Congratulations! You made it! It’s been a long, grueling season of campaigning, debating, speaking, and – FINALLY! – voting. Just like politicians, companies make promises to their customers on a daily basis – their brand promise. And just like politicians, some companies deliver on their brand promise…and others, unfortunately, do not. But those companies that do, have a specific quality to them. These companies have that “it” factor that allows them to be successful as a customer-centric organization.
All politics aside, here are a few quotes from some of those famous fellas that can be found on our dollar bills, in our text books, and that have taken up residency in the town named for George Washington. These quotes can teach us a thing or two about becoming an organization dedicated to customer experience.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy
President Kennedy’s inaugural address had several ambitious goals laid out for his presidency, including sending a man to the moon. But it was this infamous quote that truly should be at the heart of any customer-centric organization. In this case, President Kennedy is actually telling (Sir, Yes, Sir) organizations to shift their perspective from one that focuses inside-out on the business to one that is outside-in focusing on the customers. Continuously asking about the impact on your customers and putting them at the center – including key business decisions, resource prioritization, etc. – helps organizations ensure that their customers’ needs and expectations are met and exceeded.
“You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.” – Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson is right! The only way an organization is going to achieve the financial fruits of its CX labor is through investing in its internal people, processes, and technology to operationalize its customer experience. In order to deliver a great customer experience, it will take time and money. Putting customers at the center of an organization and meeting their ever-changing expectations (hello, digital native) requires changes in how an organization’s people engage and think (through training), changes to its existing business processes, and changes to technology platforms and data (mobile-first, anyone?) to ensure that the organization is delivering on its brand promise to customers. The investment will pay dividends! Companies that deliver a great customer experience see significant revenue growth.
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” – Ronald Reagan
This era-defining quote doesn’t just describe the end of the Cold War – it’s describing the need to change the way organizations are structured. Much of the pain that customers feel today is a result of the silos that organizations build to run their businesses – sales, marketing, service, research & development, etc., etc., etc. How many times have customers engaged with an organization, only to repeat their issue or situation over and over? Have you heard the phrase “It’s like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing”? It’s no surprise that the top four issues facing CX professionals are all around organizational culture, structure, processes, and alignment. In order to truly be a customer-centric organization, the business requires some level of alignment to those key customer journeys to reduce pain points or nail those moments of truth that will drive its customers’ experience.
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln
Each organization has its own differentiator or competitive advantage. Each organization makes its own brand promise to its customers (whether they know it or not). No matter what your brand promise is, ensure that the experience – which is delivering on that brand promise – is a good one. A customer-centric organization does not need to develop the most innovative products, the slickest/flashiest mobile apps, or have the most luxurious amenities to be successful. An organization centered around customer experience simply needs to keep its promises to its customers. They should say, “this is who we are, this is what it is like to do business with us” and ACTUALLY deliver on that promise.
Whether Red or Blue (or Green), everyone wins when companies build their organizations with a “of the people, by the people, for the people” mentality. By putting customers at the center of their business, companies deliver on their promises – becoming “a shining city upon a hill” for customer experience.