“The 1st element of customer experience success is the leadership decision to strive for a best-in-class customer experience. Many brands state that aspiration but fail to recognize that delivering a best-in-class customer experience is a holistic commitment that requires the right professionals, processes, systems, and ongoing support to ensure that the entire organization collaborates to design, deliver, measure, and improve the experience it delivers.” says Greg Melia, CEO, Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), as per the Clootrack CX Leadership Report.
Customer-centricity does not happen overnight in organizations. They must maintain a systematic emphasis on implementing changes over many years in different projects and teams to transform the customer experience (CX).
84% of CX-intensive organizations see a rise in revenue. To continue to succeed, customer experience governance is crucial, particularly in terms of CX standards, advancement, and ROI.
Why Should You Emphasize Lead Competency?
Organizations must develop Lead Competency-related abilities and behaviors to plan, coordinate, and maintain successful CX initiatives. Governance is one of the fundamental abilities directly related to Lead Competency.
Organizations must establish CX teams and governance structures that offer the proper decision-making, alignment, accountability, and conflict resolution to coordinate many initiatives that spark customer-centric change. Through lead competency, you can leverage the 3 essential elements vital for a best-in-class approach.
Before learning about these 3 key drivers, let’s throw some light on how a Core CX team can shape your CX governance model:
The CX Governance Core Team
The main team of employees tasked with carrying out the CX strategy regularly is known as the CX core team. The internal subject matter experts on customer experience, the voice of customer efforts, and other skills required to stimulate organizational transformation around CX are members of this team.
The team establishes direction and maintains CX activities across the whole enterprise. Depending on each member's skills, this team can play a variety of jobs. The voice of customer (VoC) program, CX enhancements, and customer-centric change are all under its supervision.
A talent that is more than just subject matter expertise in change management, the voice of customer insights, and customer experience is required for an effective core team. Understanding how to work truly gets done across the business and identifying important influencers who might not be present within the visible chain of command requires the appropriate soft skills to supplement their technical expertise and develop institutional wisdom.
Look for Go-Getters
CX does not take place in isolation. Your core CX team should be capable of interacting with and offering knowledge or input in multifarious procedures like product development, procedural advancement, and strategic road mapping. This is if they are to engage in and catalyze change across the entire organization. The same functions should aim for reciprocal involvement in sync with the core CX team.
Build a Robust Networking Potential within the Organization
The capacity of a core team to influence people throughout the organization to adopt CX and alter their decision-making and operational practices within their area of the business ultimately determines that team's success. Building trust between others and the CX core team members, opening up communication channels, and developing a deeper understanding of the company are all essential for advancing the CX transformation.
What are the 3 Drivers of Best-in-Class CX Governance?
The core CX team should work in tandem with 3 levels of your CX governance model to pursue the best-in-class route:
1. Executive Sponsor
The majority of CX core teams answer to a primary executive. At the highest level of the organization, this executive sponsor speaks on behalf of the team and works to promote and support CX. In certain cases, they may take on this position in addition to their main duties, while in other cases, this function may be filled by someone solely focused on CX.
The executive sponsor oversees the creation of the CX core team's charter, which outlines the purpose and parameters of its work, and works to get support for the CX strategy among their executive peers.
This individual represents the CX core team in meetings with senior executives as the team's main advisor and reporting executive. They work with the Steering Committee to remove barriers and secure the resources necessary to carry out the CX roadmap. They also advocate for customer-centricity at the highest levels of the organization.
Strike a Chord with Senior Leaders
The executive sponsor should contact often and regularly other top executives and be a key member of the management team. With this seat at the table, the sponsor may ensure that management considers customer experience when making strategic and operational decisions by sharing pertinent CX data and analysis. The executive sponsor will also be in a good position to influence other top executives and overcome barriers by gaining their support and changing their perspectives.
Align CX with Brand Standards
The CX program should stand out within the company, but it also needs to be supported by the entire business and brand strategy clearly and significantly. To drive enterprise-wide accountability for CX performance, which senior executives ultimately uphold, the executive sponsor should coordinate with the primary CX team to develop a uniform customer experience strategy. Together, they should work to set appropriate metrics, implement necessary changes, and drive enterprise-wide accountability for CX performance.
Present a Comprehensive CX Program Road Map for Senior Leaders
The executive sponsor should take the lead in developing a CX program charter, emphasizing that the entire organization is accountable for driving CX changes and setting parameters for the purview of the CX core team.
Long-term CX success depends on creating a solid charter because it makes it simpler for the executive sponsor to find the right personnel, acquire the necessary funding, and access the resources required to carry out the CX strategic roadmap. In best-in-class CX governance models, leaders leverage customer data-driven decisions based on rich insights and executive sponsor’s CX recommendations.
