Keith Schorah, founder and CEO of customer intelligence organisation Maru/Syngro, shares his top tips on how B2B organisations can engage employees in the Customer Experience strategy.
B2B organisations can be complex with many different departments executing different roles with different communication lines with customers. It is not uncommon then that everyone on the front-line work to please customers according to their own interpretation, but not really with a common goal of how to do it.
The first step is communication. Hold a session to determine the kind of emotions the company want to invoke, tying into the values and history. If you want your Customer Experience strategy to work towards making sure customers to feel trust, cared for and pleased in every interaction, then this becomes the mantra for a communication aspiration for customer experience success. This strategy then needs to be communicated to employees, with emphasis on why their role is important in the CX cog. It’s impossible to have a seamless end-to-end brand experience if your employees don’t have a customer-centric mindset and don’t have the motivation to keep customers happy; this means you need to share your vision with them.
The next step is to listen to your employees; they are your front line and interact with customers every day. Close relationships with customers matter a lot and daily transactions are important because that influences decision-makers. B2B organisations must realise that the people who are recipients of daily transactions can recommend upward within the organisation about who to buy from next. Since these decisions are impacted by so many other factors besides trying to deliver good services within Sales and Service, the company’s operational execution is a huge priority as well. Your employees can provide useful insight into the ways to improve Customer Experiences.
Evoke a cultural shift. Make Customer Experience the number one target by introducing customer metrics in performance reviews, presenting customer feedback to all employees and executives, and expecting action on survey results by owners of CX key drivers. As part of the cultural change, set targets and KPIs and monitor performance. When these pre-defined conditions are met, employees can be rewarded and receive recognition. Target setting also highlights areas in need of extra customer training and upskilling to help staff improve.
Adopt the right software. Intelligent Customer Experience software should eliminate data silos by stressing the cross-functional aspect of operations. The software should also make it easy for all employees to view the data that matters to them and set their individual or departmental CX goals. This helps to show employees that everyone has a role to play — not just the customer-facing people: they’re only as good as their ability to get through internally to get problems solved — otherwise nobody wins. The companies with the best success are the ones that really embrace cross-functional coordination.
Remember the adage: “What gets measured and rewarded gets done”, and use metrics wisely to motivate customer-focus throughout your company. To maximise your customer surveys’ return on investment, educate all employees and partners about their impact on front-line professionals and touch-points. And make sure your Customer Experience software tools ensures output can be used to help as many employees across your company as possible to focus their jobs on making things better for the people in your customer companies.
If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your B2B customer experience strategy, download Maru/Syngro’s paper on how to take your CX programme from good to great.
Keith Schorah is the founder and CEO of Maru/Syngro, a customer intelligence organisation providing world-leading customer experience reporting, analytics, and performance management software. Keith is a customer experience professional with a passion for helping companies prosper by putting customers at the centre of their business.