There has been a step change in the way that businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors. Six years ago, 36% of businesses competed on the basis of customer experience. Today, that figure stands at 89% (Gartner).
But why has customer experience become such a battleground? Put simply, because consumer tolerance is changing:
32% of consumers will walk away from a brand they love after one bad experience.
68% of people tell others about great customer experiences.
48% won’t buy if their friends have had a bad experience with a brand.
Outstanding customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have.
What is a brand?
What does ‘brand’ mean in this context? It’s not just your company’s logo or tagline, it’s everything that works to make your organisation unique, including your people.
That means that, unlike a logo, a brand is not static. Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner said, “A brand is a living entity, and is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.”
How can you ensure that those small gestures are positive ones? By ensuring that every interaction that a customer has with your brand is easy, memorable, and productive. Online, you can do this with a simple and efficient website. Human to human, however, requires that your people are part of a positive and healthy organisational culture.
Lane4 defines organisational culture as ‘the values, behaviours, beliefs and environments that shape people’s experience within a company.’
It is a key ingredient of organisational effectiveness and a source of sustainable competitive advantage. Culture is proven to impact on measures of organisational performance, including revenue growth, net income, productivity, employee absence, creativity and staff retention.
Your customers rarely care about these metrics, but they do care about their experience when they enter one of your stores or communicate with your people. That’s where employee experience comes in. If you treat your people like customers, they might just treat your customers like people.
Bringing about change
So far so simple. However, in practice, organisations are currently performing poorly when it comes to employee experience. According to Gallup, 63% of employees are not engaged at work, with 24% actively disengaged.
Clearly, a disengaged employee will not be invested in providing your customers with the best possible experience.
We need to empower our people at the same time as unifying our customer experience, and whilst these changes often sit within different teams (HR and Marketing for example), they can actually feed and improve each other.
Customer experience is fundamentally emotion-led, and so some of the best advice for transforming it will be from the very employees who deliver it. Your people are the brand and therefore understand what works and what doesn’t. Giving ownership and localised responsibility to your people on the ‘front line’ has been shown to have real impact.
The four steps to transforming your customer and employee experience
Working in partnership, Lane4 and Brand Vista have developed a process that enables you to break down siloes and revolutionise both your customer and employee experience - at pace. It works like this:
1. Understanding your business
The first step is putting your customers and people at the heart of your strategy. This isn’t just an intellectual exercise. Lane4 and Brand Vista carry out an extensive customer and culture capture, engaging your people & customers alike, so that we are able to shine a light on where you are now and where you might want/need to be in order to be a market leader.
Next, you must define where you want to get to and what you want your brand to be known for. We support you to define your focus, breaking down any siloes that may be preventing you from achieving one shared vision of brand and culture. We then create a Change Acceleration Plan to close the gap between where you are now and where you want/need to go.
We start bringing about change at pace; empowering your people so that they not only understand change, but care about it and are equipped with the skills required to make it happen. We do this through a unique blend of comms and engagement, process development & award-winning leadership development.
4. Sustainable and continual improvement.
Using our Brand Alignment Monitor, we measure employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction together -identifying those parts of the business that are living & breathing your desired culture and CX, whilst ensuring that that resources are assigned where they are needed most.
Do this, and in the words of Jim Collins in Built to Last: “When you have a superb alignment, a visitor could drop into your organisation from another planet and infer the vision without having to read it on paper”
Want to learn more about Lane4 and Brand Vista’s EX x CX offer? Get in touch.