In your company, what happens with customer experience CX survey results? For that matter, does your company regularly engage customers and take their pulse?
When it comes to CX survey scores, there is a disconnect across the sales-engineering interface® in far too many organizations.
I often ask business leadership how they define “customer experience.” They tell me they “stick close to customers” through periodic customer experience surveys, typically sent to decision makers and contract signers.
Then, I ask the questions that make leadership move one millimeter outside their comfort level.
- First, what actions are taken based on those CX survey scores?
- Then, are scores used to justify sales and leadership bonuses?
- Or, do these scores become the basis for corrective actions?
- Finally, does the organization close the loop, providing feedback to customers about any actions taken?
If I ask the same questions of Operations, Manufacturing and Quality leadership, they “see” the same things, differently.
To these professionals, customer experiences reflect the qualitative voice of end-users. “Sticking close to the customer”, operations-style, involves tangible, measurable end-user information, resulting in process improvements and design modifications. Consequently, this side of the organizational table often is where business fantasy meets operational reality.
Design thinking and Voice of the Customer methodology can provide a solid platform for why customers are retained.
- Yet, when do Manufacturing, Operations and Quality personnel “discover” there is a problem: proactively or as a reaction to reports of negative CX survey scores?
- Is fixing what is broken a viable strategy within an organizational culture which does not leverage cross-functional collaboration?
Connecting the voices behind those CX scores creates end-to-end insights which serve the entire organization: yours and your customers.
McKinsey published an excellent article on why customer experience matters – to more than the business side of the organizational table.
When everyone remains comfortably ensconced in their departmental silos, those CX survey scores quickly become biased. In addition, when used only to justify internal compensation, CX becomes a self-serving means to an end. Now, everyone knows better than that.
However, it works both ways. Often, on the Operations side of the organizational table, Us versus Them mindset is reinforced. Over time, this unconscious bias becomes an excuse impeding the type of cross-functional collaboration resulting in remarkable and enduring client outcomes.
Repeat business from engaged, enthusiastic and appreciative customers is the key to business growth, expansion and sustainability. Why wait until things are broken to meet the voices behind those CX survey scores? After all, a little design thinking combined with the Voice of the Customer, leveraged well, become the keys to organizational innovation.
Take the next steps towards professional innovation:
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Babette Ten Haken, of One Millimeter Mindset™, serves organizations as a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention, especially in challenging Industrial Internet of Things environments. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association.
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