Isn't governance bureaucratic and boring?
Done badly governance stops your business moving forward. It becomes red tape or ‘treacle’. The solution is to understand, value and do governance well.
People spend whole careers doing governance well. They enable change, deliver strategy, engage and support employees and most of ensure a return on your investment.
This page discusses a few things the best governance does (well).
Know your goal
Whether you call it a mission, vision, your why or North Star, you need a destination. If you understand your customers and align your goal with what they need, you are onto a winner.
Engage your employees
Now you know your goal you must explain it to your employees. Tell them what good looks like and listen to their concerns and ideas. Their feedback will help you refine your goal (you may even change direction) and tells you what you need to do to support them.
Invest in your capabilities
Give your people the accountabilities, tools and skills they need to do their work and deliver your goal. Consider lessons learnt, processes, people, tools and systems and empathy for the customer.
Now ask the people responsible for accountabilities, tools and skills what they need to be successful.
Delivering your goal requires change and change always consumes resources (time and money).
Prioritise change activities, be that building a capability, managing an improvement, restructuring your business, or creating a new product, service or journey.
Prioritisation is as much art as science – as a minimum consider strategic alignment, enablers, business case, cost, timings and risks.
Report and support
In both Business as Usual (say sales targets) and project you must understand how work is doing. Set up good KPIs and use project management good practice such as a gated process.
Be ready to change direction. Reporting can lead to a change in target, or even your goal. You might have to change the way you deliver a key capability and recognise when change is not enough, you need transformation.
Most of all, remember reporting is merely the route to supporting your people to deliver your goals.
Don't let the (CX) change stop here
Culture is a slippery concept. But some businesses lurch from change to change like Frankenstein’s monster, while other calmly and gracefully improve in a continuous cycle. Here are some ideas to help you become more like the latter:
Culture - encourage your colleagues to ask for change
Keep customer data up front and fresh. And don’t hide the bad news. Share churn statistics and work out the cost of customer acquisition. Show your performance stats – be it delivery, quality or cost. Celebrate the money saving, service enhancing ideas generated by people throughout the organisation.
Be outside in - focus on customer needs
Customer data is not just about what is happening and how they feel. Customer data tells you what customers need. Communicate their needs regularly, consistently and robustly. And keep them up to date.
Don't wait for the pain
My favourite way of building customer needs into product, services and journeys is embedding the customer into product development and business change.
- When you are building a website, do your research. Design the customer journey based on customer needs, likes and dislikes.
- When you are developing a product, do your research. Look at feedback, assess your product objectively, and try to break it.
- When you are changing your business tools and processes. Ask what impact they have on the customer and how you can improve your customer’s experience.
I enjoy delighting customers for free and without a business case! And don’t forget to tell stakeholders about the changes you recommend.
Empathy - move the dial from complacent to advocate
Invite your stakeholders to feel what your customers feel.
Take your leaders through a typical customer journey. Get them to buy from your website or make a cup of tea with your newest kettle. Ask them about their experience and how they felt.
Bolster their empathy:
- Give examples using the customer’s voice. Share comments from reviews, customer reports and surveys. Use videos and diaries.
- Build memorable images and infographics.
- Illustrate the costs and opportunities of your customer experience with customer stories. And if you can’t, consider using generic data – see my CX Evidence pages for ideas.
Build the data for future business cases
As you take action to enhance your Customer Experience, keep records of what you achieve. Think of every step in your Path to Value and record the benefits you accrue.
Start with supporters
People who already believe intentional CXM delivers business value are more likely to help you make the case for change. They will share their stories and will stand by you as things get sticky. So, start with them, listen to them and learn about their point of view.
Return on Expectations
You might struggle to create a financial case for enhancing Customer Experience. Consider using a Return on Expectations instead.
A Return on Expectations requires deep stakeholder engagement. If you really get to know your colleagues across the organisation, you will find they have problems and frustrations that result from accidental CXM. For example, the Finance Director might say, ‘My team is constantly disrupted by refunds and managing discretionary discounts, I can’t put a price on it, but I would help you find a way of sorting this out’. So, no money, but a big expectation.
Other expectations could include:
- Improved employee satisfaction
- Improved quality / productivity (not realised as a financial benefit)
- Easier sales
- Better understanding of customer needs