“How” is Key in CX

Common sense and personal experience reveal that the value we put on relationships and the energy we do or don’t put into them influences their outcome. In business, regardless of the goals your organization is pursuing, the experience you deliver is key to achieving them. The type of experience you deliver can either be exponentially beneficial or cause unrecoverable damage.

According to a Forbes and Arm Treasure Data study 74 percent of consumers are at least somewhat likely to buy based on experience alone. And on the flip side, 83 percent of executives face moderate to severe revenue and market share risks due to unimproved CX.

Both common sense and data supports why organizations benefit by placing a greater priority on how their experiences are planned and executed.  Regardless of whether the experience your organization is delivering is targeted to customers (B2B or B2C), employees, students, members, patients, investors or volunteers, they all form opinions and make decisions based heavily on how they experience your organization.

What about How?

We often hear and see a lot of attention on the “what”.  What an organization offers consumes a tremendous amount of effort and resources if you think about the time and dollars put toward product development, product training, market research, competitive intelligence, product marketing, operationalization, advertising, etc.  Most often these costs are hidden to the world and we end only seeing the finished goods or service…along with advertising or direct marketing that often is the means for spreading the word about the “what”.  But even the best product or service in the world can be and will be replaced or substituted at some point. 

Additionally, many organizations have put a lot of effort behind developing a compelling “why” to differentiate themselves and the value they offer. The apparel company Bombas is a good example of an organization that has a compelling “what”, but who is working to differentiate themselves by leveraging their “why”.  If you don’t know about Bombas you can check out a recent promotional video to see and hear more about how they leverage their “why” as a way to encourage more customers to buy from them. 

The bottom line is that regardless of whether your organization is focused on the “what” the “why” or some combination of them, you may be missing out on better returns if you aren’t putting sufficient attention on the “how” as part of the mix.  The “what” and “why” may get you a sale or two, but if you plan and execute the ”how” the right way, then it might earn you a lifetime of business.  

Unfortunately, many organizations of all types still don’t address this adequately.  The proof is clear from the dozens of organizations you deal with every day that are just okay.  Plus, you undoubtedly have examples of organizations you will never visit or use again because of a bad experience.  The same is true on the other side.  I will drive an extra 30 minutes to go to a mobile phone store where I know I will get great service rather than wait in line at a closer location because I know the people working at the closer location do not give good service.  

I’ve been privileged to have worked at several organizations over the last 25 years and in every one of them I have seen first hand how management assumes everyone will be on the same page in terms of what quality is and how it should be expressed.  Many orgs put effort into how their managers lead a team or instruct their sales and customer service people how to engage with customers, but they neglected many of employee’s who had some role – either directly or indirectly – in the quality of the customer experience. That is unfortunate because I’ve never seen an instance where everyone in the organization all just happened to have the exact same perspective of what great quality is and how it should expressed.  Everyone in the organization might have the best intentions and may even be very skilled in dealing with their audience from their vantage point, but neither of those will deliver an exceptional customer experience or even a consistent experience that will separate you from your competition. 

3 Key Questions

If you want to create sustainable differentiation you need to be intentional and consistent in the experience you plan and deliver.  Start by thinking about the following three questions:

  1. Is what you want your brand/organization to be known for consistent with the experience you are delivering to your target audience(s)?
  2. Are your employee’s prepared and supported to consistently deliver an experience that delights your audience and builds preference for your organization? 
  3. How could the experience journey your audience takes with you be more cost efficient?  

The process of answering each of these questions will lead you to a place where your experiences will set you apart in the minds of your audience.  Your audience in turn will become your greatest ambassadors who will bring you a return greater than what you have previously seen. In the end…how matters…and your results will prove it.

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