A September 2015 survey of 150 Operational Excellence (Op Ex) professionals found that 38% of respondents listed Customer Experience (CX) as their number one priority in Op Ex. That’s both good news and bad news. The good news is that nearly 4 out of 10 Op Ex professionals recognize that CSX is central to Op Ex success. The bad news is that 62% – don’t.
There’s no doubt that Op Ex success also relies on other factors such as leadership and culture. But if an organization doesn’t put customers first – they may find themselves optimizing to a decreasing share of the market. Op Ex professionals will recognize the importance of focusing on customer experience as it has been part of the lean movement since 1988.
There are some compelling reasons to integrate CX with OpEx. First, CX attracts more management attention than Lean six Sigma. There are about 50 Chief Customer Officers among Fortune 500 companies. That’s about 10 times more than there are Chief Process Officers. Next, when you compress cycle time in creating value for customers – you simultaneously drive down cost. Then, it’s the right thing to do – it requires cross functional collaboration – and far more fun than just focusing on cost reduction.
If you wish to place CX where it belongs, then consider emphasizing the following:
In building the customer journey map it’s important that it be developed from your customers’ perspective, not the organization’s – and that it’s a living document that is shared and actionable – not by just a small team, but by cross functional teams and well-known throughout the entire organization.
In measuring what matters to customers, be sure to measure just the critical few factors. Many organizations attempt to monitor far too many KPIs. Note that customers increasingly expect:
Further, note that while many firms pay lip service to improving customer experience, the leading firms appear to emphasize the following:
Leading firms also appreciate the importance of avoiding the following pitfalls in linking CX to Op Ex:
The momentum for increased focus on customer experience appears to be increasing. A recent survey of over 237 CX professionals found that:
iii Lessons from the Leading Edge of Customer Experience Management, Harvard Business Review, 2014
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