CX requires collective and collaborative effort. But unless you understand all the internal and external drivers influencing CX, it will be much harder to create a company culture that places CX at the heart of everything. 

Fortunately, everyone nominated in the UK CX Awards this year had more than just a good handle on their organisation’s CX maturity. They also demonstrated the many ways in which CX can deliver real impact. The finalists in the Business Change and Transformation category were shortlisted for two key reasons:

  1. They listened to a wide spectrum of views. Those from senior leaders to frontline staff, from customers to users to the general public.
  2. They used these views to learn what is important internally to teams and externally to customers. This was used to create a blueprint for change.

What promoted the winners to the top of the pile, however, was an understanding that CX isn’t just about metrics or VOC programmes. It’s about the customer behind the score who has needs, wants and jobs to be done. 

Creating a new retail concept

As a judge at UK CXA’22, what impressed me most about gold winners, Sky Retail, was that their laser focus on CX has clearly played a central role in their successful launch and expansion strategy.

By investing in CX, they gained in-depth understanding of both what their customers said they needed (service from a sales stand) and what advisors said they wanted (to be able to help existing customers with a service need). 

Armed with this feedback, they were able to create a new retail concept. They were offering themed spaces in-store in an open-plan layout. This enabled customers and employees alike to complete the ‘jobs to be done’ more easily.

  • A ‘Customer Hub’ allows existing customers to speak to advisors about their current products and services in a relaxed setting.
  • Customers are also able to test out Sky’s latest innovations. They were displayed across the shop for maximum convenience and accessibility. This ensured that they chose the right products based on their needs and preferences.
  • An ‘Access all Areas’ stage hosts various interactive experiences for customers in-store, -offering full immersion in the content and entertainment brand.

Opening new shops was indeed a bold move. This was when the country was coming out of COVID lockdowns. At this time, shoppers were both wary about in-store experiences, and favouring online communication with businesses.  

However, the importance of using customer and employee feedback before embarking on a major project, especially if it involves a departure from the norm or a new initiative, proved to be invaluable. The insight gained provided Sky Retail with confidence that the introduction of retail shops for the first time in 30 years was the right approach, at the right time. 

Key indicators of a successful CX programme

If I were to sum up where the winners in the ‘Business Change and Transformation’ succeeded, it was a demonstration of the importance of a clear strategy. They showed a commitment to the following: 

  • Employee experiences and training. Employees at all levels need to understand the CX strategy, their role in it, and how their effort can have an impact on business success 
  • The bigger picture. Just as important is a proactive and holistic approach to understanding what customers want. This increasingly means engaging internally and externally to listen to all those that could help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Measuring what matters. Monitoring your performance against benchmarks in comparison to competitors can help you take stock. But choosing the right tools and metrics for the right situation is instrumental in ensuring the quality of insight delivered.
  • Continuous improvements and pivoting. Cascading the results (and actions) to those who need to see them is obviously imperative. However there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to sharing insight that suits every organisation. 

The bottom line

Essentially, if you want your CX programme to be a medal winner, you’ve got to ensure that every aspect of your programme delivers continuous improvement. You need to focus on prioritisation, action planning and follow through. 

You’ve got to assess the impact of your CX programme by asking:

  • Externally, have customer views and behaviour changed? 
  • Internally, has the business culture evolved and processes improved? 
  • And what effect is it having on the bottom line? What is the return on the investment?

Even if everything is moving in the right direction, you can’t assume that your work is done. If you really want to deliver CX impact, commit to rechecking your programme and your organisation’s CX maturity on an ongoing basis. Change is inevitable and the best, most customer-centric organisations know that they need to adapt to stay at the top of their game.

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