Lessons from award winning companies

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The finalists and winners of the UK Customer Experience Awards  deliver customer experience excellence. Many of them have a dedicated customer experience management resource  in their business. Most of those have board level sponsorship.

The importance of customer experience excellence is part of the company mission and culture. Every function buys into that culture. All staff understand what it means for them and their customers.

Companies focus on training, development and cultural learning. All customer facing staff  are  proactive, expert, friendly, helpful and motivated.

Many work with their customers to deliver the best customer experience. All staff have a good understanding of the customer journeys. They invest  in training material, call guides and CRM software. Many have single customer view tracking across channels. Many use internal social network tools to encourage employee engagement.

To co-create value, there are some activities that appear  often in the award submissions. Examples are events and activities that allow and encourage employee engagement. Many see training with the necessary skills to support customer collaboration as essential.

Almost all the finalists excel at  customer collaboration in information gathering and improvement.

Many finalists understand customers and their needs through  journey mapping and performance management. They  are effective and low-risk mechanisms.  For those companies who  invite customers  opinions, the rewards  are huge. These companies  see all customer feedback  as a positive opportunity and valuable interaction.

They use as wide a range of media as possible, phone, in person or on social media. This has to be  managed, but customer preference  is key.

Close interaction and collaboration between customer and company supports mutual understanding. That helps fulfil customers’ expectations through targeted co-created customer experiences.  Mutual understanding emphasises the importance of brand communities. This is an area that is often overlooked or neglected. Managers who do not engage in their brand communities miss invaluable customer insights.  They offer the opportunity to get a deeper customer understanding.

Proactive customers are crucial for co-creation of experience processes. Cranfield Business School research shows that most customers value involvement with a business. Most are willing to collaborate on several levels. Customers support market research and like to engage with employees. Managers should create more opportunities that allow customers to get involved. Providing a range of encounters and channels helps interaction with most customer segments.

Adopting co-creation strategies benefits companies in several ways. It provides valuable customer insight. It helps businesses  create superior experiences and value for the company and the customer.

 

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