It seems today that there is thousands of customer experience consultants and firms. Many of these organizations are amazingly good at what they do and yet some, well… not so much. After recently being selected as one of the top 30 Global Gurus it got me thinking. What is a good customer experience advisor? I believe these are the three keys to what it takes to deliver exceptional value to enterprise clients in the development of customer experience strategies, insights and training.
The first key – you must be a management expert
Customer experience design is a facet of management consulting. As it requires an understanding of the complex managerial ecosystem in order to deliver real value to the company. If you don’t understand the working parts of complex organizations you simply can’t construct a strategy that delivers results. As a certified management consultant I work across the entire enterprise. From my perspective I’ve seen many customer experience initiatives fail due to their fractional nature.
The second key – you must be agnostic
If you Google customer experience you will more than likely find hundreds of software packages ranging from Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Net Promoter Scores (NPS), Voice Of the Customer (VOC) systems and the list goes on and on. As Mark Twain famously said “if the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer the entire world begins to look like a nail.” Correspondingly, if you sell software solutions the entire integrated customer experience strategy is centered around the compartmentalized nature of your software solution. In order to construct the best customer experience solutions you have to work with experts that have no financial interest in prescribing software or any other product. This is a hard thing to find as the real money in customer experience is selling software seats, not balanced strategies and training. At Boomē we have developed strategic partnerships with some of the best solutions in the world, however we receive no financial compensation of any kind from any of our partners. This allows us to prescribe the absolute best solutions with a square focus on benefiting our clients.
The third key – you must provide a holistic solution
This third key may be a bit controversial as most organizations in customer experience sell a small sliver of what is ultimately required to build out an integrated customer experience strategy. In my experience most customer experience initiatives fail because the organization bought a fractional solution usually in the form of a software package. Customer experience is not just a training initiative, software package, consumer insight study or any singular activity. Rather, customer experience begins with a comprehensive customer experience readiness assessment to identify process, systems, methods, technology and other gaps, so that you can then move on to the development of a comprehensive customer experience roadmap that fills the gaps. This provides you with the tactics necessary to succeed. Beware of the single solution snake oil salesman.
I suppose there’s another dozen things that you need to really do this right. I have found that a thoughtful handcrafted approach to the development of an exceptional customer experience strategy is ultimately what is required to deliver significant and sustainable enterprise results.