It’s not easy being a manager. Many, many factors are constantly challenging your ability to focus on what’s important. Staff management, compulsory training, fire drills, employee town halls, email… the list goes on. And then you’ve got everything going on outside of the office!
It should go without saying that when it comes to CX management, what’s important is ensuring customers are speaking positively about you. No company is (yet) at a point where their CX is perfect so every company has issues they need to resolve.
In this post, I’d like to propose six big questions (and a few smaller ones) to help keep you focused on what’s important.
What are the top three things angering your customers?
There’s always plenty of opinions inside a company as to what customers are thinking. Unless those opinions are coming from staff who deal with customers on a daily basis though, I tend to place less value on them. To know decisively what is angering your customers, though, you need to hear it from them. That means you need customer feedback. And the more of it the better.
In terms of ranking the issues, I suggest coming up with an issue list – every single thing that is causing your customers pain – then attributing an Impact To Customers Value and a Number of Customers Affected Value to each issue. Now plot each issue on a graph with Impact on the Y-axis and Number of Customers on the X-axis. It will soon be very apparent what your major problems are. Now validate your findings with key internal stakeholders.
What is causing it?
Customers only ever see the end result of an issue, they have no idea what is causing it. Root cause analysis is required to get to the bottom of why your CX isn’t optimal. If you have access to a Business Analyst, recruit their assistance. If not, speak to the employees who should know: your front-line staff, operations managers, and employees with long tenure – tap into their wisdom.
What is it costing the company?
Now you’ve got your top 3 issues, you need to create a burning platform for change. To do that, talk the language that will get your CEO’s attention: dollars and cents. It’s one thing to say: “20% of surveyed customers mentioned this issue in their feedback. Extrapolated across our entire customer base, this issue is affecting 250 customers.” It’s another thing entirely to say: “Based on our analysis, this issue is costing us $2m per annum in increased customer service costs and losing us $5m in potential sales revenue.” Which of those statements do you think is going to make the CEO sit up and take notice?
So determine the impact each of the top 3 issues is having on the organisation in terms of lost sales and/or higher costs. To do this, you’re going to need to make some assumptions. If you have a Finance department in your company, I suggest getting someone from that area to assist you – it will add credence to the final output when you present it to your senior leadership team. You may want to consider three scenarios: a best case scenario, a worst case scenario, and something in between.
What are you doing to fix it?
This section is self-explanatory but generates a number of sub-questions:
- Are the initiatives aligned with your overall strategy?
- Who is responsible for each initiative?
- Are their KPI’s/incentives aligned with the achievement of the initiative?
- What program governance is in place?
- How will you know when you’ve fixed the issues/ What does success look like?
How often is it discussed?
Just as performance to target is discussed at every sales meeting, what is being done to fix the things that are causing the company to lose customers needs to be discussed weekly as well. The reason is exactly the same: if you don’t focus on it, it simply won’t happen.
How are you communicating your progress?
This relates not just to management – obviously its critical to keep them informed – but with everyone within the company to ensure they remain engaged and supportive of the changes you’re trying to make. Consider things like a dashboard, a periodic (weekly or monthly) newsletter, a ‘CX Wall’ in the office, or a periodic post or video on the company’s social network (such as Yammer or Workplace).
I hope that through this post I’ve been able to help provide a little reminder on what’s important for those of you who are charged with accountability for your organisation’s customer experience.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to comment or reach out to me via LinkedIn and I’ll be happy to expand on anything I’ve written above.