connect the employee experience to the customer experience in big ways
If you aspire for an effortless customer experience, should your employee experience also reflect that value? Absolutely. What are the ways you can showcase how the employee experience is reflective (OR not) of your aspirational customer experience? Ask your employees for examples.
Then be honest and authentic about sharing where this might need attention. Employees know when their processes are burdensome or require too much effort. Sugarcoating their reality won’t build trust. Paint a picture of the future if you are indeed looking at ways to improve these points.
4. Share customer journey maps and insights
Don’t limit key insights and journey maps to just certain leaders or teams.
- As you are building customer journey maps, share what you find.
- Explain how to review the map and what might be most interesting or surprising for employees to learn.
- Share what is next as you improve the journey!
5. Dive into dashboard details
Customer experience dashboards are often shared far and wide, but with little context or explanation. “NPS should be going up” doesn’t mean much. But explaining how you measure Net Promoter Score (NPS) and how that can help predict how happy and loyal customers will be is helpful.
- Spend some time highlighting what the metrics mean, and what your goals really are.
- It’s even better if you can share trends to watch for or situations you’ve learned from to improve the experience overall.
6. Interview a customer or two!
Customer experience is a long-term play. If you are asking for employees to try new things, invest their time and efforts, and hope for the best, you need to show them incremental results along the way.
- Do you have a grateful customer who can share how recent improvements made them feel?
- Are there customer success stories that really highlight how your investments in customer experience helped your customers achieve great things?
Ask your customer to share their story via video interview and then send that to your employees throughout the organisation. Remember to tie that story back to the CX investments and improvements along the way!
7. Celebrate employee feedback!
Hopefully, you have created a way for employees to provide feedback and ideas to improve your customer’s experience. Now is your chance to recognise those contributions and celebrate those ideas that turned into action.
- Let employees know how you heard them and how their feedback created real change.
- Employees want to contribute – make sure they know you appreciate when they do!
8. Keep mentioning the metrics – try metric of the month!
Now that you’ve explained the overall dashboard data, get specific. What changed from last year to this year about a CX metric, and what does that mean?
- Did CSAT get better?
- Did the number of service calls go down?
- What made that happen?
A proactive experience reduces service calls and increases satisfaction.
…And that leads to loyalty and increased referrals…
…And referrals lead to faster sales cycles and higher spending…
…And that leads to a better bottom line…
…And that bottom line means better business outcomes for both the organisation and the employee.
See how fun it is to connect the CX dots?
9. Ask team leaders to focus on one way their team produces results for the customer
This is a great exercise to encourage employees to see exactly how their role delivers for the customer. It’s especially effective when it’s one of those teams that thinks they are definitely NOT customer-facing.
Help those teams see how their role – serving others in the organisation, creating internal processes that improve efficiencies, or running the inside operations – does, indeed, deliver for the customer.
Those important internal mechanisms help you live up to your CX Mission as much as those customer-facing outputs. Communicate that pride often!
10. Wave a magic wand
One of my favorite CX exercises is where I ask people to use a magic wand.
If you could change one thing on behalf of your customers…what would it be?
Don’t let worries about budget or resources or logistics get in the way. Think big!
- What would your employees say?
- What sort of epic dreams could lead to actual plans?
- Have fun and allow your employees to see how these ideas are welcomed and could lead to improved journeys.
11. Revel in referrals
What can referrals do for your organisation? They can bring you better customers and employees.
- What type of employees do you want for your customer experience? Invite employees in to rewrite job descriptions and then encourage referrals for employees who can deliver on your CX mission.
- Connect hiring to customer experience early and create ways to encourage your superstars to refer others like them.
- Talk about how important those early employee onboarding days are to set the stage for great customer experiences.
12. Bring it all back to the Mission
Now that it’s been a while, what has changed?
- How are your team members showing up for your customers?
- What are they doing to live the mission?
- What could get better?
- What did you learn?
Keep communicating and emphasise how your employees – how they’re hired, educated, rewarded, recognised, and heard – are the most important part of your customer experience strategy. It’s an ongoing cycle to bring your best for them, so they show up with their best for your customers, no matter their title or role.
Participation requires communication
Communicating about customer experience inside your organisation can’t be an afterthought. Give it the attention it deserves and work with your internal communications teams, your human resources department, and leaders across the organisation.
Customer experience is so much more than a phrase. Your employees deserve to participate in the true meaning of it at your organisation.