As B2B consumers increasingly want B2C-style buying experiences, it’s important for companies to keep up to date with customer experience (CX) trends and initiatives. Companies need to take a comprehensive approach to transforming the business.

The team at McKinsey & Company recently identified several common pitfalls that companies should avoid when delivering/prioritizing customer experience initiatives.

  • Failure to link CX to value
  • Fragmented priorities
  • A narrow view
  • Limited creativity
  • Sidelining customers
  • CX on its own island

This post takes a deeper dive in several common pitfalls that organizations should avoid during CX prioritization and development.

Pitfall: Failure to Link CX to Value

It’s crucial to have executive-level support for customer experience initiatives, and it is also important to be able to link CX-related efforts to your organization’s strategy priorities. Having the ability to clearly demonstrate how a better experience can increase customer satisfaction and drive better business results will be key to maintaining executive sponsorship for CX efforts.

McKinsey’s research points out that the ability to clearly articulate how a CX effort leads to more satisfied customers (and to better business results) is a skill that oftentimes must be developed intentionally.

Pitfall: Solving Issues on Individual Touchpoints

Rather than thinking about a customer’s complete journey to achieve a goal, a lot of companies tend to try to solve issues relating to individual touchpoints (i.e. responding to a one-off call or email issue). It takes time to map out a customer’s end-to-end journey, but if completed the right way, it can lead to positive outcomes such as avoiding initiating the wrong solutions as well as the opportunity to identify where the issue originated from.

“Addressing touchpoint-level customer pain points without understanding how the pieces fit together often leads to incremental CX changes that don’t get to the root of the problem,” McKinsey & Company research shows. “Equally important to ensuring that CX teams can create great journey maps is building the rest of the organization’s ability to use them to solve business problems.”

Pitfall: Limited Creativity

Too often, companies reject new ideas with a mindset of budget constraints, been there done that mentality, or fear of stepping out of their comfort zone and the way things have always been done. Innovation and ideation can be paused or halted due to these barriers.

McKinsey’s research points out that “fostering transformational thinking requires a focus on both creating a culture of unconstrained innovation and building the right employee capabilities.” Companies can promote innovation by providing the time and space for employees to generate and pitch ideas—without constraints of resources, budget, or business feasibility tied to the process. Having constraints can limit creativity and potentially deter the ideation process.

Using a design-thinking approach may also be a great way to encourage innovation through a better understanding of your customer’s needs, creative ideation, and in some cases rapid prototyping.

Getting Started

If your organization is thinking about transforming and improving customer experience, it will be important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your internal team have a customer-centric mindset, along with the capabilities to act on it?
  • How is that mindset reflected in your business results? How about in the experience of your current customers?

Think about your organization’s greatest mindset and/or capability gaps when it comes to delivering great CX, and then begin to determine what it would take to close them. Keep in mind that transforming customer experience can lead to an increase in profits, customer loyalty and also employee engagement.

To read the complete article and explore additional challenges across customer experience, visit McKinsey & Company.

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