Customer experience is not a fad or a trend or a buzzy phrase. And yet, organizations often treat it like it is.
- They hang a banner, then ignore it.
- They announce it as an annual theme, then forget it by February.
- Or they simply talk about it without actually putting any rigor or discipline or even real goals to it.
That’s why the foundational work of defining CX at your organization — through a CX Mission Statement and CX Success Statement — is so critically important to accomplishing real change and delivering on real outcomes through customer experience.
Customer experience will happen whether or not you talk about it. But proactively and intentionally designing and delivering a positive customer experience is all about leadership.
Yet if employees, partners, and others only hear about customer experience as a one-time or even once-per-year thing, how are they supposed to really understand and see its possibilities?
Customer-Obsessed Organizations Don’t Stop Talking About CX
Organizations that focus on customer experience as part of who they are don’t stop communicating about it. It’s part of their internal communications and employee engagement rhythm.
This means communicating often and earnestly. Your employees need to hear about what customer experience means to your organization, your customers, and to your employees!
Of course, each business is different, but consider a customer experience content calendar as a way to keep your employees focused on the why, the how, and the “what do I do about it?” of customer experience.
Here are 15 ideas to get you started. Combine this with a customer experience champion program within your organization and watch culture really shift.
15 Tips to Help You Communicate About Customer Experience
1. Secure executive buy-in on CX (and build excitement with them).
An organization’s leadership must believe in the value of customer experience. Their support will ensure CX initiatives receive the cross-company support and resources they deserve (and need to thrive). There are some common objections that CX leaders will encounter from stakeholders:
- “Our teams are already too busy to add more to their plate.”
- “We don’t have the money to invest in customer experience.”
- “The benefits of CX initiatives are too hard to quantify.”
The following tips will help you gather the information you need to effectively address each of these objections, and I provide more strategies on the Experience Action podcast.
2. Start with the why
Has your organization defined what customer experience means to you? Have you created a CX Mission Statement ? When was the last time you shared this with your employees?
- Ask your CEO to share why CX is important to them.
- Interview customers about how your organization has lived up to the mission.
- Show how your customers benefit from the promise of your brand, and how that shows up in their journey.
3. Explain success
What does it mean for your organization to succeed at customer experience? It’s not enough to say “deliver great experiences.” Share how customer experience drives results, and how your entire organization will benefit from investing in customer experience.
- If you have a CX Success Statement , it’s a great time to share that!
- Show employees how everyone benefits from achieving these results.
- If overall revenue goals are tied to bonuses, stress how customer experience provides positive revenue outcomes.
4. Connect the employee experience to the customer experience in big ways.
If you aspire for an effortless customer experience, should your employee experience also reflect that value? Absolutely. What are the ways you can showcase how the employee experience is reflective (OR not) of your aspirational customer experience? Ask your employees for examples.
Then be honest and authentic about sharing where this might need attention. Employees know when their processes are burdensome or require too much effort. Sugarcoating their reality won’t build trust. Paint a picture of the future if you are indeed looking at ways to improve these points.
5. Share customer journey maps and insights.
Don’t limit key insights and journey maps to just certain leaders or teams.
- As you are building customer journey maps, share what you find.
- Explain how to review the map and what might be most interesting or surprising for employees to learn.
- Share what is next as you improve the journey!
Engaging others in the act of customer journey mapping through a workshop or presentation is a great way to communicate directly about the customer experience.
6. Dive into dashboard details.
Customer experience dashboards are often shared far and wide, but with little context or explanation. “NPS should be going up” doesn’t mean much. But explaining how you measure Net Promoter Score (NPS) and how that can help predict how happy and loyal customers will be is helpful.
- Spend some time highlighting what the metrics mean, and what your goals really are.
- It’s even better if you can share trends to watch for or situations you’ve learned from to improve the experience overall.
- Don’t forget to highlight the human side of what those metrics measure.
7. Interview a customer or two!
Customer experience is a long-term play. If you are asking for employees to try new things, invest their time and efforts, and hope for the best, you need to show them incremental results along the way.
- Do you have a grateful customer who can share how recent improvements made them feel?
