Who Knows The Customer Best?
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Chief experience officers need to lay the groundwork for competitive advantage. The highest priority is a rigorous evaluation of interfaces or touch points. The goal is to transform an uncoordinated portfolio into an integrated, managed system. A process we call the Five-A's can help.
Assessment: Diagnose the system for pain points where interfaces fail to meet customers' needs, choke points where customers are prevented from buying or achieving what they desire, or drop-off points where they defect from the buying process entirely.
Aspiration: Envision the ideal interface system by reverse engineering the desired customer experience of interactions and relationships with the company. Start by defining your brand proposition from the customer's point of view, and then integrating that with core capabilities.
Alignment: Construct a plan to optimize, integrate, and align interfaces. This must include the changes required in front- and back-office activities and capabilitiesboth human and machine. A complete front-office reengineering effort requires analysis of opportunities at each potential service interface.
Articulation: The CXO should focus on three phases in articulating the new interface system: separate, relate, and integrate. In the separate phase, the focus is on optimizing individual interfaces to improve performance in mediating customer interactions while lowering operational cost. In the relate phase, the CXO must drive the company to confirm hypotheses regarding pathways used to pursue the buying process. In the integrate phase, the CXO optimizes interfaces and linkages within the interface system.
Activation: Upon activation of the new interface system, the CXO must develop metrics that reflect the company's goals for desired customer interactions, relationships, and resultant customer experiences, and then improve the interface systems based on customer and employee attitudes and behaviors, competitor performance and actions, and technology trends.
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