What is ‘Walking the Talk’ for Customer Experience?

By Lynn Hunsaker

walk talk customer experience

What does it really mean to “walk the customer experience talk”? Executive sponsorship is certainly essential, yet there’s so much more to it. An ironic byproduct of any customer engagement effort is that it intrinsically sets up expectations — externally and internally. Walking the customer experience talk means you are following through on expectations you’re setting with customers, employees, channel partners and alliances. It actually means the whole company is getting its act together to deliver what it promised to customers.

Why Does the Walk Matter?
Actions speak louder than words. Words that aren’t backed up by congruent actions are empty. Empty words breed disillusion, distrust, disgust, and departure. These negatives lead to wasted time, unnecessary costs, negative word of mouth, opportunity costs, and missed revenue.

What managers say about customer experience must be backed by congruent decision-making and behaviors. Employees see right through inconsistencies in tone, sincerity and substance.

And so do customers! Regardless of what you declare as your brand promises, customers will see your company in terms of your people’s behaviors — not just the behaviors of customer-facing people, but everyone who sets and drives policies, processes, and handoffs throughout your company and its broader ecosystem.

Walking the customer experience talk means customers’ well-being overarches your list of corporate values, and is the reality for what gets people ahead or not.

Here are the prerequisites:

Walk the Talk Prerequisite #1: Double-check Your Priorities
customer experience goalPut your money where your mouth is! Every decision you make indicates whose interests you’re putting first. If it’s not crystal clear to those around you that customers’ well-being is your foremost concern, then you’re not walking the customer experience talk.

See how SunTrust’s C-team focused on putting clients 1st as their guiding principle, emphasizing client voice in their decision-making processes: Customer First Drives Business Performance.

As stated in this article series’ first post, Customer-Centered Business: 10 Keys to Organic Growth:

Centering your business on customers means nothing is done in a vacuum: customers’ realities are the context for everything everyone does. Customer-centered business means your rituals and decision-making honor customers’ realities and needs as the pathway to meeting the needs of every stakeholder: employees, investors, partners, community, etc. This puts the horse before the cart. Feed the hand that feeds you and you will be fed.

Walking the customer experience talk requires ongoing evidence that you believe all your needs will be met by aligning all you do with what’s important to customers.

Walk the Talk Prerequisite #2: Double-check Your Alignment
Create a hand-in-glove experience! Everything the customer perceives about their journey with you indicates your right-fit or ill-fit for them. Synchronization of attitudes, intentions, ecosystem, structure, and offerings is not only about driving positive word of mouth. It minimizes waste, allowing you to re-channel precious resources to higher value for all, i.e. it creates annuities.

See how a British Columbia credit union adopted a customer-centric strategy as the company’s strategy, re-organized to align their leadership talents Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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