Is your company operating in chaos or clarity? The difference often comes down to creating a knowledge-rich culture.

Modern customers and employees want information on their own terms. In order to best educate employees and provide answers and tools to customers, many customer-focused brands create knowledge-rich cultures. These cultures pride themselves on offering learning and growth opportunities for employees while empowering them to solve customer issues. Many companies have knowledge-rich cultures in silos, which creates chaos and lost opportunities.

When knowledge is kept within departments and not shared with the rest of the company, it creates more escalations of customer issues. A customer could call the contact center with an issue that could be easily fixed by someone in the engineering department, but without that information being shared across the entire organization, the customer’s call is escalated and takes longer to answer. Hare says that companies that build cultures of knowledge sharing solve more calls on the first contact and do it faster with fewer escalations.

When silos are broken down and information is shared across the entire company, employees and customers benefit. Employees have the tools to help customers right away or know where to send customers to answer more technical questions quickly. That knowledge creates job satisfaction for employees and instills confidence in customers that the company knows what it is talking about. For customers, a knowledge-sharing culture creates less frustration as issues can be taken care of accurately and much more quickly.

One of the biggest aspects of customer experience is making the customer successful without regression or pain. That can only be done by instilling confidence in the customer that the employee is their advocate into the company. Employees, no matter if they are in the contact center, finance, engineering or anywhere else in the company, need to use every resource to resolve customer issues. That comes from building a strong culture of sharing knowledge.

Customer experience is the most powerful tool companies have. When customers sense chaos at a company, they will quickly take their business elsewhere. To turn that chaos into clarity, brands of all sizes need to build a knowledge-rich culture that breaks down silos and shares information across borders with employees and customers. Sharing knowledge and instilling confidence benefits everyone in the organization.

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Value of Customers, CX pros, CX, Customer Journeys, CX ecosystem, Customer Experience, CX Strategy

Most firms love to talk about the value of customers but don’t get value for customers right. That’s ironic because customers that get value create business value in return by increasing profitability and market share. Academia has written about value for customer for decades. But businesses have been sluggish and incomplete in applying it.

We asked ourselves: Why is that? How can we do better? What can companies gain if they understand value for customer? What is a CX pros’ role in this?

Misconception (“What”): Value for customer is about value for money

Value for customer is actually “A customer’s perception of what they get versus give up.” It has four dimensions: functional, economic, experiential, and symbolic. Siloed efforts by marketing, CX, product, sales, or pricing fail to create value across all dimensions. Worse, lacking a horizontal view of the customer, these efforts can cancel each other out.

Customer Value

Customers make trade-offs between these value dimensions. They are willing to give up value in a less important dimension if they get high value in another, more important one. But customers have a threshold for how much they are willing to give up depending on their context.

Misconception (“How”): Features of a product or service create value for customers

Value isn’t inherent but a perception. Context (worldview, situation and comparisons) determine what customers value and how they form that perception.

To form value perceptions, many people use “mental shortcuts.” Especially, when they are under time pressure or unfamiliar with a product or service.

Misconception (“Who”): Your firm creates and delivers value for customers

When trying to accomplish a goal, a customer derives value not from interacting with a single firm but from her own actions and interactions with many different organizations and people. For example, to become healthy, a customer creates a value network that includes a doctor but also a physiotherapist, friends and family, associations, and insurance firms – getting different value from each.

Firms that understand customers’ value networks and what value they seek from the firm vs. other actors can help customers create more value.

CX professionals must step up to improve value for customer

CX pros have the horizontal view of the organization along customer journeys. That’s critical to understand what customer want to accomplish, who they interact with as they do and what value they want from each actor – inside and outside your firm.

If you are a CX pro, volunteer to help your firm to improve value for customers! Get started by understanding how well your firm helps customers create value. Then, define metrics for value for customer, focus your research and design practice on identifying what customers value and finding ways to help them create it. Finally, pivot your CX ecosystem to help customers create (rather than destroy) value.

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Customer Experience, CX, CXREFRESH, CX Law

The laws of customer experience are meant to empower highly effective customer experience efforts.

By understanding these fundamental truths about how people and organizations behave, companies can make smarter decisions about what they do, and how they do it.

Every leader needs to understand the laws of customer experience.”

