We recently had the pleasure of attending Consero’s CX Forum, which brought together some of the country’s top customer-centric leaders. The CX masters in the room came from numerous functional backgrounds with varying strategic viewpoints, much as they tend to do so across the firms that we work with. The event kicked off with a tremendous panel conversation centered around organizational cultural improvements that have an impact on customer experiences. The topic ignited a spark that burned brightly behind all other discussions throughout the remainder of the event.

We strongly believe that empowered and engaged employees ensure more positive customer experiences. We know that frontline employees play an obvious role in this, but there is a lot to be said for a more pervasive customer-centric culture and the numerous effects it can have on the end customer.

Key Themes and Ideas

Many key themes and ideas from the conference reinforce what we’ve seen in clients focused on driving customer experience improvement throughout the organization:

  1. At first, change will always be confronted with cynics. It takes some time to see an impact, but if a positive narrative is presented and employees at all levels are given opportunities to be heard, these cynics will often yield and great progress can be made. After all, cynics often believe in the objectives associated with the change, just not in the means or ability to execute on the means of arriving at the end goal.
  2. Change may have a negative connotation within most organizations, but almost all people can understand the importance of growth and evolution. Many leaders frame their initial efforts to introduce cultural improvements as an “unfreezing” initiative that relieves rigid structures to empower employees to make more fluid decisions for customers, within a set strategic framework of allowable practices.
  3. In order to anticipate or resolve issues, front line employees need to see strong examples and what great looks like. Exemplary leaders take steps to help their teams better understand their customers and their expectations by allowing them opportunities to empathize with customers. From role playing to internal conferences to excursions, CX leaders are developing unique ways to change the lens through which they can view the customer.
  4. Every employee needs to be customer-aligned. By understanding how their role ultimately will affect the end customer, employees can begin to take greater pride in their work and make decisions accordingly. Incentives linking customer experience outcomes to ALL employees’ compensation has seen great success across sectors.

In the end, customer-brand relationships and employee-brand relationships are just like all other relationships. People are looking to be treated well, communicated with effectively, and recognized for the actions they take. Remembering this can be the secret to greater loyalty, engagement, and ultimately better business outcomes.

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