CEO OR CXO? HIGH­LIGHT­ING CUS­TOMER EX­PE­RI­ENCE

MAT WYLIE. EX­PLAINS WHY A CEO MUST STAY ATTUNED TO COM­PANY EX­PE­RI­ENCES – BOTH INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY – TO MAIN­TAIN A HEALTHY BUSI­NESS.

NZ Business - - CUSTOMEREXPERIENCE -

C us­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence isn’t just about be­ing able to pro­vide a good prod­uct or ser­vice; it’s about those who de­liver that ex­pe­ri­ence – your staff. You can’t ex­pect un­happy staff to de­liver a great cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, so en­sur­ing that job sat­is­fac­tion is kept high means that, in turn, cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion will be kept high.

BOLSTERING MORALE

Most com­pa­nies have some­one in charge of qual­ity con­trol or HR, some­one who over­sees what’s hap­pen­ing from a peo­ple per­spec­tive. But what they of­ten for­get is that th­ese two po­si­tions are not mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive. Both ar­eas should op­er­ate har­mo­niously to have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on em­ployee and cus­tomer morale.

Re­gard­less of the size of the team – whether the com­pany has ten or 10,000 staff – it’s im­por­tant to have some­one at the top who can strate­gi­cally po­si­tion the com­pany to pri­ori­tise ex­pe­ri­ence. If a CEO is obliv­i­ous to em­ployee and cus­tomer hap­pi­ness, or just doesn’t pri­ori­tise it, busi­ness per­for­mance will suf­fer.

Lis­ten to your staff, through what­ever voices they have in your com­pany. If they com­plain, it’s for a rea­son. Re­mem­ber, the most pro­duc­tive em­ploy­ees are ones who are ea­ger to work.

CUS­TOMER-CEN­TRIC CUL­TURE

Stay up to date on what’s go­ing on. Work on the front line, lis­ten to the voice of your cus­tomers, and keep an eye on trends. If a CEO is to do their job prop­erly, they need to un­der­stand things from the cus­tomer’s per­spec­tive as much as their own. Cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion is a lead­ing in­di­ca­tor of fu­ture growth or de­cline. Happy cus­tomers or rav­ing fans are the lifeblood of a com­pany. But if they be­come frus­trated, they’ll aban­don ship in droves.

Every­one is a cus­tomer at some point. Cap­ture that un­der­stand­ing, and ap­ply it to your per­spec­tive on your own com­pany. If it’s some­thing that would make you happy as a cus­tomer, it’s prob­a­bly a good idea.

Get­ting cus­tomer feed­back as soon as pos­si­ble after pro­vid­ing a prod­uct or ser­vice is key to gain­ing insight that can drive fur­ther growth. And hav­ing a cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion met­ric in your busi­ness will en­able you to fo­cus on pos­i­tive change.

PROFITS FOL­LOW EX­PE­RI­ENCE

A sus­tain­able busi­ness is a prof­itable busi­ness. It’s easy to think of ways to in­crease profit mar­gins at the ex­pense of cus­tomer and em­ployee ex­pe­ri­ence: re­duc­ing pay, de­creas­ing costs, spread­ing em­ploy­ees thinly over a larger amount of work, and so on. But this is a self-de­struc­tive means of im­prov­ing a com­pany. Push peo­ple too far, and they’ll push back.

A CEO needs to know how to bal­ance the pur­suit of profit with col­lec­tive sat­is­fac­tion. The pur­suit of sat­is­fy­ing cus­tomers and em­ploy­ees can it­self be a profit-mak­ing ven­ture, as cus­tomers are of­ten will­ing to pay more for qual­ity ser­vice, and em­ploy­ees who are happy with their sit­u­a­tion will be more likely to gen­er­ate greater profit for the com­pany.

BE AP­PROACH­ABLE

A CEO can’t deal with every cus­tomer, and gen­er­ally can’t ac­tively deal with every em­ployee ei­ther. But they can still be ap­proach­able. An em­ployee who knows that they can go to their CEO is far more likely to trust both the lead­er­ship team and the com­pany at large.

The same is true of cus­tomers. If cus­tomers know the com­pany is re­ally lis­ten­ing and act­ing ac­cord­ingly, they will show far more trust. The im­proved cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence means they’ll prob­a­bly deal with the com­pany again in the fu­ture.

A com­plaint left un­heard is a com­plaint left un­re­solved – for em­ploy­ees and cus­tomers alike. By giv­ing peo­ple a means to speak, you’re giv­ing your­self a means to lis­ten.

Th­ese fac­tors are just a smat­ter­ing of the rel­e­vant rea­sons why a CEO needs to be attuned to com­pany ex­pe­ri­ences – both internally and externally.

To cre­ate the best fu­ture for your com­pany, lis­ten and learn. Your bot­tom line will thank you in the end

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