2. Steering Committee
Members of the steering committee are often senior decision-makers who cover a range of crucial organizational tasks, such as business units, service/support, product management, finance, HR, IT, sales, and marketing. The greatest level of scrutiny is provided by this group when developing and approving the CX strategy and plan.
Together with the executive sponsor, this committee can be a crucial tool for removing barriers and promoting organizational accountability. This group of powerful leads sets the tone for the CX program inside their departments and throughout the organization through their actions and decisions, more so than through the messages they are usually hired to convey.
The steering committee advances the company's CX vision by offering counsel and direction to the CX core team on crucial matters like integrating CX with organizational strategy, identifying key goals, establishing CX targets, and allocating resources. This group meets regularly to analyze KPIs and customer insights, evaluate advancements toward the CX plan, and keep tabs on the value CX provides for the enterprise.
Optimize the Engagement Opportunities with the Committee
Limiting interactions with the steering committee members to sporadic discussions and meetings is impossible. The steering committee's understanding of and comfort with using experience data (X-data) and operational data (O-data) to make decisions should be increased.
The executive sponsor and CX Team must collaborate with the steering committee, increasing their understanding of the entire CX roadmap and backing their development as credible voices endorsing CX transformation from the top-down. Members of the steering committee must also teach the core team something in return. The core team should guide the entire organization toward its targeted CX results. The steering committee should assist them in understanding the organization's crucial business and objectives and any organizational headwinds and tailwinds.
Be Proactively Focused on CX
Employees observe what their leaders do. Members of the steering committee can show their dedication to the customer experience by actively participating in CX initiatives, such as joining the company's CX Day celebrations, contributing to CX-focused internal communications, and participating in CX workshops or listening sessions.
Members of the steering committee should publicly support larger customer-centric initiatives and demonstrate their support for CX by acting in a CX-centric manner daily. This involves routinely discussing the organization's progress towards attaining its CX objectives in their conversations and meetings and holding themselves and their direct reports accountable for driving CX improvement.
Break the CX Barriers
The steering committee can be the most helpful member of the team in the most challenging circumstances that impede CX transformation efforts. This group is particularly well-positioned to drive through any necessary modifications to long-standing organizational norms, business procedures, or business regulations that no longer support the intended CX goal. They can also be helpful allies in maintaining CX-related attention and investment despite competing for organizational goals.
3. Working Group
Influential managers from across the organization make up the working group members. A working group may be formed on a project-by-project basis to work on a particular goal before disbanding, or it may meet frequently and concentrate on several CX strategy projects.
This group's members are subject matter experts or change leaders in their own right who contribute their influence, knowledge, and efforts to advance the CX strategy throughout the organization as a whole and within their respective business units or departments.
Under the direction of the CX core team, this group gets together to work together on CX initiatives that call for their knowledge and participation. The working group's members are outspoken change agents who can inspire and unify staff members across the company to embrace the attitudes and conduct necessary to support CX.
Pick the Group Representatives on Merits
Members of working groups must be able to act on behalf of the departments they represent to be effective. They also require the necessary influence to persuade team members to alter their behaviors and processes to promote CX. These are not simple tasks, which is why they are the "best." The steering committee and other executives need to be pushed by the CX core team and executive sponsor to choose the best candidates overall across the organization.
Support the Working Group
Members of working groups frequently volunteer for this task outside of their regular jobs because they are naturally driven to take part in changing their organization to serve its clients better. Therefore, the executive sponsor and core team must inform the executives choosing the working group members about the precise requirements of this function while recruiting members. By reassigning other tasks, these leaders can ensure that the members of their various working groups are capable of fulfilling their obligations.
Guide the Working Group
Members of the working group pledge to "put in the work," but it is crucial that the core team clearly defines what that job entails. Along with outlining the work, the team must ensure that members agree with specific goals and plans and are aware of their unique contributions to those plans and goals. Without this clear guidance, group members may choose to do nothing or follow their own interests, which may or may not align with the organization's CX strategy or business goals.
The Key Takeaways
You can implement CX-focused actions to embrace the best-in-class organizational approach. Doing so involves setting-up a 3-tier CX governance model having the Executive Sponsor, Steering Committee, and Working Group. This means:
- Company executives set and oversee CX guidelines.
- Employees are empowered and made responsible for driving CX success.
- Mechanisms are put in place to encourage CX involvement in the legitimacy and success of the company.
DID YOU KNOW?
Leadership Defines The Tone Of Customer Experience Culture! Read more.