Change your CX operating structure this year

It is a sign of the importance placed on customer experience (CX) in recent years that its proponents have been handed a seat at the boardroom table. Just like the CFO, CMO and COO before them, the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) has emerged as a key executive role with a direct line to the CEO, which is not surprising given research has found consumers now consider CX more important than price and product.
Change your CX operating structure this year | Probe CX

The birth of the CCO – not to mention fellow C-Suite titles such as Chief Experience Officer and Chief Product Officer - reinforces a belief shared by global consulting firm McKinsey. “Transforming the customer experience isn’t about playing hard and fast,” it declared in an article earlier this year. “To succeed in the long game, companies need to manage it systematically.” That’s right - it is not enough to simply talk about improving customer experience. Rather, organisations need to embed the function into their operating structures to ensure it receives the focus, authority and resources needed to thrive.

And, judging by statistics revealed in the same McKinsey report, there is no doubt it is well worth thriving when it comes to CX. It revealed companies that effectively organise and manage customer experience could realise:

  • a 20% improvement in customer satisfaction
  • a 15% increase in sales conversion
  • a 30% lower cost-to-serve and
  • a 30% increase in employee engagement.

Such numbers cannot be ignored and are further proof of why organisations should be looking at how to change their CX operating structures for the better in the coming year.

Ways to improve customer experience

One size rarely fits all in the business world and so it is with restructuring the operating model around customer experience. That said, there are several principles all businesses can adopt to help foster a customer-centric organisation.

Make a financial commitment

It is all well and good to employ a Chief Customer Officer or create a similar CX role but they need the spending power to make tangible change. A recent study of 850 professionals across Australia and New Zealand revealed CX spending has or will increase during the next 12 months, with 72% of respondents saying they would like to invest in a new customer analytics platform. Customer journey mapping is also high on the wish list, with 66% of those surveyed reporting a desire to invest in a solution that helps them better understand customer patterns and behaviours.

Use data to improve CX

When the study asked CX professionals for their top challenge in 2022, data emerged as the number one concern. Almost 30% of respondents highlighted the area, with specific challenges including accuracy of metrics, integration of insights into business planning/product development and having too much data and insights to understand. Companies that master data have more chances of delivering the experiences their customers crave, which is why embracing customer data platforms and data management platforms will help them gain a fuller picture of their wants and needs.

Deploy technology to enhance contact centres

No discussion about CX is complete without putting a spotlight on contact centres. From phone and self-service interactions to the rising role of live chat platforms, the modern contact centre has a vital role to play in shaping public perceptions of a brand and positive and negative experiences are often amplified in what can be an emotionally sensitive environment. In a bid to ensure more good than bad, CX leaders should increasingly deploy the likes of live chat, chatbots and voice technology that boost efficiency and allow agents to give higher-priority customer conversations the attention they deserve.

Clearly define your goals

McKinsey says it best: “Structure follows strategy.” There is no point in changing an organisation’s CX operating structure without first taking the time to define what the reward is for doing so. This will help identify specific actions, rally the support of key stakeholders and raise the chances of a successful outcome. The alternative – to fail to strategise – will make what could be a seamless CX improvement journey all the more difficult.

Summary

As the business landscape grows more competitive and customer expectations rise, the spotlight on CX is only going to burn brighter and the companies that thrive are going to be those that dedicate the time and budget needed to raise the customer experience bar. In the short term, that means taking a strategic and tactical approach to changing operating structures that puts people, technology and processes at the heart of future successes.

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