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Methodology and Examples

Intro to Customer Experience

– By Brittany Hobbs

What is Customer Experience?

B2C and B2B orgs are built around four core customer-facing functions: Product, marketing, sales, support. Industry-leaders add a fifth function, customer experience, that operates cross-functionally and is responsible for special projects to improve key customer KPIs. 

Customer experience (CX) teams are built to be customer-obsessed and to take on an advocacy role across the organization. They are responsible for empowering other teams to deliver the products and services that customers want. CX supports product managers, marketers, UX designers by making change happen on  an organizational level. CX considers the entire experience across product, marketing, sales, and support. 

Clients hire customer experience consultants when they need to create a north star vision to guide and align multiple customer-facing teams. Customer experience strategists find deficiencies and create strategies to improve on customer KPIs.

Example of what customer experience solves: Telecommunications

  • Telco providers are large, complex enterprise organizations that sell a range of services: Home internet, mobile phones, mobile packages, TV packages, and much more.

  • Each of those product lines has their own KPIs and workflows for engaging, researching, and acting on customer issues.

  • Without a centralized customer experience strategy, pain points will arise when customers try to complete tasks across products or touchpoints, and when trying to answer unstructured questions.

  • Customer service is over-relied on in large enterprises to fill these cross-functional gaps. They have to access multiple systems, check multiple operating procedures, and have knowledge across many areas. This makes staffing and efficient execution next to impossible.

  • A customer experience strategist finds ways of improving self-service content and tools, as well as standardizing support workflows. They provide the requirements and objectives to align other teams.

Why organizations should prioritize customer experience into budgets

Every industry-leading organization now has a customer experience strategy and team. If your organization doesn’t have visibility on the end-to-end customer journey and have strategies to empower cross-functional initiative to improve CX, you are at a competitive disadvantage.

While analytics and business intelligence can tell you where pain points are happening, CX would lead programs to contextualize, prioritize, and resolve those pain points. They would be internal advocates for the customer journey and customer insights, ones who can build alignment across teams for accelerating initiatives that could save your business by proactively solving retention and brand perception issues that may go undetected until too late.

A strong customer experience vision is what differentiates Apple from every other corporation in the world. You don’t buy Apple products, you enter their ecosystem and enjoy the benefits of a customer experience vision that simplifies and standardizes everything. 

Examples of customer experience projects

The following are example customer experience projects from our experience here at PH1 Research. We are a Vancouver-based research & strategy consulting firm founded in 2012. Our mission is to solve the biggest problems impacting your digital experience.

  1. Develop a Customer Experience Master Plan for a passenger transportation corporation to set a vision and strategy for the customer experience across dozens of terminals and vessels.

  2. Create a customer experience strategy for a hyper-growth startup in the recruiting space. Research with current, past, and ideal customers illuminates where the best opportunities to differentiate through customer experience are.

  3. Develop a North Star for a bank to enable teams and executives to align all initiatives around critical client needs and organizational standards.

  4. Audit the custom experience of a leading B2B retail distributor and then draft core customer experience requirements to guide future initiatives.

  5. Audit the quality of the self-service customer experience provided by a telecommunications provider to determine the most effective strategy and tools.

Customer experience methodology

Customer experience overlaps with the four core customer-facing functions: Product, marketing, sales, support. CX engages with, collaborates with, and enhances the capabilities of each of those four teams by:

  • Being a central source of truth for customer insights and advocacy.

  • Leading the education and training of other teams about customers.

  • Acting as the cross-functional product manager obsessed with improving customer satisfaction.

  • Launching initiatives to eliminate pain points, at scale.

Customer experience strategists leverage facilitation, research, and strategy methodologies to:

  • Build alignment across the organization

  • Collect customer and market insights

  • Analyze customer data and satisfaction levers

  • Develop customer experience KPIs

  • Workshop vision statements and strategies with executives

  • Create master plans and strategic roadmaps

Successful customer experience projects rely on a deep understanding of the employee experience. While customers are the ultimate evaluator of a corporation, the employees are the most important lever. Customer experience strategists must identify the barriers limiting the success of employees and become advocates for removing those.

If you’d like to discuss a customer experience project, contact Brittany Hobbs here.

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