Emma Sopadjieva

Head of Research

Unlike companies that are long-established, there’s a new breed of customer-centric companies that are actively listening to customer frustrations and wants, and finding the solutions to address them quickly and efficiently. They are being led by customer-obsessed executives – people who are addicted to understanding what makes the customer tick and are constantly experimenting to add customer value by offering innovative new products and services that fill needs the customer didn’t even know they had.

Take Amazon for example. In a recent letter to shareholders that went viral, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talked about customer obsession saying, “There are many ways to center a business. … But in my view, obsessive customer focus is by far the most protective of Day 1 vitality.”

While customer-obsessed companies are clearly the future, CX leaders still struggle to make the business case for customer experience in their own organizations. Demonstrating financial impact requires a thorough understanding of the customer outcomes and behaviors that drive economic value in a given business.* So how do you get your executive team customer-obsessed? Here are five actionable tips on how you can get customer obsession to build at the top and bubble down.

1. Connect your executives to real time customer feedback.

Who better to connect employees and customers to the company’s purpose than executives? Arm your executives with stories about customer impact and customer obsession will follow. A Medallia study of 275 B2C customer experience programs found that programs that shared feedback directly with executives achieved Net Promoter Scores 6 points higher, on average, than those that did not.

2. Make customer feedback a daily habit.

To be customer obsessed, executives must be thinking about customers and what they’re saying on a daily, if not hourly, basis. The voice of the customer should be built into their routines as seamlessly as possible. For example, with the Medallia Voices™ mobile app, executives get to swipe through a selection of reviews and comments from various channels right on their phones, wherever they are, every day.

3. Don’t ignore the negative feedback.

Positive feedback is always great to hear. To be truly customer-obsessed, companies need to take the good along with the bad. Share both the positive and negative with your executives to guarantee that they aren’t just seeing a selective view of the customer.

4. Create ways for executives to share the voice of the customer within the company.

Learning from customer feedback drives sustainable value, and this process starts with access. That means providing widespread access to customer feedbackMake it a regular practice for your CEO to share both positive and negative customer feedback to employees at all levels of the organization. Not only does this provide recognition for what’s being done right, it also makes them aware of priority issues that need to be fixed ASAP.

5. Tailor feedback and reporting to meet the needs of specific functions.

When employees have access to feedback relevant to their jobs, they’re better equipped to learn and reach their goals. Have your executive team empower employees with the tools they need to deliver great customer experiences. When companies provide customer feedback to the right people within the organization, particularly those employees at the front line, such as store manager or call center agents, the impact is astounding.

*For more information on how CX leaders demonstrate the financial impact of CX  in their companies, read the recent Medallia study which documented how 15 companies across nine industries measure and track the impact of their customer experience initiatives.