CX Education 01: Learning how a positive company culture helps improve customer experience with Annette Franz from CX Journey Inc.
We're in business because of and for our customers. And that's why an exceptional customer experience should be at the heart of every business!
But the foundation of every outstanding customer experience is the company's culture.
In this episode of the CX Education podcast, our host Heather Share welcomes Annette Franz, the Founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc. They talk about how technology has impacted customer experience, why culture is the foundation for everything in your company, including CX, and the benefits of automation in business.
20 years of creating best-fit solutions in the SaaS platform world firmly places Heather as a leader in the space who is ideally positioned to help businesses achieve growth plans for retention, loyalty, and new business.
As a Product Adoption Manager at Sinch, Heather guides clients through emerging channels growing in popularity worldwide and promotes the importance of a conversational strategy.
There's no business success without customer success
If you're in business, you can't afford to overlook the importance of customer experience. Annette explains, "Ultimately, we're in business because of and for our customers. And if we don't do right by them, if we don't design an experience that's for them — and Seth Godin has this quote, ‘Finding products for your customers versus finding customers for your products.’ If we're finding customers for our products, it's a whole different ball game. But if we take the time to understand our customers, understand their pain points, the jobs they're trying to do, and we design and develop products to help them and add value for them, we're going to be way more successful."
Technology has transformed customer experience
Technological advancements have changed the way we approach everything, including customer experience. So what fundamental shifts have happened due to digital transformation? "Advancements in technology have really changed the way the experience is delivered and the data we have access to,” Annette explains. “We always talk about, 'right data, right time, right people, right time,' that kind of thing. The ability to do that, to predict and prescribe, and to be proactive — these are things that we didn't necessarily have three years ago. So, the experience itself has evolved quite a bit. The profession has, too, because now it’s a profession. There was no customer experience professional back in the day either."
Culture is the foundation
It all starts with your company's culture. If your employees are happy, your customers will be too; it's as simple as that. Annette explains, "If we don't have the culture in place to operate the business the way that we want to operate it, it's just never going to happen. So culture is core values plus behaviors. Obviously, we have to define our core values, and there should be at least one that’s customer-driven. We put people first or whatever it is, but ultimately all of them, regardless of what they are, should all have some connection to the outcome for the business and the outcome for the customer. And what we do is that we take the core values, and for each one, we define acceptable and unacceptable behaviors so that people know what that means."
We didn't even talk about customer experience before
"Back in the day, we didn't even talk about customer experience. We talked about customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Customer experience — that terminology never really came into play until probably around 2001, maybe 2003."
Employee experience is in the spotlight right now
"We're finally seeing more focus on the employees. And a lot of that has really just come out of some of the things that we've seen over the last two years - we're starting to see a little bit more focus on employee experience, which is nice."
Leadership is one of the biggest barriers to company culture
"The leadership team is the biggest barrier because the culture has to be deliberately designed to be the way you want it to be. And in this case, we're talking about a customer-centric culture. And if the leadership team isn’t on board with it that's going to be a problem."
Automation is not our foe
"Companies are using automation because they can't hire enough people, so it's not taking jobs away. It's actually filling a role where we can't hire enough people. So it's really an interesting sort of turn of events there."