In the age of the customer, how can growing companies scale their CX efforts over time and through expansion? Ginger Conlon, the Director of Thought Leadership at Genesys, interviews Hubspot CEO, Yamini Rangan, about best practices in delighting customers and aligning efforts across the organization.
#1 Understand How to Win in the Age of the Customer.
Over the years, we’ve departed from the age of information and transitioned into the customer-centric age. Whereas in the 1990s into the early 2000s, information was the key differentiator, now businesses with core competencies centered around CX will likely surpass their competition. As Rangan points out, “The shift that has fundamentally taken place in the last ten years is that buyers have much more power than sellers. Buyers have much more access to information than sellers.”
Devoting resources to customer-centric strategy results in happier customers and higher revenue, even through periods of growth. Rangan comments, “Put the customer at the center and do everything possible to attract those customers, to engage those customers and to delight those customers. If you do, the flywheel spins.”
#2 Digital-First is the Default
The pandemic has hugely impacted the way we interact with customers. Let’s consider how much of our personal behaviors have changed over the last fifteen months. We can begin to understand the shift in customer experience: “We’ve seen a kind of transformation and acceleration of customer experience being at the forefront…and our customers think about this as digital-first, not just being digital-ready.”
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#3 There are Multiple “Front Doors” to the Customer Experience
The burden of delighting customers should not fall on your support team alone. Truly successful CX involves your entire organization, particularly when you prepare to scale. Conlon pointed out that HubSpot recently reached the milestone of 100,000 customers, asking about Rangan’s approach to maintaining the same level of CX through business expansion. Rangan describes scalable CX as a balance between an art and a science.
- The Art: The art side involves the company culture which goes beyond initiatives. What deep-seated attitudes permeate your business ethos? Is customer-centricity a part of your company’s DNA? Rangan explains that implementing practices can help support your CX-first culture, like involving customers in quarterly meetings and creating a two-way feedback loop.
- The Science: The science of CX includes the processes you set in place that can be replicated and expanded as your company grows. Rangan discusses four points of alignment necessary to encourage customer satisfaction:
- Aligned Teams: Ensure that all customer-facing teams align in the same customer-first direction.
- Aligned Strategy: The goal for every team should revolve around driving delightful customer experiences at scale. Provide principles around customer-in goals, not function-out.
- Aligned Systems: Map the customer journey in hyper-detail across all your systems to ensure consistency throughout your organization.
- Aligned Incentives: Drive customer-first behaviors across all teams and functions by putting the right incentives in place. For example, Rangan recommends having the product team own NPS.
As for final advice for scaled CX, Rangan says, “Simplify to scale, do not complicate. Don’t come up with rules, but think about three or four foundational principles that can simplify decision-making.”
- Align your entire company behind solving for the customer.
- Plan to serve customers through digital-first interactions.
- It takes a balance between company culture and strategic discipline to deliver a customer-first ethos.