Monday, October 17, 2011

Curt Carlson on Customer Experience: #4: A New Framework for Business Growth through Customer Experience Management.

In this new series of posts, we are joined by guest blogger Curt Carlson, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience Management – TNS North America. Read the full series here.

Hi! This is the last of four posts leading up to the NACCM conference. Over the past three weeks, I’ve talked about how Customer Experience Management (CXM) is challenged as never before: it is not driving improvement in either scores or financials for most companies today; it is not customer-focused; and it is not taking into account how customers make decisions. We now know that a more comprehensive view of measuring Customer Experience is needed. It is not just about measuring overall customer experience and key drivers; we also need to factor in the varied needs (drivers) and states (emotions) of different customers. Doing this creates a vastly improved measurement system. What gets measured gets done, right?

Not so fast. Back in the day, CXM (aka, CSAT) was easy…identify the key drivers, make the case for low-cost process changes and watch the scores go up. What got measured got done because we knew what needed to be done. Now that we’ve tried everything we can think of, we need new ways of managing business performance improvement. Today, we need a Customer Experience Management framework.

A CXM framework requires understanding the customer from three perspectives: Loyalty Relationships, which are essential to accomplishing strategic objectives; Transactional (touch-point) Experiences, which strengthen or weaken those relationships; and Employee Engagement levels, which are ultimately responsible for performance on the first two. Many companies have programs to measure all three. Unfortunately, most of those programs are left in their Marketing, Operations, and HR silos. This means most companies are failing to get the full return on the significant investments they are making in these programs. For example, if Customer Service performance is low in a call center, do you spend behind additional training and monitoring on low performing attributes? The Customer Experience data might suggest that. But if you also knew that the CSRs in this particular center had very low engagement due to lack of trust and empathy from managers, you would make very different decisions. This potential for misallocation of resources is unacceptable in business today. Managing customer experience to drive business performance requires measuring and managing within an integrated CXM framework.

Measuring and managing is good, but still not enough. I’ve seen too many companies use information from their Customer Experience programs to develop and implement action plans only to then cross their fingers until the next measurement cycle. It is absolutely necessary to monitor your company’s implementation of its action plans, your customers’ responses to those actions, and the business performance outcomes that result.

In summary, whether you say “Integrated,” “Connected,” or “Holistic,” it is all about a comprehensive, customer-focused view of needs/drivers and states/emotions within the framework of Measuring customer relationships, transactional experiences, and employee engagement levels; Managing action planning and implementation; and Monitoring the response. We haven’t even touched on brand promise and its relationship to CXM (Authenticity)…or Social Media…or Innovation. Those will have to wait. Enjoy the conference.

I’ll be continuing to post every week at Hope to see you there. Let me know what you think of the conference by posting your comments below.

If you enjoyed this series, join TNS this November at NACCM for a session on Best-in-class Customer Experience Management.

To learn more about NACCM,
click here. To register, click here. Readers of the Customer's 1st blog can save 15% off the standard registration rate with code NACCMBlog.

No comments: