Here are ways to combat some of those challenges and improve your customer experience:
1: Get your crew
First and foremost, align your company’s leaders. Find your visionaries (the big idea people) and your action heroes (the ones who can really land things). Work together to create your ideal customer experience, and get the wrong people off the bus. I’ve worked with clients that have had to remove executives who were the right people in the past, but not right for the future. If your gut tells you someone isn’t going to help drive your company forward, listen to it. You need to start with a team of leaders who are prepared to make the right investments and prioritizations.
2: See the Mona Lisa
A client recently shared that he and a few other leaders from his company took a trip to Europe to visit other companies and understand their digital transformations. I loved that. Get out and do the same. Take a tour of your customer and employee experiences, take a tour of your competitors’ experiences, and visit other leaders and industries for inspiration. This will help you clearly define your differentiated brand strategy and solidify a future vision with your leadership crew.
Look for moments of truth and wow moments. Think about what really matters to the customer, then take it a step further. We invited some client executives out to dinner a few weeks ago and demonstrated our customer obsession by perfecting all the details from location, to service, to food. Our “wow moment” was when we provided Pike Place flower bouquets for our clients to take home to their spouses.
3: Be ruthless
Stick to your guns. Say yes and no. Think, “What are the experiences we really need to get this right?” From there, prioritize and roadmap data, technology, process, and people needs to make sure your time is well spent and meaningful. If you’re not saying no, you’re taking on too much. Prioritization is one of the biggest challenges in moving from where you are today to where you want to be. Get a plan, stick to it, and periodically readjust. Your aligned leadership team will be crucial to making these tough decisions.
4: Get sprightly
Focus on culture and people. Culture is what creates cohesion; it’s what makes your frontline people smile at your customers. Extend your crew to the rest of the company and focus on building a culture focused on spirit, vitality, innovation, and experimentation. Processes are important, but processes without culture will fall short.
5: Stop and smell the roses
Appreciate, celebrate, measure, adjust, and repeat. You will make progress, so recognize it. Know that growth takes time, and don’t let where you want to be take you away from how far you’ve come. With that in mind, measure often as you travel down the path. Tracking things like your experiences, sales, and visitors, will enable you to make changes and optimize. Appreciate what you’ve done but ask yourself, “How can I make this even better?”
Incredible customer experiences take work. Aligning executives, setting a common vision, and infusing the right culture are just a few of the fundamentals to get on—and progress down—the right path.