The pathway to B2B customer experience maturity - a step-by-step guide to CX successby
What are the foundations of a robust customer experience programme, and what do you then need to do to ensure it is in a cycle of constant improvement?
All businesses want to ensure that the maturity of their customer experience programmes continues to develop - regardless of whether they are taking their very first steps in the world of CX strategies, or have had a robust programme in place for many years and want to ensure they don't stagnate.
In order to understand how to evolve your maturity, we must first of all look at the foundations of CX programmes, and in particular the cultural component. Customer experience culture is a set of values, beliefs and behaviours, ensuring that every employee in the organisation is committed to delivering the best possible experience for the customer.
The foundational elements of a customer experience culture are:
1. Customer-focused leadership: The leadership of the organisation sets the tone for customer experience culture. Leaders must provide services, excellent customer service, delivery and engagement and must communicate their commitment to providing an exceptional customer experience.
2. Empowered employees: Employees must be empowered to make decisions that will benefit partners and customers. This requires employee preparation - to be knowledgeable and trained to handle customer inquiries and complaints efficiently.
3. Lead by design: Design plays a crucial role in customer experience, as it impacts how users perceive and interact with products and services. It’s important to have a designated design leader, such as a chief design officer, who can champion the importance of design and ensure that it’s integrated into all aspects of the organisation. Additionally, when designing products and services, it’s important to conduct thorough research to understand the needs and desires of the target audience aligning it with organisation toward real customer centric strategy and its execution plan. This can inform, empower the design leaders around the different business units of your organisation, and help create products and services that are both super-functional, adaptable and adoptable. Furthermore, design methodologies as a tool can be used to generate adoption and ultimately, retention, expansion, renewals and growth. This also involves empathising with the user, defining the problem, ideating potential solutions, prototyping and testing the basics between design thinking and agile. By involving the user in the design process and continuously adapting based on feedback, products and services can be improved to better meet the market requirements of your customers in your target audience. Design leads us to data and experience personalisation.
4. Personalised approach (data analytics): Customers expect a personalised experience that meets their specific needs. A customer-centric culture must ensure that every interaction between the customer and the organisation is tailored to the customer’s individual preferences, culture and needs. While this is true for both B2C and B2B organisations, in business-to-business it is a greater challenge to achieve great experiences, although data analytics definitely helps.
5. Timely and accurate communication: Customer communication must be clear and consistent to avoid confusion or misunderstandings.
By establishing a customer experience culture that focuses on these five pillars, an organisation can create a customer-centric environment where each employee is committed to delivering the best possible experience for the customer.
But in addition to these cultural pillars, there are two other key pillars that are crucial to creating a comprehensive customer experience strategy:
6. Customer experience measurement: A successful customer experience requires continuous measurement and management. Metrics such as customer satisfaction score (CSAT), adoption rate (AR), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and Customer Effort Score (CES), and many others will help quantify and qualify the CX outcomes of your organisation, and provide insights for optimising it. Effective measurement programmes involve not only gathering and analysing data, but also implementing and monitoring changes based feedback and on the data. However, consider that you rarely will find two organisations using and implementing measurements and metrics similarly, with a few exceptions.
7. Product and service design: Product and service design is all about creating customer-centric solutions that meet the needs of users for ensure continuous adoption and ultimately satisfaction and loyalty. The process involves customer research, design thinking and user testing to develop products and services that fit seamlessly with the customer journey. Effective design incorporates user insights, customer feedback and an understanding of customer pain points to create engaging, intuitive experiences that delight customers. This is easier said than done, but certainly possible. For example, NICE Systems, Software AG and Samsung have all achieved great design for different lines of business and products that satisfied customers and delivered long-term commitment, relationships, renewals, adoption and loyalty.
8. Continuous improvement: Organisations must continuously evaluate and improve their customer experience. Feedback from customers must be taken seriously, and the organisation must take action to address any issues that are identified. Action is always necessary, as is communication and prioritisation. Think of it like a transformation project, except you do not have a real “due date,” since we are all evolving all the time.
By incorporating these pillars into your customer experience culture, you have the foundations in place to foster a customer and employee experience that generates loyalty and retention and ultimately drives business growth. You are now in the perfect position to begin your jourey to CX maturity.
So how then do you implement a B2B customer experience and employee experience maturity model to help you achieve this?
The 12 basic steps to a CX/EX maturity model
To get a company to a customer and employee experience maturity model, there are several key steps that can be taken when following our basic points mentioned above. Starting with CX:
- Identify your company’s current CX maturity level: Assessing your company’s level of maturity is the first step. This can be done by analysing your customer feedback with data, Voice of Customer, customer retention and sales growth. Learn more about assessing your CX maturity here.
- Set objectives and goals: Identify key objectives and goals for your customer experience programme. This should align with your company’s overall business strategy.
- Develop a detailed and realistic CX roadmap: Create a detailed roadmap outlining the steps that need to be taken to achieve your CX objectives, and assign responsibility for each action item. Think of it like a project plan.
- Implement CX programmes and initiatives: Based on the roadmap, start implementing CX programmes and initiatives, such as personalised customer communications, employee training, and more.
- Monitor and analyse your progress: Continuously monitor and analyse your CX programme’s progress, and make adjustments as needed and ensure you get all jobs to be done completed.
- Scale and integrate CX across the organisation: Once successful CX programmes have been implemented, it’s important to scale and integrate them across the entire organisation to ensure consistency and sustainability. Again, this is easy to write, but can be difficult to do - but it is possible! We did this several times in many divisions in different lines of businesses of Samsung, one of our main customers. By following these steps, a company can gradually move towards a higher level of CX maturity, which can result in better customer satisfaction, loyalty, and profitability.
To create an employee experience maturity model
- Analyse existing employee experience data: Collect and analyse data on employee satisfaction, engagement, retention, recognition, add value, benefits, perks, and other metrics. Analyse your leadership regarding each team and employee journey, and ask yourself “what is your role in their experience, participation, engagement and results?” This can be done through surveys, focus groups, interviews and other feedback mechanisms.
- Identify key employee experience elements: Based on the data analysis, identify the key elements that impact employee experience such as leadership, culture, communication, learning and development, recognition and work-life balance.
- Develop maturity levels for each element: Create a framework of maturity levels for each key element of employee experience. This can range from basic or ad-hoc practices to advanced, integrated, or optimised practices.
- Define indicators for each maturity level: Clearly define what constitutes each level of maturity and develop indicators for tracking progress across each element. This can include specific actions, policies, practices or outcomes.
- Map out the journey: Develop a roadmap for advancing employee experience maturity over time. Include specific steps, timelines, resources, and milestones for reaching each level of maturity for each element.
- Monitor and adjust: Monitor progress regularly, gather feedback, and adjust the maturity model as needed based on new data and insights.
In summary, we recognise that there are a lot of steps to do in order to achieve a successful CX model that has both your employees AND customers happy in the end. But, with a little persistence, hard work and consistency, we’re confident that you’ll make great progress. Good luck!
I am a global executive and strategic consultant for medium and large global technology organizations focused on Customer and Employee Experience, Transformations, Services, and delivery.
A customer-centric, transformational leader has enhanced customer-centricity, employee, customer experience, and data-driven services programs globally....