Building the Customer Experience Culture
When I was first asked to share my thoughts and exchange ideas about Customer Experience Management, what came to mind immediately was – “How do you build a culture?” The reason I start this blog post with such a question is because my strong opinion on the subject is that Customer Experience is a culture. It is about getting a team of very experienced experts in various fields to understand, believe, and actively participate in actions and activities that are aimed to improve the Customer Journey. Whether we define ‘The Customer’ as our external clients, or our internal employees, it first starts with a culture that will have to be built on a strong organizational appreciation of improving the experience.
The process of building the Customer Experience Culture may sound easy, but the truth of the matter is that it isn’t. I found this out in the last 15 months of my Transcom experience. But while it is definitely not an easy task, it has certainly been enjoyable, challenging and ultimately, satisfying. So, why is it not easy? It is almost as if we are lifting block-after-block of old beliefs, standards, comfort-zone ideals, perhaps even business principles, and taking a very close look at potential cracks or gaps and then re-shaping these into what we may want to call the elements of customer experience success. My team started taking the first few steps, i.e., hauling off the blocks, taking close scrutiny of 1) the obvious cracks and gaps, 2) the ones that are not always immediately visible, and 3) asking the difficult questions that not everyone will want to ask: “Do we throw away the block? Or is it repairable? If it is repairable, what is the benefit of keeping it?” You will imagine that after taking these first three steps, a Client (internal or external) may not always be happy with the findings, results and recommendations that my team is ready to present. Not everyone will be ready to make a change. As this is a known fact, the next stride we take is to put ourselves in the Clients’ shoes and ask the one thing that any business owner would never fail to think about: “What do I have to gain out of making a change?” And so, it is not easy. To most, it is like changing the entire universe. But this is why it is a challenge.
Every BPO company can speak of Customer Experience and use it for marketing and branding. But not every BPO company can quantify the experience, and transform it into something very tangible that you can actually measure. This is our team’s objective. Not only do we want to find the gaps, but we also want to measure them and turn them into opportunities – both for Transcom and the customers that we support. How then can it be satisfying? The snapshot below is one testimony of how our Customer Experience Management Team had battled with data and process maps, engaged in thoughtful and difficult debates with one of our Clients, and convinced them that it was time to make a change. All these resulted in a significant jump in overall First Contact Resolution, exceeding the 60% target, and an achievement that we all are very proud of.
While the numbers look good when presented in graphs, the real story is all about hard work, dedication, and the belief that a change is needed. Hence, it is extremely satisfying when you see the results come to life. The target has now changed to 75% - and we will continue to post updates on our roadmap to meet that! At present, my team is composed of 6 people, and we will grow. They are a combination of Training and Quality Experts, Project Management Certified Professionals, and Six Sigma Green Belt Certified Managers. There is not a clear recipe for creating such a team of mixed of individuals, because it is a blend of ideals, best practices and new standards. And we are sending a clear message that Customer Experience is indeed a Culture.