Customer Experience Has to Be the Key Differentiator for Companies

Customer Experience is no longer about the why or the how, but the how well, according to Diane Magers, Customer Experience Executive, AT&T.

Magers told attendees during her session, “How to Enable Change in Customer (and Associate) Centricity,” at the 4th annual Loyalty360 Engagement & Experience Expo that by 2020, customer experience is expected to surpass product and pricing as the key differentiator for businesses seeking brand loyalty.

Magers focused on six key words: Integrate, Leverage, Orchestrate, Engage, Enable, and Empower. Every organization understands how important it is to be customer-centric. But actually embedding the customer experience into the fabric of an organization, ensuring that is a priority and driving force, is another story.

Company alignment is one of the first and most critical steps to creating a customer-centric environment and one which stresses employee engagement, Magers said. It comprises three elements: How employees experience the company, how executives describe and see the company, and how customers experience the company.

To achieve a truly customer-centric company that is embedded in its culture requires a cross-functional team that fits all of the necessary elements in the Customer Experience journey.

“Pushing that customer voice out to the organization is very important,” she said.

Magers described three crucial areas companies should focus on to promote optimum customer-centricity.

The Heart (Feel/Understand)

Motivate, inspire

What’s my role

Align to personal values

Emotional connection

The Head (Think/Do)

What to deliver

Why it’s important

Develop skills

End-to-end customer journey

The Hands (Use/Impact)

Tools and resources

What to do to deliver CX

Working standards and consistency

How does the customer measure success?

Tracking change and impact (Measures, Metrics, and Benefits)

Culture change helps execute our customer-focused strategy

Creates an attitude of ‘ customer first’

Supports a personal passion for the human experience

Engages each of us to lead, differentiate and innovate

Supports our personal and professional lives

Creates value and increases loyalty

Magers listed some very important takeaways:

The North Star - intended, visible, target experience

The strategy and plan to get there

Work in the customer journey

Mind Shift – new skills, education

Embed – process, tools, resource

Engage everyone   

“The key is to embed customer-centricity into all processes, along with providing tools and assessments,” Magers said.

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