Transform the customer experience in six steps

Customer expectations of service and experience are getting higher all the time. How can businesses keep up?

Organisations are beginning to understand the crucial importance of delivering exceptional customer experiences, says the company. So they need to understand how the business can transform the customer experience in a realistic, measurable and timely way.

Empired’s Head of Digital & Experience Design Kevin Miller said: “Businesses can’t simply decide to transform one day, then jump straight into making change for change’s sake. It’s essential to plan a transformation carefully and understand the barriers and opportunities that could arise.”

Empired has identified six considerations when embarking on a customer experience transformation campaign:

1. Mindset and culture

Keeping the same old mindset will produce the same old results. Businesses may need to radically alter the prevailing mindset to move the needle. One of the most effective ways to do this is to seek an experimental mindset. This empowers people to hypothesise and test. They can then get feedback on ideas early enough to understand whether they’ll work without wasting time or energy. Along with the experimental mindset must come a culture in which it’s acceptable to take strategic risks. This means avoiding punishing failure but rewarding innovation and creativity, even if it doesn’t immediately yield perfect results.

2. Visibility

Transformation for its own sake is likely to be a waste of time and money. To get the entire organisation behind the initiative, give everyone visibility into why the transformation is important. While the CEO needs to drive the transformation and incentivise those who jump on board, it’s equally important to get mid-level managers on the train and empower them to make the changes that need to be made. To do this, they need to understand the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’.

3. Prioritisation

If the transformation is seen as a pet project and not a mission-critical activity, key personnel won’t prioritise it. It can be easy for overworked or overwhelmed IT departments to say the systems aren’t capable of the kind of outcomes the business is looking for and that technology won’t provide the answer. However, when it’s made clear that this transformation is not a nice-to-have but the next critical step in the company’s evolution, IT teams may find it easier to reprioritise their workloads to find time for it.

4. New perspectives

For transformation to occur, by definition, the status quo must go. And it’s not enough to make incremental changes. It’s important to completely flip everything about the customer experience on its head. Look at it from fresh angles before deciding what to keep and what to change.

5. Winning

Measurement of new systems and processes should start from day one. Only by consistently and regularly measuring success can an organisation determine whether the transformation is really working. To this end, businesses should also look for small, quick wins to create strong momentum for the transformation project. This includes choosing a platform tool that can get the business there faster.

6. People

It’s important to get the right people in the right place at the right time. Managers need to understand whom to bring together to work towards which outcomes. Then empower them to do what’s needed to get there.

Kevin Miller said: “It’s essential to remember that a customer experience transformation initiative requires the same attention to change management as any large-scale technology implementation.

“Without getting staff members on board and using the new systems and processes, businesses will be unable to reap the rewards.”

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