It takes a lot to meet the needs of customers in the digital age. In addition to becoming Agile, managing customer experience (CX) as a supply chain across departments, teams and individuals is the only way to do it well.

As stated in a McKinsey Quarterly executive briefing from August 2016, “A distinctive customer experience depends on a collective sense of conviction and purpose to serve the customer’s true needs. This purpose must be made clear to every employee.”

This is accomplished by:

  • Identifying specific areas in an organization where CX matters
  • Working with stakeholders across silos to solve problems
  • Advocating for and adhering to higher standards the transformation establishes

Independent software vendors must stop relegating CX to a unilateral operation managed by one individual or team and begin disseminating to every employee the responsibility of ensuring each step of a customer journey is successful.

Each team member must take on a perspective that allows them to see how they play a role in managing CX. For example, it’s critical that customer support teams or field and account consultants be up-to-date and knowledgeable on new services, offerings, products and product functionality.

This is necessary because a given customer’s experience using a product is ultimately the function of a long and complex supply chain that stems from executive direction/strategy to R&D to engineering to marketing to sales and beyond. The customer’s experience is informed by a wide array of stakeholders and teammates, therefore, everyone along the CX supply chain has a responsibility to manage it well.

Proving CX Cultural Value

Unfortunately, according to McKinsey analysts, “Too many customer-experience transformations stall because leaders can’t show how these efforts create value. The better way is to build an explicit link to value creation by defining the outcomes that really matter, analyzing historical performance of satisfied and dissatisfied customers, and focusing on customer satisfaction issues with the highest payouts.”

To facilitate this, organizations must provide the proper channels and mechanisms team members need to offer ideas and feedback or even to raise red flags for issues along a CX supply chain. For example, a project management tool that tracks bugs and technical issues, and an open-door policy that effectively encourages and enables participation within and across departments.

Shifting to a mindset where CX is the epicenter enables organizations to build a culture where everyone feels empowered to improve their role in every operational, and ultimately every CX, supply chain. Better yet, it means creating tangible, lasting improvements that create customer loyalty, advocacy and evangelism, which create, advance or broaden an organization’s competitive market advantage.

For further insights on the evolving importance of CX in the enterprise, check out these posts: