3 Steps to Build a Strong Customer-Centric Culture

The success of a customer experience improvement program often boils down to how well the company is able to empower the employees across the organization. Empowerment requires access to data, motivation, tools and authority to fix things.

These are the three simple steps to start from once you have the customer feedback collection in place:

1. Set the right targets

Let’s be honest - in many organizations the best way to ensure a wide participation in customer experience improvement, is to include a Customer Experience KPIs into corporate scorecards and bonus systems. This is particularly important for employees, who face customers only indirectly, but still have a significant influence on their experience.

These include the top leadership, because the top management support is generally vitally important for any customer experience improvement activity to succeed. Another important group are the product owners and product managers. Their focus on great customer experience (or lack of it) manifests itself everyday through the product related decisions they make.

2. Create a common understanding

Share data and results of the Customer Experience analytics in an easy to use tool. This ensures that there is a shared understanding of what matters. When the results of the analytics provide a common understanding of what is important for the organization (e.g. in terms of issues to fix), employees can start to have a fact-based discussion.

Before the shared understanding exists, people always go back insisting the organization should focus on their favourite topic because “even my 12-year-old daughter said she doesn’t like it”.

The organization needs to ensure that they can get beyond anecdotal evidence in the discussions about customer experience. That is the only way the focus of the discussion shifts from arguing the facts towards improvement needs and actions.

3. Let the voice of the customer be heard

Shared understanding is important, but ensure that people can access not only the analytics results but also the customer comments – hearing the customer voice and reading the real comments with all their emotions can be a strong tool to motivate people to act on the feedback.

Knowing that the leadership also reads customer comments helps in the customer centric cultural transformation as well. If the original comments are the only thing people see, they easily get stuck to the anecdotal evidence backing their own prejudices. But if the access to customer voice is always complemented with shared understanding of what really drives the customer satisfaction, people can focus on making improvements.