Customer Experience: Lack of Linking to Business Objectives

By Sharmane Good of CMA's Customer Experience Council

The following is the first in a series of Blogs by various members of the CMA Customer Experience Council.  The series will discuss various aspects of how to embed a company’s commitment to Customer Experience within their organization.

It is very easy to find great measurement quotes online.  A few of my favorites include:

  • “What gets measured, gets done.” – unknown
  • “What gets measured gets managed.” – Peter Druker
  • “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it” – Lord Kelvin

 If an organization is going to prioritize their Customer Experience, it needs to be tied to business objectives which also means that it needs to be measured.  Which is no small task – how do you measure an experience?  At which point the following question is also asked – what is the ROI?

Business objectives need to be tied directly to business outcomes.  Increase revenue or reduce cost seen through the lens of CX would be: increase customer retention rates, or grow the customer base as well as simplify the customer interaction or reduce associate attrition.   Based on the sage advice in the quotes, setting business objectives ensures alignment across teams, which is the first step towards the development of plans to achieve the objectives. Of course, businesses are complicated places where trade offs happen daily.    

Having alignment will ensure that the daily execution that happens throughout the organization delivers those business objectives.  How would the identification of CX as a business objective manifest itself everyday?  Here are some examples:

Projects:  Any changes in schedule, cost or scope can impact quality.  If a change in quality impacts CX, the Project Manager’s decision making lens is clearer and s/he would need to weigh the impact to CX due to any adjustment of schedule, cost or scope. If this a digital CX project, the impact to quality may impact revenue and loyalty.

Hospitality: The Four Seasons is famous for their commitment to CX.  For over 60 years, each associate has understood that delivering great customer service is the most important business objective. This comes to life everyday through simple differences like taking a customer to where they want to go in the hotel vs. giving them directions. Each front-line associate has multiple decision points every day about how they are going to serve or support customers.  Always ensure that they know how to use their judgment and discretion.

Contact Centres: When an Agent’s objective is Average Handle Time (AHT), do they treat their customers differently if they need additional help?  Is the unintended consequence of rushing a phone call, create another one? Instead of looking at AHT or cost per call, consider looking at First Contact Resolution or cost per resolution.

Human Resources:  Gallop has proven that engaged employees is an essential part of any great CX. The first step is hiring the right associate as well as having the policies, practices and tools to support them. A business objective focused on people sends a clear message through any organization. 

Many of us are entering the yearly planning phase.  Will CX be one of your objectives next year and into the future?  How will the various teams and associates execute against your CX goal?      

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Tags: customer experience, human resources, contact centres, hospitality, proejcts