Published in Financial Services

Avoiding CX Strategies That Fire Before Aiming

As a platform Implementation Manager at MaritzCX, I am often engaged in strategic planning discussions where organizations design a clear vision for their customers’ experience.  Discussions range from the value of measuring customer transactions vs. overall relationships, creating vs. fixing customer experiences, and how to empower employees to be proactive with their customers.  While there are many different approaches to implement CX strategies, I have found that when business leaders define what it means for their companies to become more customer centric the message becomes clear for those responsible delivering it.

An Example from Financial Services

For example, I have been working with a financial services client seeking to elevate the customer experience in their community banks.  We worked together to identify the bottlenecks, and found that employees didn’t feel empowered with their customers.  This feeling was primarily driven by organizational silos and conflicting incentives.  In summary, the customer often got lost in the process and escalated as a result of not getting the attention they needed.

Take the Vision to the Next Level

For a strategy to be clear, it needs to take the vision to the next level through deep understanding of customer expectations and how the company can meet them.  Many organizations seek to do this by collecting the voice of their customers regarding a specific, complex experience.  After evaluating the primary pain points for the customer, they then define what is critical to providing a quality experience and evaluate what it would take to implement improvements throughout their business.  This all takes place before any communication or change management is given to front line employees.

My banking client decided to take this approach by visiting branches and observing routine transactions, along with deploying mystery shoppers to collect an objective perspective.  “By spending time in our branches – not just asking branch managers what they think – I could see exactly where the customer pain points were and how we might coach, train, and motivate bankers to improve.”  The bank deployed branch transactional surveys and began collecting the unbiased voice of their customers.  The mystery shopper program was designed to measure the critical inputs of a quality banking experience, and simplify internal processes to remove the pain points.  These actions provided senior leaders clarity to successfully define and measure their CX strategic vision, and simplified the process for employees responsible for delivering on that strategy.

An Example from Engineering

I have had similar conversations with our software engineers here at MaritzCX.  When they look at expanding or improving our product offerings, our engineers don’t start by talking about technology.  They start by partnering with our product managers to identify customer pain points.  The customer should always be at the center of what the business does, regardless of the role or department.

Check for Clarity

Clarity of message is critical when developing any strategy.  What will you do?  What won’t you do?  Are your strategies, reports, and metrics simple enough for any level in your organization to understand?  How are you going to know if you have accomplished your strategy?  These questions begin the process in developing an informed Point B, and are especially helpful when prioritizing organizational CX.