When we start working with CEO’s the first question we always ask is, ‘are you serious’? We tell them if they are not serious about improving their Customer Experience our advice is not to bother as they will do more harm than good as they will raise their employees hopes and if their actions do not support their words their people will feel let down. We explain the journey is long and tough, that is why there are not many companies providing a great Customer Experience.
Unfortunately too many CEO’s are now focussing on Customer Experience for the sole reason that everyone else is. As I outlined recently in a controversial blog, RIP Customer Experience – Seven reasons why Customer Experience is in danger of dying, this is not the right reason for investing in Customer Experience. In addition, I outlined organizations won’t succeed by doing this. We are debating this in a live webinar debate in a few weeks time.
What are the tell-tale signs I look for when I am talking with a CEO to assess their commitment?
The ‘Are you serious’ test:
1. How much time do they spend with Customers? I love the phrase ‘you are your schedule’. Take a look at the CEO’s schedule. This will reveal where they spend their time and, by definition, what they think is important. Are they spending time with Customers? Not just the best customers but a range. Are they spending time with the Customer Experience team and helping with the Customer Experience project?
2. Review their communications: How many times do they mention Customers in their communications?
3. When the Customer Experience team wants to speak to them do they make themselves available or are they remote and the project is implemented through many layers of management? – This is not about getting involved in the doing but showing their support and interest.
4. What is on their team meeting agenda? Does it include a review of Customer measures?
5. How do they show their support – not just in words but actions – What are they doing?
6. Have they ‘moved people on’ who are not supportive on the customer focus?
7. Does the CEO understand it may be difficult to prove ROI, but is still committed?
8. Are they committed to having a Customer Experience measure that everyone in the organization is measured and paid on?
9. Will they become actively involved in pushing through barriers, political and otherwise, that the team face?
10. Is the CEO prepared to be bold, take the rough with the smooth and understand this is a journey?
How does your CEO match up to these ten points? Does he/she pass the test?
|Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of four best-selling books. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from offices in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter: @ColinShaw_CX