Could Your Company Culture be Destroying Your Customer Experience?
Could Your Company Culture be Destroying Your Customer Experience?

Could Your Company Culture be Destroying Your Customer Experience?

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You might think you’re doing everything right. You’ve got some personalisation on your website, an intelligent recommendation engine, customer services staff reviewing your social influencers and you’re hitting most of your sales targets.

Behind the scenes, however, if your company culture doesn’t support your customer centric objectives you could be missing out on some important commercial opportunities.

Putting the customer first should be the core tenet of every company that aspires to provide a great customer experience, and yet the very fabric of many businesses just doesn’t support this belief. Here are some of the biggest issues.

Breakdown Channel Siloes

Many companies are still structured by channel, but in today’s markets where customers are channel agnostic, it makes sense to re-think your internal structure. If for example, you have one team dealing with email, another with social media, and another with your call centre there is a risk to ‘experience continuity’.  The customer doesn’t care how your staff are incentivised, but they do care that they get the same consistent brand experience across all channels. Align your channels and objectives and incentivise staff based on customer metrics rather than channel specific metrics.

At the recent Retail Week Customer Experience Summit, Martin Newman of Practicology agreed, suggesting organisation of marketing and customer personnel as a key obstacle to success when delivering effective customer experiences. When every channel has its own department, what happens to the omni-channel customer - who could be using multiple channels and up to four different devices to engage with your brand?

Operating in siloes affects marketing attribution too – how can you decide which channels or campaigns had the most impact on a sale without holistic cross-channel journey management?

Rethink Employee Objectives

If your email marketing executive is targeted on the number of sales made through emails, or on the number of new subscribers to the email list, it’s only natural that they’re going to focus their efforts on hitting their targets rather than doing what’s best for the customer.

Equally your digital team may be targeted on the number of onsite pages viewed, but your customer experience team targeted on reducing products viewed in favour of recommendations.  Email teams won’t want customers transferring effort onto an app if this reduces their global audience or sales transactions via email.  It would appear that your own internal structure could be at odds with providing the experience that customers desire.

Many organisations are re-establishing the definition of marketing, pulling together functions with the birth of new channel agnostic roles such as Chief Customer Officer or Head of Customer Experience.

Empower Your Employees

Current retail service models are becoming more and more outdated, and many retailers are finding better results when they apply traditional retail approaches. Attempts are being made to understand in-store consumer motivations using cross channel app devices for store staff, or EPOS systems that provide greater insight gathered through digital channels. Staff are coming out from behind the counter and eliminating the need for rigid scripts – as in the days when personal service was appreciated.

Waterstones managed to reverse declining sales by changing their company culture, uniforms were scrapped, policies were changed giving employees the power to say “yes”. Employees were encouraged to mingle with customers, removing the till as a barrier and instead enabling staff to pro-actively seek opportunities to offer advice and understand how customers want to be helped. This more personal service can be replicated online too with the right technology.

Become More Customer-Centric

A truly customer-centric company will gear every element of their business towards the wants and needs of the customer, as opposed to putting sales, or products, or channel first.

It should be every employee’s job to provide a great experience for the customer, no matter what team or department they’re in. For example, Carpetright stream a live feed of customer comments into their head office where everyone can see them and respond to them.

Customer experience is set to become the biggest differentiator between companies by 2020, with 89% of companies already planning to compete mostly on this basis.

A great customer experience will create happier, more loyal customers – who in turn, will spend more money with you, come back more often, and tell more people about you. But until you adapt your company culture to bring everyone on board with the mission, you’ll never reach your full CX potential – risking losing  revenue opportunities to organisations that have.

Uniquely Intilery can help deliver a true omni-channel experience across both on and off-line channels. Call us for more details.

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