Delivering remarkable customer experiences are a smart way to win new customers and to keep your existing ones loyal. But winning with customer experience isn't about delivering memorable moments just every now and again. Rather, your customer experience becomes a growth driver for you when the entire arc of your customer journey works seamlessly together to deliver a unified vision for how you want your customers to feel as they interact with you.
If one part of the journey is stellar, and another part is a hot mess, you run the risk of losing your customer. One less-than-ideal experience can negate the effort of 10 delightful interactions.
That's why it is essential to bake remarkable customer experiences into your company's DNA. When you do, you set the stage for all functions within your business to work together in your quest to win more customers via experiences.
While sales, marketing, customer service and customer success teams often know the importance of customer experience, when it isn't part of the organizational culture, other departments within your company may not have the same priorities as you. That misalignment can negatively impact the various elements of your customer journey.
Here are three departments you need to ensure are fully on board with your vision of delivering remarkable customer experiences, so they don't derail your efforts.
1. Information Technology (IT)
The other day, I showed up with my mom and sisters at a bridal salon ready for my 6:00 appointment. I'd made the appointment more than a week and a half prior and even confirmed it via phone a few days before.
But when I showed up, the hostess didn't have my appointment on file. Thankfully, after a bit of scrambling, the staff worked it out and I was tended to by a stylist. After the initial frustration, I left the store happy, having purchased a dress I loved.
The next day, I got an automated email from the salon saying that I was a "no show" for my appointment the day before. My annoyance with the store returned.
As you work to deliver remarkable experiences to your customers, make sure your systems support you in achieving your goals, rather than hindering them.
Often, IT and marketing departments operate with different budgets and priorities. And if the culture of your organization doesn't unify everyone around delivering experiences that help you win more customers, than there will be times when your departments don't work together to help you reach your goals.
2. Human Resources
The people you hire have a major impact on how well you deliver the kinds of experiences that win you customers. When you have a team of people who are fanatical about solving your customers' problems like none other, they naturally look for ways to improve the experience your brand delivers.
That's why it is critically important for your human resources team to hire people who are committed to customer success and shape an organizational structure that supports the effort. You also need a training program designed to make sure your team is fully equipped with the skills needed to serve your customers at a high level.
I worked with a client that had a middle management team that wasn't fully bought into how customer experience could help the company grow. Because they weren't believers, they slowed the process down of the transformation their teams were working to create.
Often, businesses will make decisions based on their bottom line. But financially-based decisions that are driven by spreadsheets don't always bode well for your customer experience. That's not to say that your customer experience can't be cost-effective. But not all experiences that draw your customers closer to you can be traced directly back to profitability. Sometimes, the activities and policies you enact to ensure your customers have a positive experience with you won't scale.
Online shoe retailer Zappos' mission is all about service. So instead of working to restrict how long customer service teams stay on the line with customers for the sake of efficiency, the company rewards service represenati who have longer calls with customers, if that's what they need to do. Longer call times don't make sense from a financial perspective, but it makes a big difference in the mind of the customer who doesn't feel rushed.
Customer experience can be a source of competitive advantage for your company. To make it so, you've got to build it into your culture at every level of your organization, including in the departments that have traditionally worked behind the scenes.
Everyone in your company has a role to play in improving how you serve your customers. Make sure you invest the time and resources in ensuring everyone knows and is working toward the same goal.