Fundamental Change Required to Improve Customer Experience

At its October meeting, the CMA’s CX Council discussed organizations that really understand customer centricity, and “naturally” drive a great customer experience.  Companies that generally come up include Amazon, Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons.

But what about companies that are trying to become more CX focused but where the customer is not part of the organization’s DNA? Most companies in this category end up declaring their love for the customer, and holding a number of internal cheerleading events to celebrate the customer. They often create customer experience departments, appoint a head of CX, and prominently implement CX measures such as net promoter score (NPS). They then recast many current initiatives with a CX label, put them under the CX department, and declare they are on the way…

As business deals with many of these organizations, we find almost all of them struggling to show little, or no, positive results… but they love to cite examples of projects they have completed that are improving the customer experience and point to some measure of CX that they think has increased.

Why? Typically, these companies have not really committed their organizations to improving customer experience. There is insufficient top-down and cross-functional alignment around becoming more customer focused, a lack of understanding about what the customer expects, and a lack of willingness to make fundamental changes to how they service their customers. 

Ask yourself this:  if you asked your customers today whether they have observed any improvements in business practices that make them feel more loyalty towards your organization, how many would say yes?  If it is not recognizable to the customer, then it is not meaningful change.

To become customer-focused, organizations can’t just give lip service to the topic and make cosmetic changes. They need to make fundamental changes that truly improve customer experience.  And as we know, old habits die hard.

While “better customer experiences” sound easy to create, the drive to be more customer focused is not for the faint of heart!

John Bardawill
Managing Partner, TMG International Inc.
and Chair, CMA CX Council

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