Put A Face on Your Customer Experience Programs to Avoid Failure

Posted by Allan Steinmetz on 5 May 2015

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It is both logical and common knowledge that there is a direct correlation between high customer experiences with high levels of employee customer experiences.  When aligned properly, it provides incremental revenue and customer satisfaction. There have been numerous studies cited by the NRF and Gallup, which substantiates this finding.  Yet, all too often I see external customer experience programs falter and fail. They start out with a lot of enthusiasm and support and after about six months, new initiatives and priorities come into play and the customer experience program wanes while the focus shifts somewhere else. Ultimately management loses interest or doesn’t see the benefit/value. The programs get canceled and get the bad rap of being ineffective. I often hear clients say, “we’ve tried that before and it failed.”

Here are some suggestions to avoid customer experience program failure:

  1. Find a senior leader sponsor that is passionate about the customer brand experience and make them the face of the initiative. Put them on your company intranet to explain why it is important to them and give them the ability to answer questions. Include them in the speaker circuit within the company and have them explain how the initiative fits into the strategic priorities of the company.
  2. Socialize and enlist the customer experience program with the people who interact with the customer and deliver the customer experience promise. Customer facing employees know the customer best. Solicit their support and enroll them in the program early. They will translate an initiative into a movement that sticks.
  3. Brand the initiative. Give it its own logo lockup and brand identity so that it is recognizable internally as if people could point to it and identify it as important.
  4. Communicate with all employees frequently, explaining why the initiative is important and critical to the success of the company. Explain that customer experience starts with the employee and his/her interaction with the customer. Make employee interaction with the customer a companywide priority as if it was a big bet.
  5. Outline the consequences of failure so that people understand what is at stake. Explain customer experience scenarios that work and those that don’t work. Explain the obstacles and how to eradicate them from their culture. Additionally, explain the rationale and relevance so that employees understand what’s in it for them.
  6. Recognize and communicate success stories. Let the organization know that positive customer engagement and experiences do matter.

If you’re struggling with waning customer experience initiatives that don’t seem to get enthusiasm and momentum internally, get in touch with us. We can offer you a variety of ideas and experiences that can make a critical difference in the future of your brand.