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.
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.
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.
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.
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