In 2014, Gartner stated that customer experience would be the “new battleground” for companies to compete on. That prediction still holds true today as study after study confirms that customers will pay more for good customer experiences, and loyal customers reward good customer experiences by buying more and spreading the word to their network.
But it’s not enough to simply implement a few static customer service policies and call it a day. Your customer-centric management philosophy must flow down forcefully from senior leadership through middle management and directly to employees – year-round.
Maintaining A Strong Service Culture During Growth
When customer experience is just a tactic and not a philosophy, it can take a backseat during expansion, especially if companies encounter a large and sudden growth spurt. Suddenly, the mindset shifts from providing a good experience to just trying to keep up—and customers take notice.
Here are some ways to ensure your customer experience remains top of mind when your company grows:
1. Have clear customer experience vision
The customer experience must live at the heart of your business. Without a vision, customers end up without an impression at all. Think about Zappos as an example. Customer happiness is central part of their culture, and every business action is aligned to that focus.
2. Have a CX infrastructure in place
Customer experience goes well beyond an occasional survey asking how you’re performing. There’s a reason third-party experts like Satrix Solutions are in such high demand. Building a strong, scalable CX program requires a good strategy, trustworthy data and an ongoing plan for improvement.
3. Regularly track and measure the CX
Too many businesses rely on inferences, anecdotes and gut feelings to evaluate how they think they’re doing with customers. With an effective customer feedback program, you’ll gain a deep understanding of how your customers truly perceive your efforts (or lack thereof) and how to keep them happy and engaged.
How to Prepare your CX for Growth
To maintain your customer experience during growth requires the strategic use of a variety of research, interview and survey techniques, along with a comprehensive analysis to find the real insights that will make a difference.
And, it starts with a properly designed and executed CX program that will paint a full picture of both your current customer experience perception and how to build out a plan to take you into the future successfully. Depending on your needs, that could include:
- Customer perception audit or satisfaction survey to help isolate trends and identify recurring themes, both positive and negative
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) program to determine whether you clients feel satisfied enough to recommend you to others
- Customer defection research identifying the reasons customers leave
The next step is to address the findings. Here again, an expert customer experience team will be adept at not only understanding which tactics will provide the best insights for your organization, but also how to take the results and interpret them in a meaningful way that will have a real impact on your organization.
Another way to ensure that customer experience remains front and center in your organization over time is to set up a customer advisory board, or a group of customers hand-selected to provide ongoing feedback. With such a board, it’s most important to have a third-party like Satrix handling the collection and interpretation of the feedback to ensure the analysis is unbiased.
For a business in high growth mode, it’s not uncommon for the customer experience to become an afterthought in the scramble to staff up and fulfill customer demands. But in fact, maintaining focus on CX is one of the most important things for a business to keep top of mind.
As a business grows, new customers deserve the same level of attention as early customers; indeed, it may be one of the reasons they opt to sign on with the business. With a well-thought-out, scalable customer experience program in place, your business won’t lose any momentum—and you’ll retain a distinct competitive advantage.
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