A is for Accountability

A is for Accountability

A is for Accountability

This article is taken from our A-Z guide of modern CX

How often have you heard the statement, “everyone is in charge of customer experience” when asked who is responsible for CX activity? We certainly have. But it’s a misnomer if you consider customer experience a business practice alongside finance, HR, Customer Service or Operations for example.

The Misconception of Shared CX Ownership

Each function has its specialist. Often highly trained who bring their knowledge, combine it with their experience and colleagues and apply it to tasks in their scope. Ideally delivered in a way distinctive to the company they represent. Whilst every function impacts others and ultimately the customer, it would be churlish to suggest these functions are the responsibility of everyone. And you wouldn’t want sales running balance sheets as much as you wouldn’t want legal running marketing campaigns. They work together, but each function has its accountabilities.

It’s the case with customer experience too, and the practice of customer experience management. There is a scope and there are accountabilities. But as with other functions (finance, HR), numerous CX activities – delivering experiences, training customers, handling complaints, coding booking apps – fall under the purview of other teams accountable for their execution.

So, where does CX accountability lie?

The focus should be on ensuring customer priorities are accurately represented throughout the business. Simple. Without the customer experience (or customer-centricity to be more accurate) rep taking accountability, then the customer’s priorities are likely to be marginalised at best and forgotten at worse. This is not a small task. It impacts many areas of the business, and can lead to the misconception that accountability for CX lies with everyone. That’s why the expression, ‘we are all accountable’ is thrown around.

From Insights to Action: The Power of Customer Advocacy

When it comes to the customer experience team, they are the ‘active listeners’, identifying what matters to customers, from the many input sources. They can evaluate what is important to customers and how this aligns to the business priorities. But they do not have to conduct and capture this insight. This is received from the customer insight team, customer service, the social media team, and front line operators.

They build the cases for senior leaders to prioritise customer improvements against. But they do not decide the decision criteria or who is the decision maker.

They inform and support design improvement teams, sometimes with techniques, customer principles and pilots. But they do not rewire the systems or rewrite operational procedures.

They ensure all who execute change recognise the importance of customer-centric design thinking and work with the CX team in this regard.

CX pinpoints training & communication needs, then collaborates with others for delivery.

They need to ensure improvements have been a success, so they need to gain feedback from customers (or notice negative feedback has disappeared), but it doesn’t mean they are servants to KPIs. And they need to make sure the loop is closed with customers and colleagues whose insights led to better outcomes. 

Striving for better outcomes

This last point is the second most important accountability: better outcomes. If the business has a more sales and marketing skewed focus on CX, or an operational-only angle, or considers customer experience a ‘project’ to be completed, the customer experience leads must work with senior leaders and HR to encourage the cultural change, but again they cannot deliver this.

At its most strategic, CX is accountable for change which ensures the customer’s priorities are fulfilled in a way which leverages differentiation to everyone’s gain, including a more sustainable business advantage.

Can you trust what you hear? Is it original or repurposed to better serve its master? CX requires a truthful voice and transparent process to ensure what you hear can be used to drive change. 

When presented with customer feedback data we often too easily accept what we hear as a truth, amplified if a quantified study. But is it? Just how independent of mind has the motive, collection, analysis, and reporting been?

Demystifying Customer Experience with Lexden’s A-Z Guide

A view inside Lexden's A-Z of modern customer experience (CX)

Feeling lost in the ever-evolving world of Customer Experience? Look no further! Lexden’s A-Z modern guide to CX is your gateway to navigating this crucial aspect of business success.

This comprehensive resource, downloadable for free, unveils the latest “CX lexicon” – a treasure trove of essential terms and insights. It doesn’t just refresh your existing knowledge, but also introduces new concepts to keep you ahead of the curve.

Lexden’s A-Z guide aims to illuminate the advanced realm of CX management, providing a nuanced approach to best practices.

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