- Are there customer success stories that really highlight how your investments in customer experience helped your customers achieve great things?
Ask your customer to share their story via video interview and then send that to your employees throughout the organization. Remember to tie that story back to the CX investments and improvements along the way!
8. Celebrate employee feedback!
Hopefully, you have created a way for employees to provide feedback and ideas to improve your customer’s experience. Now is your chance to recognize those contributions and celebrate those ideas that turned into action.
- Let employees know how you heard them and how their feedback created real change.
- Employees want to contribute – make sure they know you appreciate when they do!
- Leverage your CX Mission Statement to highlight those “Mission Moments” when employees delivered in meaningful ways.
9. Keep mentioning the metrics – try metric of the month!
Now that you’ve explained the overall dashboard data, get specific. What changed from last year to this year about a CX metric, and what does that mean?
- Did CSAT get better ?
- Did the number of service calls go down?
- What made that happen?
A proactive experience reduces service calls and increases satisfaction.
…And that leads to loyalty and increased referrals…
…And referrals lead to faster sales cycles and higher spending…
…And that leads to a better bottom line…
…And that bottom line means better business outcomes for both the organization and the employee.
See how fun it is to connect the CX dots?
10. Ask team leaders to focus on one way their team produces results for the customer.
This is a great exercise to encourage employees to see exactly how their role delivers for the customer. It’s especially effective when it’s one of those teams that thinks they are definitely NOT customer-facing.
Help those teams see how their role – serving others in the organization, creating internal processes that improve efficiencies, or running the inside operations – does, indeed, deliver for the customer.
Those important internal mechanisms help you live up to your CX Mission as much as those customer-facing outputs. Communicate that pride often!
11. Wave a magic wand.
One of my favorite CX exercises is where I ask people to use a magic wand.
If you could change one thing on behalf of your customers…what would it be?
Don’t let worries about budget or resources or logistics get in the way. Think big!
- What would your employees say?
- What sort of epic dreams could lead to actual plans?
- Have fun and allow your employees to see how these ideas are welcomed and could lead to improved journeys.
12. Revel in referrals
What can referrals do for your organization? They can bring you better customers and employees.
- What type of employees do you want for your customer experience? Invite employees in to rewrite job descriptions and then encourage referrals for employees who can deliver on your CX mission.
- Connect hiring to customer experience early and create ways to encourage your superstars to refer others like them.
- Talk about how important those early employee onboarding days are to set the stage for great customer experiences.
13. Show what’s happening beyond your industry.
Our own imagination can sometimes be the biggest blocker for customer experience innovation. It’s easy for organizations to get caught in a specific way of doing things that they stop looking for ways to do things better or differently.
- Regularly look for examples of how companies approach the customer experience across industries, including inspiring innovations or total fails.
- Use these examples to start a conversation with your team, asking what they can learn from the examples and how your organization can use the insights.
14. Put customer experience on the agenda.
Carve out time during your organization’s meetings to discuss the customer experience. Many of the tips shared above can be your discussion point:
- During a 1:1 with a team member and their manager, share relevant customer feedback and showcase KPIs that show how the team member’s work is helping the customer experience.
- During team meetings, share a customer experience innovation from a different company and ask your team to discuss the idea.
- At the company all-hands meeting, celebrate your customer experience wins and explain how prioritizing the customer experience uplifts the entire company.
15. Bring it all back to the Mission
Now that it’s been a while, what has changed?
- How are your team members showing up for your customers?
- What are they doing to live the mission?
- What could get better?
- What did you learn?
Keep communicating and emphasize how your employees – how they’re hired, educated, rewarded, recognized, and heard – are the most important part of your customer experience strategy. It’s an ongoing cycle to bring your best for them, so they show up with their best for your customers, no matter their title or role.
Intentional Focus on Customer Experience Builds Momentum
Communicating about customer experience inside your organization can’t be an afterthought. Give it the attention it deserves and work with your internal communications teams, your human resources department, and leaders across the organization.
Customer experience is so much more than a phrase. Your employees deserve to participate in the true meaning of it at your organization.