During Walker’s recent Customer Experience summit in San Diego, we focused on two major releases from Walker experts – Customers 2020 which looks into the future of B-to-B customer experience, and Driving Results which provides a practical guide for using CX to drive action, real change and business results. Along the way, I heard many people talking about CULTURE. Some are just plain lucky – CX professionals that inherit a true customer-oriented culture find it to be one of their most important accelerators. For those who aren’t so fortunate, of course, they want to know how to take steps to get there. Usually, the place to start is leadership and securing genuine awareness and support. But there are grassroots efforts that can change the landscape too. Here is one such story I was fortunate to witness:
The setting… New Voice of Customer program, with inside sales teams being asked to approach “hot alert” follow-ups with customers for the first time in a formal way
What happened?… One particular person came on strong as an early adopter – his name is Corey. Within a matter of days, he single-handedly contacted dozens of customers, and was able to pull from some of his roots in customer service to engage in a very positive and natural way with customers. This activity was a natural fit for Corey and he got the job done. Later, when Corey was asked to share his experiences at a monthly CX leadership team meeting, what started as a good thing turned into something bigger - something that could actually ignite a culture change.
So what happened next?… Corey stood up and shared his story with 25 leaders newly charged with CX responsibilities. With great confidence and pride, he went on to share his viewpoint:
- This was an amazing move for the company – most customers wanted to tell a story, and through this process they had the opportunity to do just that.
- Customers were truly impressed that someone actually reached out to them about their feedback, especially this quickly.
- Despite the complexity of the business, many issues could easily be diffused within the first contact. For some, there was simply a disconnect, and now a chance to be able to educate those customers a little bit more.
- With great enthusiasm he said he was “very proud to be part of a company that does this and honored to be involved in this capacity by being the first touch back with customers.”
For his efforts and probably most of all his renewed and positive attitude, he was given a big round of applause from the team. As CX professionals, we know that closing the loop with customers can have a direct positive impact on both loyalty and future response rates, but sometimes we forget what effect it can have on the staff that participates in the process. This type of attitude and willingness to engage with the customer is what is needed for employees to transform an organization’s culture to truly be customer focused.
Vice President, Consulting Services