Updated: Jan 14, 2020
Can you guess what action has the potential to not only increase customer satisfaction by 20% but also lift revenue by 15% while lowering the cost of serving customers by as high as 20%? According to the McKinsey study on 27,000 Americans across 14 industries, it's all about optimizing for the full consumer journey instead of optimizing for individual touchpoints.
Sounds simple and straightforward right? Well, the tricky part comes with optimizing the consumer journey, which requires coordination with multiple departments within your organization. In the digital age, alignment is particularly important between business and IT.
Large organizations can afford to put in place an entire department that would be responsible for organizational alignment. One such example is Japanese multinational, Ricoh, who has invested in building a highly networked internal design function within its 105,000 strong workforce operating across 200 countries, referred to as the Future Business Development Center.
But in case your organization cannot commit such resources, here are 3 simple things you can do to create an impressive customer experience.
Feeling customer pain
Build customer-centric organizations by ensuring everyone in the company has direct exposure to the customer’s needs and their journey.
If possible make sure your employees are your users. Should the nature of products/services prohibit that, ensure frequent customer feedback is distributed across all teams within your organization. Think of organizing periodic “How can we improve the overall consumer journey” contests where anyone (irrespective of team and seniority) can chip-in ideas. Sounds silly and naive? You’d be surprised how non-client facing teams find such practices eye-opening.
Data, data, data
Use data to internally communicate the current and desired state of customer satisfaction.
More often than not, business and IT divisions within an organization communicate in different languages. However, there is one thing both teams understand well, numbers. Quantified results allow both teams to establish the same level of understanding of the problem. Numbers can also build trust and will surely help establish priorities (especially important among overworked teams).
Remember that the experience your customers have along their journey is a direct representation of internal alignment.
OKR is a performance management technique developed by Andy Grove and popularized by John Doerr in “Measure what matters”. OKR comprises of an objective—a clearly defined goal—and one or more key results—specific measures used to track the achievement of that goal. The visibility of goals strongly supports alignment efforts. Make sure that your OKR is widely distributed and understood by each team member within the IT and Business departments. Based on the OKRs, each department will define initiatives to support the objectives and actions to bring the organization closer to the key results; during periodic reviews, you will see both teams working towards the same goal. Keeping that discipline will result in satisfied customers - the ultimate goal.
As Sam Walton said “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending money somewhere else”.
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