The big blocking point for any customer experience program is the vertical organization of companies. As each head of department follows independent targets, the horizontal journey across departments is disparate. Through the customer’s eyes, it appears bumpy. The better the insight, the more obvious it becomes that customer experience tracking and management is a task above department structures. A company that takes the achievements made by a marketing or customer service team to a central organizational unit, takes an original and mind switching step on the way towards becoming a customer-centric organization.
Once top management decides that customer experience – the subjective view of quality – should become corporate function, the question is raised of where to place it in the organization. In most cases we find the responsibility of customer experience programs in the area of strategy or quality assurance. The quality department may have even been the initiator, as the customer reference is also a requirement of standards like, ISO9000+.
Customer experience should become a leading KPI for the entire company. It should be not only measured once a year, but be implemented as a rolling measurement as customer feedback comes in. This rolling measurement enables the customer experience team to have quick loops of learning. This is where customer feedback helps to improve processes and communication. But more than that, the customer’s feedback is channeled directly back into the organization with ratings and comments – per touchpoint and department.
Measuring customer experience is something that sales reps generally do not like. Most people are anxious when they get the first ratings and/or comments from customers. But only once. The general picture is a mix of sunshine and cloud, rarely rain. Customers are customers because they have decided to be customers. Whoever knows customers will not be surprised by critical points, and will be delighted by positive comments. All in all the mixture of both is useful. Why not pick the low hanging fruits that no one saw before?