In the first ICX-Kenya twitter chat this year held on Friday Jan 11th 2018, the topic of discussion was Customer Experience Goals and the guest was Lucy Kiruthu. In this blog post, Lucy summarizes the insights she shared on CX Goals. You can get more info by following the discussion on twitter using the hashtags #ICXChat and #2018CXGoals
In many organizations, most staff and even managers do not know what customer experience goals (CX goals) their organizations are aiming to achieve. Some organizations may not even have set a single CX goal. This is despite the central role that customer experience plays in organizational success. I have interacted with organizations that think they have set CX goals but what they have is what I would consider vague CX goals.
A very common vague goal is “to improve customer experience” without stating from what to what. Without any CX goals or with vague CX goals, it becomes very difficult for organizations to make notable progress towards achieving excellence in customer experience. Benjamin Mays an American civil rights leader once said “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.” This applies to CX goals too. Does your organization have well defined CX goals that it is aiming to reach this year?
Goal setting is a common practice in the world of business. It is through goal setting that organizations plan for the future and determine the results they want to achieve. Most organizations set revenue goals, sales targets, and profit goals. However, many forget that revenue and sales are only possible if the customer is happy to use the company’s products or services. The concept of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) and stretch goals seems not to have fully extended into the customer experience field.
Only a few organizations have well defined goals for their customer experience. Such organizations have customer contact centre metrics and overall customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention goals. Unfortunately, others have set CX goals that have no time-frames and that are not measurable or are never measured.
Customer experience goal-setting is crucial for every organization, for teams and even for individuals. CX goals improve customer experience because they allow the entire team to focus and work towards one common desired result. Setting CX goals helps us to measure the success or failure of our CX efforts. Customer experience goals should not be too easy. According to the goal-setting theory, difficult goals lead to greater effort.
Therefore, CX goals that are a little difficult to achieve help organizations to stretch their customer experience to the next level. I recall when I worked at a fast food in the USA. Our drive through goal was one minute from order placement to order pick up. This ambitious goal made each of us involved in the process to work swiftly and at the end of the day, we generated a system report that helped us evaluate our performance.
When setting CX goals, organizations need to focus on aspects such as the overall customer experience, the customer contact centre, the front office operations, as well as back office support services. Specific goals could focus on desired percentage increase in customer satisfaction and retention, percentage decrease in customer complaints and attrition, response time for calls, emails and social media posts, turnaround times etc.
These goals could be either short or medium or long term. While heading customer experience for almost a decade, I learnt that the best approach while setting CX goals is to first think long term and then go short-term. A logical sequence starting with overall corporate CX goals, then team CX goals and finally individual CX goals is also useful. In addition, best practice requires that all staff who are part of achieving the goals are involved during the CX goal-setting process. Staff involvement helps drive ownership and commitment.
Every forward looking organization must set well defined annual CX goals that are well understood and that contribute to the company’s larger mission. If you have not yet set your 2018 CX goals, it is not too late. Take time to retreat and refocus on your 2018 desired customer experience. Set SMART cum stretch goals to help you make the desired customer experience a reality.
Develop a goal-relevant action plan to guide the achievement of the goals. Involve those that are part of achieving the goals in setting the goals and action plan and gain their commitment for the attainment of the goals. Once this is done, if you are a manager, support your team reach their goals, track and measure progress towards the goals, and give timely feedback to everyone involved on progress made! Make 2018 your Customer Experience Year by setting some CX goals today!
Article written y Lucy Kiruthu, a Management Consultant and Trainer and can be reached on [email protected] or via twitter @kiruthulucy
Get a FREE copy Lucy’s e-Booklet “ Customer Service at Its Best” by following link below