Our latest research showed that one of the top challenges B2B brands are facing is delivering an excellent CX throughout the entire lifecycle. But where does the responsibility lie to ensure this is delivered? Some might argue a Customer Experience Manager, some think it’s down to the marketing department. But the truth is everyone within an organization has a role to play.
Throughout our recent CX Practitioner Podcast series, there was one theme throughout: the importance of a strong internal culture in creating the ultimate B2B customer experience. From the Leadership team down, everyone must be proactive in determining:
- “how might I best support our customers”
- “how can I ensure we create maximum customer loyalty”
- “how can I better understand our customers to deliver what they want”
- “what does this experience that I am enabling for my customer look like”
However, creating that engagement internally isn’t always easy. Peter Seaman, Customer Experience Marketing Manager for Finning UK and Ireland even said it himself; “If we give one individual or a team of people in our organization a title with customer experience in it, that can create, or is at risk of creating, a sense of complacency”.
So how can you create that strong internal culture, ensuring everyone is playing their part? We have taken some top tips from our experts on the podcast series:
- Lead from the top
Molson Coors – “if your senior leaders are talking about the fact that it’s important, everybody else quickly follows suit.”
Ensuring customer experience is on the agenda at leadership meetings is key. If the leadership team are talking about it, others will listen. Whether it be presenting results of customer feedback, delivering an update on NPS, or even showcasing the work you are doing both internally and externally; creating that excitement at the top is paramount.
Further to this, commitment and investment from the leadership team is vital. Both of these in tandem will enable your organization to continue to delight your customers.
- Make your CX findings tangible
Etex – “NPS was an important metric for the analytical team members to enable them to make it super tangible”.
Whether it be NPS or another customer loyalty metric, giving teams something tangible to work towards is a great way to involve them in improving customer experience. By simplifying results in the form of metrics, it also makes it easier for those in non-marketing positions to understand. If colleagues can see the positive correlation between what they are doing and the improvements that are being made, they will be more inclined to continue putting the customer front and center.
- Make it fun
Brenntag – “Make it fun. I think if it’s done right, it inherently is fun delivering a CX program because you get that people engagement; you get that people focus.”
Creating a superior customer experience does not have to be boring. Throughout the podcast series there were a few ways in which our guests ensured they kept their colleagues engaged through fun, whether it be through interactive workshops, cardboard cut outs of their customer(s) present in meeting rooms, or even potato heads!
- Be willing to evolve
Etex – “What is important from your team to have is the willingness to change, the willingness to adapt, because the world outside [of Etex] is evolving every day.”
Customer expectations are evolving every day. Our research has shown that the new B2B decision-maker; the Millennial, have much higher expectations in terms of delivery and customer service. You could argue perhaps that they expect it to be more in line with a B2C experience. As a result, our CX Practitioners touched on the importance of being willing to evolve and taking your people along that journey.
Brenntag – “There was a very clear view early on that we just can’t communicate enough; it’s as simple as that.”
Communication with the wider organization is of huge importance to keep everyone engaged. In the Brenntag podcast discussion, Shaun Myers gave a few examples of how his team are communicating plans, activities and results including:
– Internal newsletters
– Business briefings
– Printed customer journey maps
– External newsletters (to create conversation even outside the office)
Kemira also shared an example of how important it was for them to share customer feedback with their Sales team. It created a level of excitement and engagement, particularly if the feedback acted as a reward system. On the flip side, if there were challenges customers were facing, it gave them a focus to add to personal development plans to ensure those challenges were met.
- Be resilient
Finning – “I would say being incredibly tenacious, have huge resolve, keep focused on the things that matter from a customer perspective.”
Peter Seaman was not the only guest on our podcast to refer to the importance of being resilient when focusing on customer experience. It is not always easy to engage your internal stakeholders, particularly those at a leadership level. Customer experience can be deemed to be “fluffy”; it can be hard to determine ROI; it can be difficult to engage those in non-customer facing roles.
Shaun Myers, Brenntag, described a customer experience focused role as isolating and lonely at times. As a result one of his final tips to all those wanting to embark on a Customer Experience journey was to never give up, and you will reap the awards!
Finally, a great way to summarize how you might want to perceive customer experience within an organization can be taken from our podcast discussion with Guidewire:
“One of the things that we’ve really tried to distinguish is the difference between customer success as an organization with a capital C and a capital S, versus the fact that truly everyone in our organization has an opportunity to deliver customer success with a lowercase c and a lowercase s.”
Everyone has a role to play, even in the smallest way.
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