It feels like we should all be able to agree on how important customer experience really is. How your customers FEEL about your brand has a direct and powerful impact on your business results.

And yet I hear things that disturbingly put customer experience (CX) into a singular framework. How you define customer experience—in your own organization and within your internal communications—determines how seriously everyone in your organization will take it. This in turn shows up in how customers are treated, what feedback is gathered, and how that feedback is used.

customer-experienceAre you giving customer experience the internal emphasis it deserves?

In a study by Forrester, 92% of the company leaders surveyed said CX is a priority. But 45% said they lack the necessary resources and funding. This is exactly the type of lip service leadership often provides regarding customer experience. They talk about its importance, but don’t invest in making it a reality.

Your teams and employees understand what’s actually important. They will steer their own work towards that which has the investment and focus of the top. By not investing real resources into customer experience, they are not-so-subtly announcing its lack of importance overall.

Do you rest on your customer rating laurels?

In another study by Bain & Company, 60%–80% of lost or defected customers had previously reported being at least somewhat satisfied.

It’s simply too easy to feel confidently about your customer’s experience if the only real discussion about it is in terms of numbers. Maybe you do have an 80% customer satisfaction rate. Or you feel good about moving your Net Promoter Score to 68 from 67. That still means you have plenty of issues with customers!

But many of us simply have TOO MUCH TO DO.

90% of CEOs say they’re concerned about customer loyalty, but more than half feel they’re not keeping up with customer expectations.

Let’s face it, we’re dealing with a distracted workforce and too many responsibilities! The average senior executive receives hundreds of emails per day, and it’s well-known that switching tasks before they’re done adds significant time to each task. (I’ve heard some say it adds 25% more time, and others say it adds 25 minutes.) But customers aren’t concerned about how busy you are when the experience is lacking or altogether lousy.

Having meaningful, real-life relationships with customers means connecting them to real people in your organization who understand how to always deliver on customer expectations. So what can you do?

It may seem impossible sometimes, but you must find ways to make customer experience a priority within your organization—regardless of those limitations! This may mean putting special time aside to interact with customers. You may need to change your perspective on leadership and how you communicate with your team.  You may also need to ask yourself some hard questions to get to the truth about the experiences you deliver. (I’ll be covering some of the best ways to accomplish these things in part 2!)

You know customer experience is important.

I know you know, because you wouldn’t be reading this otherwise! You know experience is how to differentiate in a saturated marketplace and how to go beyond mere satisfaction to truly build loyalty.

It’s time to stop putting customer experience on the back burner when the going gets tough. What can you do today to bring customer experience to the top of the list? Start with Clicktools.

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