Experience Action

Management or CX Consulting?

June 18, 2024 Jeannie Walters, CCXP Episode 75
Management or CX Consulting?
Experience Action
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Experience Action
Management or CX Consulting?
Jun 18, 2024 Episode 75
Jeannie Walters, CCXP

Why do so many businesses fail to connect their overall strategy with the customer experience they provide? Hear some key differences and intersections between customer experience consulting and management or strategy consulting in this eye-opening episode. Your host, Jeannie Walters, will break down how management consulting often zeroes in on broad business strategies and operational efficiencies, while customer experience consulting is all about enhancing those crucial customer interactions that drive business success. We’ll explore tools like service blueprinting and dive deep into the strategic trade-offs that can directly impact customer retention and satisfaction, ultimately boosting your overall business performance.

Your dedication to customer advocacy isn't just appreciated; it's crucial for driving your organization forward. We're grateful for your participation and engagement and eagerly await your next questions as we continue to refine our approach to making customer experience not just a priority but a cornerstone of your business success. Thank you for being a pivotal part of this journey.

Resources Mentioned:
Customer​​ Service Blueprinting [LinkedIn Learning Course] -- bit.ly/lilblueprint
Download the free CX Success Statement Workbook -- bit.ly/cx-success-workbook
Experience Investigators Website -- experienceinvestigators.com
Watch the video version of this episode on YouTube -- youtube.com/@jeanniewalters

Want to ask a question? Visit askjeannie.vip to leave Jeannie a voicemail! (And don't forget to follow Jeannie on LinkedIn! www.linkedin.com/in/jeanniewalters/)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Why do so many businesses fail to connect their overall strategy with the customer experience they provide? Hear some key differences and intersections between customer experience consulting and management or strategy consulting in this eye-opening episode. Your host, Jeannie Walters, will break down how management consulting often zeroes in on broad business strategies and operational efficiencies, while customer experience consulting is all about enhancing those crucial customer interactions that drive business success. We’ll explore tools like service blueprinting and dive deep into the strategic trade-offs that can directly impact customer retention and satisfaction, ultimately boosting your overall business performance.

Your dedication to customer advocacy isn't just appreciated; it's crucial for driving your organization forward. We're grateful for your participation and engagement and eagerly await your next questions as we continue to refine our approach to making customer experience not just a priority but a cornerstone of your business success. Thank you for being a pivotal part of this journey.

Resources Mentioned:
Customer​​ Service Blueprinting [LinkedIn Learning Course] -- bit.ly/lilblueprint
Download the free CX Success Statement Workbook -- bit.ly/cx-success-workbook
Experience Investigators Website -- experienceinvestigators.com
Watch the video version of this episode on YouTube -- youtube.com/@jeanniewalters

Want to ask a question? Visit askjeannie.vip to leave Jeannie a voicemail! (And don't forget to follow Jeannie on LinkedIn! www.linkedin.com/in/jeanniewalters/)

MC:

Experience Action. Let's stop just talking about customer experience, employee experience and the experience of leaders. Let's turn ideas into action. Your host, Jeannie Walters, is an award-winning customer experience expert, international keynote speaker and founder of Experience Investigators, a strategic consulting firm helping companies increase sales and customer retention through elevated customer experiences. Ready, set, action. One, two, three, four.

Jeannie Walters:

It's the Experience Action Podcast. I'm Jeannie Walters and I'm here for your questions, so let's get started.

Listener Question:

Hello Jeannie. Could you please talk about customer experience compared to management consulting or strategy consulting? What are the similarities, what are the differences, and how do we explain that to someone when we're trying to help them improve customer experience at their organization?