Here are highlights of the six laws of customer experience:

  • CX Law #1: Every Action Creates A Personal Reaction. Simply put, experiences are totally in the eyes of the beholder.
  • CX Law #2: People Are Instinctively Self-Centered. Everyone has their own frame of reference, which heavily influences what they do and how they do it.
  • CX Law #3: Customer Familiarity Breeds Alignment. Given that most people want their company to better serve customers, a clear view of what customers need, want, and dislike can align decisions and actions.
  • CX Law #4: Unengaged Employees Don’t Create Engaged Customers. While you can make some customers happy through brute force, you cannot sustain great customer experience unless your employees are bought-in to what you’re doing and are aligned with the effort.
  • CX Law #5: Employees Do What Is Measured, Incented, and Celebrated. Employees tend to conform to the environment that they’re in, so you need to adjust the environment if you want change.
  • CX Law #6: You Can’t Fake It. You can fool some people for some of the time, but most employees and customers can eventually tell what’s real and what’s not.

CX Law    Customer Experience  CXREFRESH   Global CX              CX Strategy

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Customer Experience, CXREFRESH, CX,

While there is data showing how some industries, like airlines, continue to increase profits while continuing to disappoint customers with surly staff members (who aren’t necessarily being treated well themselves), the “secret” to any great customer experience is the people who deliver it.

Profits go up in those industries because there is not enough competition or disruption.

Make no mistake. When the challenger comes along, it does take market share from the companies who don’t get it. Southwest Airlines, Zappos and Amazon were all the disruptors of their day, and they all focused on delivering exceptional customer service. Companies that figure out how to hire the right people win.

But it starts earlier.

Know what your mission is.

It’s easy to say “we hire the right employees” but how can you measure it? How do you know you’re hiring right if you don’t know truly what you’re hiring for? If a great customer experience is your goal, then you better have a customer experience mission. If a candidate says they can deliver on skills but falls short on mission, then it’s time to find another candidate.

If people understand what they should do, great. If people understand why they should do it, better.

Scale to fit.

As organizations grow, the mission and hiring to it becomes even more critical.

Google often comes under fire for taking actions not representative of their well-known corporate motto of “Don’t be evil.” As Google grew and grew, they took this motto to be a mission of sorts, even including it in their founder’s letter for their IPO.

The company has changed course after criticism of actions not fitting this motto, including blocking search results in China. Really this is about taking action based on who they are, not necessarily what they do. The leaders know this is a long-term strategy and they might miss out on short-term gains. Getting the right people involved who can innovate and support these ideals trumps hiring based on resume credentials.

When China’s government attempted to block Google results for politically sensitive topics, Google China redirected users to Google’s Hong Kong results. China recently blocked Google completely and appears to be shutting down the service for millions of users. The way Google attempted to release free information is about the users, not the government, and their motto stays true to that.

There are so many tricky situations we simply can’t anticipate when we develop interview questions or write training manuals. Finding who you are and the people who live those ideals is the best way to truly deliver on a superior customer experience.

Customer Experience   CXREFRESH   CX      CX Strategy          Global CX      Southwest Airlines

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There seems to be no dearth of opinions on how to successfully plan and execute a customer experience (CX) strategy. However, a recent report shows that only 22% of CX initiatives have met or exceeded customer expectations. In a world where almost 81% of leaders expect to compete and differentiate solely on the basis of CX…there is a definite cause for concern!

While the jury is still out on what really constitutes a successful customer experience strategy, a careful study of global organisations and their failures provide strong and foolproof insights on what needs to be avoided.

Here are the 3 key mistakes organisations need to avoid.

1. CX as a tactic…instead of a culture – Thinking of CX as a tactic to win over customers is the biggest mistakes any firm can make. CX is not a tactic…it’s a culture that needs to be embedded deep within an organization and only then will it deliver results. Think about Taj Hotels…a premium hospitality brand which redefines great customer experience for all, to such an extent that even in the face of adversity like the unfortunate 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, almost every employee put the customers’ lives before their own. That happens only when the customer experience DNA is ingrained into every employee.

2. Waiting for that perfect CX instead of ‘failing fast’ – While different firms have different experience strategies, a lot of firms wait for that perfect customer experience before they go live…and unfortunately that moment never comes. One of the main reasons for Amazon Echo’s success is the fact that they released it into the market and iteratively improved the experience with real inputs from consumers. They didn’t wait for that perfect Alexa experience…and it worked great for them!

3. Not measuring the right metrics – One of the key things about ensuring CX success is to identify and measure the right metrics. More often than not there is a need for course correction in strategy, and without the right metrics it is impossible to identify what is wrong. Metrics need to be identified and measured on priority and kept inline with business objectives. Think about it, measuring NPS helps you understand existing customers, but does it help you find anything about the customers you lost?

Avoiding these common mistakes will surely improve chances of delivering successful CX initiatives. There is no set formula for getting it right. Businesses need to evolve their strategy constantly as consumers and technology change. The trick is to understand the customer, create relevant experiences, test it out, and realign when needed.


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