Collaborators and Customer Experience: time to work on culture!
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There are many recipes for working and planning a Cultural Transformation cycle in an organization, and most of them match these facts: establish your vision, mission, values and advocate them, promote open feedback culture, open communication, transparency, leadership, etc. And always commitment, engagement, meaningfulness, etc, have a place on the plan narrative. We all agree on that, but isn´t it easily diluted day after day due to the need of tangible, real and recurrent actions? It´s also fundamental to settle a fitting structure.
It gets harder when the moment to add the customer ingredient comes; how to make the whole organization live sharing the customer purpose achievable while cohabitating in a rigid structure which don´t make easy collaboration nor innovation? As we are trying to find our room to fit, we are just focused on defending our silo instead of getting to know the customer and how to improve their life.
Here is where I would start from:
1- Prepare in detail a Change Management plan that support the cultural transformation. And start from a passionate buy-in of the management. Also, it´s highly recommended to constantly communicate the reasons why we need a Customer Centric-Culture.
Show the change benefits for collaborators and customers the best you can. It is extremely important to support the change with constant communications, info, newsletters, blogs, etc. Additionally bring in a strong plan for leadership, for them to learn to act and lead with example.
2- Foster project´s horizontal culture for teams focusing on customer experience improvement. Bring in the facilitator (leader) role who release his/her control on decision making to the team and takes the “I´m here to help and collaborate” role model. Team and leader should set targets together, based on customer´s needs.
3- Map your Collaborator Journey; dedicate time on acknowledging your team and their journey along their life cycle within the organization. Once you get to know them deeply, address their passion and skills simultaneously for working on the best they can do; that´s success and happiness main ingredient. To be in her/his element helps the collaborator´s development and consequently, your team and the project success.
4- Foster on-going learning culture; so as to achieve that, you should let your team experiment and flow. Analysis and clear actions when facing difficulties. That´s how we prevent mistakes to become barriers for well performing.
5- Acknowledge and coach on a 1-on-1 basis and team broadly interactions with customers and how to improve them; discuss NPS results, satisfactions and dissatisfactions for your team members to know how they influence on customer experiences. That´s one of the task that should be done when living the feedback culture. Additionally and most important, let the ideas about how to improve flow, as collaborators are the best people to know how the customer feel, they are on the field, they have the hottest feedback!
6- Learning plan for Customer Experience management for everyone! We all should learn how to manage even the most difficult moments with customers.
7- Involve the more collaborators as you can on the workshops for mapping the Customer Journey. As we know, they know best what the customer feels.
8- Use Design Thinking and other methodologies for fostering empathy towards customers and for working on designing their success. For me there is no easier and approachable method for this and other purposes.
9- Allow and encourage information and knowledge exchange; the whole organization must have available all the necessary info for performing and measure their activity impact on the customer life. Knowledge is free and open and must be shared in our organizations and in our personal lives too.
10- Promote internal healthy discussion forums for exploring new ways of Customer Engagement. As leader, help to clarify and mentor how collaborators influence and foster that engagement culture.
11- Provide with resources for promoting, implementing, research, etc, projects that improve customer experiences. It´s crucial to focus on middle and long term investments for achieving more sustainable results on customer satisfaction, engagement, sales, and further.
12- And last but not least, recognition to well-done jobs to those “less well” performed. Competitive culture belongs to the 80´s. And do not forget about a universal incentive scheme, everyone creates customer value.
There are many more that will be shared soon; please leave your comments below!