It was a nightmare scenario for our client, the Chief Marketing Officer.
Despite successfully strengthening their iconic brand and producing award-winning ads that boosted awareness and consideration, customer sales and satisfaction data painted a grim picture. The loyal, older customer base was shrinking and the next generation of customers were defecting.
Turns out, customers could see right through the siloed dysfunction within the CMO’s company. Leaders were making decisions to launch new service lines and cut costs, but were not stopping to look at the impact to the end-to-end customer experience. High value customers were sometimes treated worse than newcomers. Product servicing took much longer than expected. Customers were bombarded with disjointed messages and communications. Meanwhile, an upstart competitor with a fantastic end-to-end experience was welcoming defecting customers with open arms.
Start the turnaround with a Customer Bill of Rights
So what was our fraught CMO to do? Working with Daggerwing Group, they successfully spearheaded an initiative for the entire C-Suite to create a customer-centric foundation.
The starting point was to get everyone on the executive team to agree on the optimal customer experience. They called it the Customer Bill of Rights – covering everything from how product information was presented during pre-purchase, to the purchase experience, to customer service.
Executive alignment busts through silo dysfunction
How did obtaining executive alignment serve as the catalyst for change?
- Senior-level decisions were no longer made without considering the impact to the customer experience
- The company adapted its organization, processes and culture to make sure all employees were delivering on the Customer Bill of Rights
If the CMO nightmare scenario is familiar to you, there are steps you can take to create change:
1. Rally executives around ONE common view of the ideal customer experience. Bring together cross-functional senior leaders to align on who the customer is, their desired behaviors and their expectations from the organization. Consensus and understanding at the senior level is vital to create accountability which ultimately cascades down through the organization.
2. Build and use ONE standard Customer Journey across the company. The Customer Journey is a comprehensive and powerful framework, providing the end-to-end view of the customer’s experience and should be established as the key decision-making tool across functions. Map existing data against the journey to surface pain points, lost opportunities for ROI and considerations to solve those problems.
3. Create a cross-functional task-force to ideate, prioritize and plan ONE holistic approach to managing customers. Ideate solutions to address pain points by collaborating through a cross-functional task-force, which ensures collective alignment, multiple perspectives and clear accountability for activation. Assess and rank solutions according to a set of pre-determined criteria to ensure the most impactful rise to the top; this will assist the task-force in deciding which opportunities to prioritize and focus on. Once determined, develop implementation plans with project sponsors, timelines and metrics to guide these change opportunities.
A CMO may never have authority over every aspect of the experience that influences behavior, but they can – and do – lead in shattering the executive-level silo mentality that can turn valued customers into angry defectors, just like our CMO did.