Customer Experience (CX) Programs have to have a “due north” and ultimately the test for their success is the creation of more customers and more profitable customers.

CEO’s love the simplicity of evidence based CX programs like this. It is a strong message that can be understood throughout their organisations.

Leaders more generally understand that CX programs are transformation programs.

Identifying customer insights or better understanding the customer journey is all well and good, but if there is no action there will be no result. And because action will often challenge existing organisational culture and structures this is where strong leadership is required.

 

So how do leaders embody the customer centric vision? Here are six “must do’s” for CX leaders:

1. Embody the NPS message

“We are in the business of creating promoters!”

This is a simple, inspirational message that employees will naturally gravitate to and which needs to be then balanced by economically rational ways of doing things – making the right trade-offs.

 

2. Understand & Communicate the Economics of Advocacy

NPS is an evidence based approach to growing your business through advocacy.

This requires the development of proof points and the confronting of “bad profits” across the organisation and across all aspects of your customers’ experience. Ultimately, a measure like NPS needs to be treated with the same gravitas as financial metrics and embedded into key investment decisions.

 

3. Measure what Matters

As organisations mature in their use of CX metrics, they realise that disposition to a brand (e.g. Relationship NPS) is an important overall measure but not particularly instructive.

And that touch-point or interaction measures – whilst great for continuous improvements at the front line of the business are not producing the “heavy hits” that will ultimately shift the dial on overall NPS. This has led to the concept of episode NPS or Pivotal Customer Events – involving customer defined goals with multiple touch points and figuring very strongly in the customer’s mental and emotional landscape (Think: “I want to buy my first home”, “I lost my wallet”). CX Leaders need to be measuring what matters most.

 

4. Organise and Support Customer-Driven Change

CX Programs are transformation programs that can touch virtually every aspect of the business.

Leaders need to change organisation and incentive structures to drive customer focused initiatives and co-operation across organisational “silos”; and create the governance & sponsorship structures from the front-line to the C-suite; and of course, properly resource the program.

 

5. Lead by Example

This is critical to developing the right culture.

Leaders need to often act visibly, dramatically and symbolically to reinforce the customer-centric message. This could be anything from conducting customer call-backs in the presence of front-line staff, publically recognising efforts by staff to go the extra mile with customers, directly coaching staff using customer feedback or bringing customer feedback to life with real stories gleaned from your NPS system and staff.

 

6. Make sure Employees are Advocates too!

There is plenty of evidence (& a lot of common sense) that happy employees generally make for happy customers.

Measuring and acting on employee NPS should improve alignment within the organisation and the ability to detect early the staff problems that are also getting in the way of customer advocacy.

 

CX Leaders have a lot to take on – but becoming customer centric is not to be taken lightly – it is, after all “core business”! We are in the business of creating promoters.