Get down on the ground if you want to really understand the value of the customer experience

Jo - 16 th April 2015

Customer experience has become a board level issue in most companies and we are seeing an increasing number of CCOs (chief customer experience officer) being appointed. This recognition of the critical importance of putting the customer focus into the board room can only be a good thing for us all as we seek to create irresistible and differentiating customer experiences.

However there is a small word of warning for us all. As we discuss, strategise and plan implementation in the rarefied atmosphere of the boardroom we must never forget the front of house teams who have to be inspired to deliver our plans. Indeed they should become an integrated part of developing them.

We must avoid making assumptions and prioritising resources for customer experience improvements in our offices rooms with our colleagues without collaborating with the teams that face customers each and very day on our behalf.

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We must never forget the old adage “management by walking about”, it is as true today as it always has been.
Last week we went to visit one of our clients to continue the development of their customer experience strategy and projects that would allow them to improve the experience. So before the meeting we went for a warm up for a couple of hours to go on the ground and walk the experience.

We saw where the influences of the work we were doing would work, where we might have to increase efforts and where we should stop worrying as the on the ground team were doing a brilliant job, driven by their understanding of the brand. So it helped us set slightly different priorities for the team and avoid wasting valuable resources where they weren’t needed.

So whilst bringing the customer experience into the board room and our meetings is business critical and to be welcomed we must never forget that many of the real nuggets of customer experience insight are on the ground.

So every now and then, take an hour out, walk all or a part of your customer experience (with you clearly defined brand vision in hand of course), have a camera and voice recorder with you and immerse yourself in all the insightful stimulus that you can take back to the board room and add some real connection to your customers.

Try it, it’s fun and it will make you money!

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Jo comes from a background of business strategy, marketing and innovation. She loves to use her knowledge in these areas to really understand her clients and identify how to help them overcome the brand challenges they face.
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