Putting the customer first

What Sets The Best Customer Experience Companies Apart

Everest

My first post for 2016 was written with companies in mind that were starting out on their customer experience journey. I advised them to focus on just one thing: making it easier for their customers to do business with them.

Today, I’m writing for those companies that are further along that path.

We all know the names: Amazon, Apple, Nordstrom, Ritz-Carlton, Southwest Airlines, Zappos. The reason that these companies are so far ahead of their competitors is that they possess many (or in some cases all) of the following qualities.

They’ve created raving fans because in these companies:

  1. The CEO understands the economic value of CX and actively promotes it both internally and externally.
  2. They understand the customer problems they solve and constantly strive to uncover new unmet needs.
  3. There is a clear organisational purpose that is understood by all staff and easily communicated to customers.
  4. They define their aspirational customer experience and the strategy and principles that will support it.
  5. They evaluate the impact on customers before making any decision.
  6. They have one view of the customer – they collect and record information about customers from a wide variety of systems and store it in one central repository.
  7. Customer journeys are mapped and widely communicated and continuous improvement practices are applied to reduce the difference between the intended and actual customer experience at each touchpoint (and overall).
  8. They understand their customer value proposition and know why customers come, stay and leave.
  9. Customer feedback is recorded, distributed widely internally and acted upon.
  10. Staff are rewarded and recognised on the achievement of customer experience goals.
  11. The link between the internal and external experience is recognised and they actively work to improve culture and employee engagement.
  12. New differentiating experiences are constantly being designed for customers.

My dream is that one day all companies will understand the value of customer experience and these qualities will simply be second nature.

In my utopian future, the focus will be on relationships where customers are treated as a partner rather than the receiving end of a monetary transaction.

Here’s hoping we get there soon.

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