Navigating the Customer Experience Battlefield

3 min read
Aug 31, 2023 8:30:00 AM

Designing, implementing, and strategizing a plan to win over your customers; some may compare it to a fierce battleground.  

In the fourth installment of our series on the State of Customer Service, Denese Waiters, Director, Customer Service Advisory, and Omnichannel Practice Leader at J.D. Power, is joined by special guest Jeff Sheehan. 

With a decade-long military background focused on service and leadership, his invaluable experience led him to become a successful manager and leader in the global customer experience community. In advance of the upcoming release of J.D. Power’s first-ever cross-industry customer service study, Denese and Jeff met to discuss the connection between military tactical planning and the strategies needed to create satisfied customers.  

Here are some highlights from their thought-provoking discussion:  

Prepping For the Mission: How to Deliver a World-Class Customer Experience

Many organizations struggle when implementing a successful Customer Experience Management (CEM) program as they often prioritize aspects like journey mapping or NPS scores, which should be considered in the middle or near the end of the planning process.  

To develop an effective CEM strategy, the first step is to align it with the mission, vision, and values of the organization. It is crucial for organizations to not only consider their brand values but also incorporate the promises they have made into their overall strategy.  

For instance, if an organization has promised to provide fast and easy solutions, this should be a fundamental component of its CEM strategy. When organizations treat this strategy as a mission, they can ensure that their initiatives are aligned with their overall goals. 

Forging the Strategy: Implementing a Customer-Centric Culture for Exceptional Experiences 

Just like the military where a multitude of cultures exist within various units, many organizations do not contain a singular, unified culture. Instead, there is usually a range of cultures that vary from department to department. This is why it is imperative for management to understand the many cultures that exist across the span of these departments and to recognize the distinctions among them throughout the entire organization. 

These variations are the underlying cause of organizations facing challenges scaling the customer experience. To foster unity and achieve organizational objectives, it is vital not only to acknowledge these differences but also for CEM managers to bridge any cultural silos that may hinder progress. 

Analyzing the Battlefield: Gauging and Assessing the Impact of Executing a World-Class Customer Experience

Once a CEM program is in progress, organizations should undergo a CX audit to ensure its success. This audit will assess and inspect the current state of employees, processes, and technology in place to achieve customer satisfaction. The audit will also uncover valuable insights into customer preferences and pain points, leading to better decision-making for the CX program. The results of the audit will uncover gaps, identify areas for improvement, and help define a plan of action to achieve CX goals.  

These audits can be challenging and can be met with resistance from “this is how it’s always done” mindsets. However, this analysis ignites meaningful conversations and acts as a catalyst for improvements that enhance the organization and CX experience.

Final Thoughts

With ever-changing customer expectations, organizations must focus on enhancing the customer experience and integrating it into their strategies to distinguish themselves from their competitors. To achieve the mission of delivering a world-class customer experience, organizations must take strategic steps to ensure they are in sync with their customers' wants and needs. The process includes aligning cultures throughout the organization, conducting rigorous audits, and identifying areas for improvement. 

Discover valuable insights into strategies organizations can implement to create an exceptional customer experience by listening to the episode below. Dive deeper into Jeff Sheehan's military background and how it inspired him to write his field guide, “Customer Experience Management Field Manual: The Guide for Building Your Top Performing CX Program.”  

More about today’s speaker
: With over 25 years of experience, Jeff Sheehan boasts a distinguished background as a customer experience (CX) practitioner, CX author, and a dedicated contributor to the global CX community. He has received acclaim as a Top 50 Global Thought Leader and Influencer in CX in November 2020, along with being acknowledged as a thought leader in business strategy in December 2020 by Thinkers360. Furthermore, Jeff holds the esteemed position of a founding member and serves as Ireland's Ambassador to the recently established European CX Organization (ECXO). 



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