Forrester Wave Report
Leslie Stretch, Medallia CEO, and Borge Hald, Medallia Founder, Reflect on Being Named A Leader by Forrester in The Forrester Wave™ Customer Feedback Management Platforms, Q4 2018 Elena:...
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Which role in your organization has the biggest impact on your company’s customer experience?
If you ask most company leaders, they’ll likely name someone with a customer-facing position — frontline employees, perhaps, or even the CEO. And those answers wouldn’t necessarily be inaccurate.
But they don’t take into account all of the factors that go into a great experience.
Employees in non-customer facing roles still have a tremendous impact on your company’s customer experience. Because their impact isn’t as direct as customer-facing employees’, it’s often easier to overlook. And that means your organization is likely missing out on chances to further rally around customers — and improve their experiences in new ways.
So which roles’ impacts go overlooked the most? And what can each one do to increase that impact?
Every great customer experience needs committed people to deliver it. But how much does your recruiting staff know about your company’s customer experience strategy? And how closely are they mapping their hiring standards to it?
When hiring for customer-facing roles, your recruiters should look for candidates who genuinely enjoy working with customers. This sounds obvious — but there’s a difference between someone who finds satisfaction in helping customers accomplish their goals and someone who’s just putting on a happy face.
An important part of this attitude is a willingness to learn from customer feedback. How your frontline does their jobs is determined largely by customer needs — and those needs can change quickly. Recruiting teams can help reduce friction in these adjustments by seeking out candidates who enjoy learning from constructive criticism instead of getting discouraged or offended.
2. Product managers
When customers are presented with offerings that don’t fit their needs, it’s of course harder to satisfy them — even if other aspects of your experience are good. But where are your product managers looking for insights into customer needs?
Chances are your product managers are already using customer focus groups and market research to evaluate competing offerings and design their own creations accordingly. But it’s also important to give them direct, systematic access to your customer experience data, and to let them work with customer-facing employees when developing new products. Understanding the context and root causes behind aggregated customer comments will give your product team valuable perspective — and can even help them make innovative leaps.
3. Financial analysts:
Their analysis and strategic thinking ensures that your organization has the resources it needs to make investments in customer experience improvement. But their benefit goes beyond just allocating money. If you give your financial analysts the right tools, they can also predict which investments will provide the biggest benefit to your business.
How will a certain type of customer experience initiative impact customer spending? How about customer retention? Your finance and CX teams will need to work together closely to understand each others’ metrics and find ways to make make financial linkages between them.
Nowadays, a broken or poorly functioning website can be just as detrimental to customer satisfaction as long hold times for a call center or slow service in a store. Your IT department is directly responsible for reducing customer friction by keeping your digital touchpoints running smoothly and reliably.
But IT workers also ensure the rest of your company has access to the resources and information it needs to deliver a great experience. How will your frontline close the loop on customer feedback if an internet outage keeps them from even seeing customer data? Give your IT department as insight into the ways your organization communicates and collaborates on the customer experience so they can design their infrastructure accordingly.
5. Culture/environment manager:
This person is responsible for promoting employee happiness and wellbeing — both of which help customer-facing employees provide better service. But your culture or environment manager can also foster knowledge sharing and collaboration through social activities and good workplace design.
In large organizations, customer experience best practices often get trapped in departmental silos. Empower your culture manager to design spaces and activities that bring together people from different teams and get them talking about what they’re working on.
When companies look for ways to become more customer-centric, non-customer facing roles often aren’t prioritized — or are left out of the conversation entirely. But you give those people access to real customer voices and time to think about their own impact on the customer experience, you might be pleasantly surprised by the additional strategies they think of.Photo credit: RustyClark