Beyond customer-centric culture: The expansive role of CX teamsby
While many organisations recognise the importance of a customer-centric culture, the full integration of CX into organisational DNA remains challenging for the majority, writes Olga Potaptseva.
A fundamental premise is that every organisational function influences the customer experience. However, a staggering 90% of organisations have yet to fully embed CX into their culture, relying on dedicated roles to drive customer-centric initiatives.
Every CX professional's ultimate, rather radical goal should be eliminating the need for their position. Fear not; we are unlikely to work ourselves out of our jobs any time soon, but the Northstar should guide us to embed a customer-centric mindset and customer connectedness into every function and role in our organisation.
Here are three things you need to consider to approach your CX team’s roles strategically:
1. Embrace a broader CX team perspective
Depending on the size and maturity of an organisation, the CX Team may comprise positions like Chief Customer Officer, Head of CX, Customer Experience Manager, Data Analysts, and more.
In order to achieve demonstrable impact and results, organisations should look to allies such as CX Delivery and Continuous Improvement teams. CX Delivery roles involve direct customer interactions – including support representatives, UX designers, and customer success managers.
Continuous Improvement roles, such as Customer Transformation and Change Management, drive and sustain CX initiatives. What is your ally strategy? How do you help them achieve their goals and leverage their strengths for improved customer-centricity?
2. Mobilise CX champions
You cannot drive culture change alone; enlist your CX champions. Not limited to specific job titles, CX champions are individuals within departments who advocate for CX initiatives, ensuring organisational alignment.
You cannot drive culture change alone; enlist your CX champions.
These champions incorporate customer-centric behaviours into their roles, actively seeking customer feedback, collaborating with other departments, and promoting a culture of continuous improvement.
Make it your goal to identify them, connect with them regularly, inspire them, and support and recognise their efforts.
3. Clarify CX team contributions
Be clear about the CX team’s contribution to your organisation's harmonious and productive functioning.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many CX teams faced redundancies, serving as devastating evidence of unsustainable customer focus. A CX team should be able to clearly articulate how they support the business goals and set themselves appropriate KPIs that are meaningful for the business.
Once the objectives are clear, it’s time to define the skills, technology, and resources required to deliver.
Don’t fall into the pitfall of overestimating and under-delivering. CX teams are there to map customer journeys, set a CX Strategy, and advocate for the customer.
Ritz-Carlton case study
The Ritz-Carlton is a stellar example of a company that excels in customer experience. Its culture and operations are rooted in the strict adherence to its "gold standards," encompassing a philosophy and values that guide the brand.
From the motto to the employee promise, these standards emphasise providing guests with the finest personal service, facilities, and memories.
Having a clearly defined understanding of who you are is essential.
The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center is vital in designing and delivering CX strategies. It offers customer experience innovation – consulting methodology for customer loyalty and engagement, and services encompassing CX strategy and implementation across various areas.
One of the strategic pillars for unparalleled customer experience at Ritz-Carlton is their employee program, summarised with their genius definition of who they are: “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”
This statement in itself sets a golden service standard, but it is also supported by staff coaching. Requiring to complete at least 250 hours of training each year, the company offers varied training formats, including one-on-one coaching, online training, classroom training, and weeklong seminars to cater to different learning styles.
On the 21st day on the job, staff members are certified in the standards of their positions. They can openly discuss the positives and negatives encountered, which is invaluable input for continuous employee and customer experience innovation.
It is clear that in today’s business landscape, the customer experience is a focal point for any organisation looking to build lasting relationships and foster brand loyalty. By embracing the above strategic steps, organisations can maximise the impact of their CX teams and begin to instil a truly customer-centric culture.
Olga Potaptseva is the Founding Director and CEO for the European Customer Consultancy that specialises in Agile CX Implementation. Her unique CX Implementation Toolkit allows clients across the world to launch and progress their CX efforts 3-4 times faster, by combining best practice in project management with deep expertise in customer...