Customer Experience Affects Attitudes And Behaviors

As part of your 2011 planning efforts, make sure to keep customer experience in-synch with the rest of your business.

Customer experience efforts are not altruistic; they need to accomplish something. So the goal of customer experience management is to change how an organization acts so that something changes with its customers. What are those things you can aim to change with customers?

  • Attitudes: How do you want those customers to think and feel about your company?
  • Behaviors: What do you want those customers to do?

You can’t decide on an optimal approach to customer experience until you can answer this question:

What are the attitudes and behaviors we need from each target customer segment to support our business and brand strategy?

Without this clarity, every customer experience effort can seem like a good investment and companies often fall into the trap of trying to “wow” customers during every interaction; which is almost always an unattainable goal.

Good customer experience efforts aren’t divorced from the overall business. They  recognize that:

  • Customer experience is an enabler. Companies don’t succeed because of great customer experience. They succeed when their customer experience supports their overall business and brand strategy. If Zappos didn’t offer the right shoes at the right prices, it’s great customer experience would have been for naught.
  • Separation causes conflict. The number one obstacle to customer experience success is “other competing priorities.” That becomes an issue when customer experience is treated as something different than the rest of the business. So creating a disconnected customer experience strategy is a sure-fire way to create even more conflict with “other competing priorities.

If you are developing customer experience plans, make sure to:

  1. Clarify your business strategy and brand values
  2. For each customer segment, determine the attitudes and behaviors that are required to support your business strategy and brand values
  3. Identify gaps between current and desired attitudes and behaviors (by segment)
  4. Start planning around how to close the gaps (by segment)
  5. Stay away from efforts that aren’t helping to close the gap.

The bottom line: Customer experience ROI comes from attitudes and behaviors

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

2 Responses to Customer Experience Affects Attitudes And Behaviors

  1. Bruce, another poignant post. In my experience the #1 aspect companies “miss” in their customer experience initiatives is the linkage between the team that “delivers service” and the business. As you say, companies don’t succeed based only on their customer service efficacy. That efficacy is part of a larger, more cohesive, effort that spans the business and includes every team from procurement to finance, from sales to facilities management. Thinking you can succeed when only one part of the organization is involved is faulty.

    Where Does Great Customer Service Start?

    • Anne Wood says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Andrew. Great post, Bruce.

      Companies fail when the product owners think that customer queries/concerns are the business of the contact centres and nothing to do with them. They can’t create a great product and then just move on to the next one. They have to ‘own’ it post launch and help the customer and contact centre in its support.

      If everyone in the business is customer focused/engaged and knowledge centric then everyone wins.

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