Smart Leaders Know How to Create the Best Customer Experience

John Krautzel
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Customer service experts gathered in 2017 at the sixth annual Customer Experience Professionals Association Insight Exchange in Phoenix. These experts talked about trends in the industry and how companies can cater to customers. Learn five ways these smart leaders create the best experiences for customers.

1. Move Beyond Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score is a relevant way to keep track of customer sentiment. Smart leaders take this module and apply it to employees and how they handle customer experiences at a company. Getting an NPS score for your employees is great, but find a way to tie that to the NPS score of customers to find out new ways to handle customer issues. It's not necessarily the numbers, but how you use them, that makes data gathering successful.

2. Measure Customer Effort

Measuring customer effort should be a standard metric for customer experience departments. This data measures how much effort a customer goes through to solve a problem. The easier time a customer has with your company, the lower the customer effort score. How long does a customer wait for a response from customer service? Are there automated ways, FAQ pages or videos that can show customers how to accomplish things without the need for contact with the company? How readily available are these resources? Answering these questions can reduce customer effort. When customers find what they need in faster fashion, they are happier and think of your company in a more positive light.

3. Innovate as Soon as Possible

Innovation is more than just measuring success. Innovation means collaborating with your customers. One good example is Salesforce and Southwest Airlines. A leadership team at Salesforce flies on a Southwest Airlines plane at least twice a week. This way, the Salesforce leaders stay in touch with a valuable customer and offer suggestions for improving the partnership between the two companies. The same goes for whatever product or service any company sells. Try out the process every once in a while and see what happens so you can suggest improvements from a customer's perspective.

4. Listen to Customers

Listening to customers is more valuable to your customer experience than the money you lose or gain from people who purchase what you sell. Pay attention to the emotions and feedback of your customers. You can change your customer service a little at a time based on the feedback you receive. These little changes add up over time in a way that may alter your entire company's culture.

5. Go With Top-Down, Culture-Driven Experiences

The best customer experience happens when leaders promote customer relationships throughout the entire company culture. Every employee must espouse putting customers first above all else. One great example of this is when Humana changed its policy regarding customer service calls. When a call is dropped, someone from Humana calls the customer back immediately and without hesitation. This came about after a perception that Human hung up on a lot of its customers. The call went out from leadership, and Humana's culture changed to focus more on customers.

Customer experience comes from many factors, including measuring the effectiveness of dealing with customers and actually listening to what they say. You have nowhere else to go but up when you take these aspects into account.

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