Businesses seeking to scale their competitive advantage would be wise to focus on their customer experience capabilities and associated opportunities to differentiate, emphasised Zen CEO Paul Stobart in his Comms Vision address to delegates.
He advocates a multidisciplinary approach to customer experience development and provided a holistic view of how to build teams that create and deliver the right differentiating experiences to customers.
It is a common fact that customers who enjoy an exceptional experience will buy more and be more likely to adopt additional services or products. But business leaders who simply focus on being 'customer first' are getting it wrong, says Stobart, who went in to explain the must-dos.
"Customer experience is the single way we can differentiate," he stated. "Doing the basics well equates to a good customer experience, but that's not enough. We need to raise the bar for magical CX that creates an emotional bond with customers. Feelings matter, and going the extra mile can create a moment of magic."
The payback for getting CX right is real and Stobart iterated that unforgettable experiences start with an organisation's workforce.
"It's about your people," he added. "You can't deliver a great CX unless your people are inspired to do so."
That makes it crucial to nurture high performing teams operating on the front-line, observed Stobart, emphasising a multi-faceted approach to raising the CX game which includes a reassessment of the recruitment process.
"When recruiting we get obsessed by skills and qualifications and forget about people who may be a better fit and go the extra mile," he added.
Stobart noted that the delivery of sublime customer experiences starts with creating a superior employee experience with three key areas underpinning measurable gains – leadership, data and core values.
"Leaders who 'get it' in a team understand a sense of 'us' - the shared values, visions and objectives, for example. A leader also needs to inject a sense of 'me' - feel valued, recognised and understood. A blend of 'us' and 'me' makes a team feel great."
Successful teams also need real-time intelligence in their hands, such as CRM, giving them the data to make the right decisions.
"And an understanding of what matters to the business, its core values, is key for people to feel part of the fabric of what makes teams work.
"An understanding of corporate rituals and traditions within an organisation, such as celebrations, recognition events and anniversaries, along with nostalgia stories about what the company has done in the past, all creates an inclusive understanding of what matters most."
But if delegation isn’t your strategy, you’re doing it wrong, noted Stobart. "There is no point in all of this if you fail to empower team leaders," he warned. "You need to give them authority to do CX that's great.
"Do all of this and you have a chance of teams creating moments of customer experience magic."