Every time we look we see a report from surveys of the status of customer experience (CX) inside companies that show a high percentage of leaders are dissatisfied with their CX strategy and they plan to change it in the next year. This might also include changing the CX leader.
CX quality appears to be declining as reported from Forrester’s 2022 Customer Experience Index report where they note: “US companies have lost the vital focus on customers that they gained at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Forrester’s 2022 US Customer Experience (CX) Benchmark study reveals losses in CX quality across 13 industries. It requires an enterprise-wide effort to put customers at the center of an organization’s leadership, strategy, and operations”
A small 2022 survey of Australian and New Zealand companies by CXFOCUS suggests that a majority of Australian & New Zealand companies are not satisfied with their current customer experience strategies. The same poll revealed that more than 80% of companies are planning major changes to their CX strategy in the coming months.Source: CXFocus
What is not addressed is the blindingly obvious. It’s not the strategy that is the problem, it’s the culture. The customer strategy may be brilliant, average or even weak, but the core of the strategy is not implemented, even in its basic form, because it is held back by the corporate culture. Even customer journey mapping may be well-documented and attempts made at linking each customer interface point with actions for improvement for customers. But what is missing is a company-wide, business-wide or function-wide customer culture that creates customer engagement and customer value creation/improvements across all parts of the organization.
If you want a better customer strategy you must have a customer-centered culture where everyone in the business has a mindset and customer awareness that motivates them to act on value improvements for customers, no matter what their role or function.
Now, when this is so obvious, why don’t leaders in organizations address it? Some believe the customer culture is much stronger than it actually is. Others believe it is too hard to change. Still, others believe it is not worth it.
Let’s consider. Almost all those who believe it is strong don’t have any objective evidence to support it other than anecdotal stories. We know this is the case because we have the only valid evidence-based customer culture measurement tool called the Market Responsiveness Index (MRI). We have found wide variations in businesses between leaders’ and employees’ perceptions and variations across functions.
Those who believe it is too hard to change, have not experienced a methodology where it is specifically designed to modify easy-to-change behaviors that can provide substantial improvements for customers and for work colleagues with whom they interact. Today’s world requires people in organizations to change their behaviors with customers. Like our experience with COVID, we can change.
Those who believe it is not worth it should consider this:- the companies that are highly customer-centric with strong customer cultures are among the most profitable in their industries and in the world. Second, consider where you will be if you don’t have a strong customer culture – you will have a customer strategy that is not implemented, a business strategy that is not effective, and a purpose and mission that is not achieved.
If you want a profitable customer strategy, first measure your level of customer-centric culture. Contact us to find out more.