The #1 law of the Customer Experience Universe

Aslan Strategy

Described by some as the business ‘buzz term’ of the last decade, Customer Experience has ranged in description, shape and form… For most, the journey begins looking at service levels, convenience factors and attitudes of individuals and teams. Others throw themselves into the world of analytics and data by adopting Net Promoter Score (or equivalent) to establish what customers liked, disliked and to anticipate future needs. Quite a few do both.

But little do more.

Despite all the work, tools, resources and information available on Customer Experience, it is still incredibly hard to gather momentum and action on the experience levers that lift business performance and customer advocacy. I believe this is due to two factors:

Firstly, Customer Experience struggles to get cut through because people do not recognise their role in customer experience to begin with, and fail to take it seriously. From the janitor to the accounts clerk or CEO, everyone plays a critical part. People also misunderstand what Customer Experience is and how it works.

Secondly, an analysis of Customer Experience strategy across a number of organisations reveals Customer Experience suffers if it does not have a strong, integrated position from the board level down. It must integrate into performance agreements, strategic priorities and action plans. It must be woven into the cultural fabric of the organisation.

The complexity behind these two factors can be unraveled using one simple yet powerful customer experience principle:

“Customer Experience is the way a business translates what they do into powerful forms of human connection”

This is the law of the Customer Experience universe. Everything a business does should and must orbit around this principle in order to drive a high performing, revenue generating lean, mean business machine.

Now before you write me off as a creator of ‘motherhood statements’, lets unpack that a little further…

Customer Experience is rooted in principles of emotional connection, personalisation, customisation, convenience and value. The businesses service design must be formed in a way that it connects to simplicity, convenience, reliability and relevancy. The marketing and creative must be innovate and cutting edge so that engages and tells the story of the brand. The teams must be engaged, focused and solution-oriented. Business operations must be able to internally support, drive and role-model what customer facing people do.

And what about human connection? Theres plenty of research and data (as well as common sense) to show the power of a positive, powerful, human connection. You build rapport and trust; you engage and explore; you take part and tell others about it. These traits embedded in human connection are what will drive the revenues and customer advocacy.

When you strip back all the business ‘stuff’ in the above, the only thing that you are left with is how well people and engaging, communicating and connecting with each other through your business. Businesses have lost sight of this because of disruptive elements like social media, generational differences and pressures to report on short term profits.

Before I wrap up, there are three things I’d like to ask of you and your business:

1. How well are key department and business unit plans integrated and aligned to enhancing and improving your customer experience (aka human connection?)

2. How is Customer Experience seen, reported and talked about in your team? What are you doing to drive and develop the skills and capabilities in being more aware about Customer Experience?

3. Looking at your products, services, marketing and customer support programs, how well do these elements perform against achieving strong instances of human connection?

Agree? Was it useful? Did it make you think differently?

Until next time, #paythoughtsforward


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