Jeannie Walters:

What an interesting question. I don't think I'm asked this very often, which is why I love doing these programs, because I hear from you on the real challenges that you're facing in your everyday work. So let's break this down a little bit. When we talk about consulting and strategy, it is very easy to conflate the idea of management consulting or strategic consulting with customer experience strategic consulting. Now, they shouldn't necessarily be conflated, but there's certainly a lot of overlap here. So let's think about what this actually means. When we talk about management or strategy consulting, we are really looking at kind of the broader business landscape. So you might bring in a management consultant if you know that there's a real issue in your organization that you're trying to address. This often happens when there's a shift in the market, when we are facing operational challenges, like maybe we are trying to cut costs dramatically or maybe we are looking for ways to hire better. When that happens, that's when management consulting can be very, very helpful. This is when we look at things like overall business strategy. What are our long-term plans to achieve those business goals? So maybe we want to move into new markets, maybe we want to launch new products or we want to really look at some of those efficiency issues within our organizational structure. That's really about the entire business. Who are we? How are we getting the jobs done? How will we best succeed? Now we also might want to dig into organizational structure or streamlining processes as part of that operational improvement on the inside of the organization. While all of this obviously has an impact on the rest of the organization, it really is about the entire organization as a whole, and so when we're talking about management or strategic consulting, as it's kind of traditionally known, we're usually only dealing with the C-suite and then rolling that down, cascading the messaging, cascading the accountability down.

Jeannie Walters:

When we're talking about customer experience consulting, first of all, I like to think of this as a customer experience strategy. That's how we approach this with our clients. We talk about the idea that customer experience is so much more than collecting feedback or talking about voice of the customer or any of those things. What we're trying to do is look at how can the efforts that we apply in customer experience strategy, leadership, management, within the organization, how can that those efforts drive our business forward? We have to make sure that we understand our organizational goals. What are we trying to do? We need to start there and then we back into that customer experience strategy and we say, okay, if we are looking as an organization to maybe be more efficient, we want to make sure we have efficiencies and we are focused on streamlining our processes, because that's what the management consultants told us we need to do. Then we need to look at where are the places within customer experience that we can have an impact there. Well, that's where tools like service blueprinting could be incredibly beneficial to you, because we want to look at how can we make sure that we're still delivering the best possible customer experience that will keep our customers happy and loyal and spending with us and telling their friends about us, because that will drive the business forward. But we want to make sure that we are as efficient as possible in our processes, people, technology and tools. So that service blueprint is a great tool in your customer experience toolkit to actually deliver on that strategy. But we want to separate them a little bit, because there are certain things customer experience efforts can do and there are certain things it can't do. Right? We are not necessarily going to be the ones who look at the entire organization and say you know what? This department doesn't make any sense. We're just going to eliminate all those positions. That's not our role. What we want to do is look at how can the efforts around customer experience deliver on those organizational goals. That's the strategy that we need to focus on.

Jeannie Walters:

At the end of the day, a strategy is really just a plan. It's a vision. It's where you want to go and how you need to get there, and it's putting in measurements for success. It's helping you understand what are the indicators that can tell you when to change course, when to do something different or when to keep going. That is really what strategy is, and so there is a place for management strategy. There is a place for that overall strategic vision and plan in any organization. But then we want to lead that customer experience strategy. We want to say you know what we can really help our customers not only have a better experience so that we get these results. Where they stay longer, they are more likely to spend with us, they have a higher customer lifetime value, they refer others, we have reduced service costs, all the many benefits of a positive customer experience but then we translate that into what are the priorities around our efforts so that we drive our organizational goals to success, and sometimes what this means is we have to make strategic trade-offs. We have to decide that, you know what, right now we cannot focus on the storefront of our organization because we know we have an urgent issue where our products are being returned at an extraordinary rate. That is not only inefficient and costly for the organization, it has a huge negative impact on the customer experience. So we will lose customers, our customer churn rate will go up, our retention rate will go down, our customer lifetime value will go down.

Jeannie Walters:

We have to decide where do we put our focus, and that's why having a strategy well defined and aligned with your organizational strategy, that's what's so important about this. So when we talk about the differences, when we explain how a customer experience strategy can really help, that's the delineation we need to make. There is so much alignment between where we want to go as an organization and what we do in customer experience, that's the argument we need to make, and then we need to back up those organizational strategies that are defined already. So I hope this helps and I love that we're thinking more strategically. Too many organizations, too many leaders, frankly, that I talk to, they haven't gotten to the point where they are allowed to be strategic about customer experience. So I encourage you to really embrace that role and lead with strategy. You will get the respect and the buy-in and the investments and the leadership support that you need in order to deliver on those customer experience goals that ultimately deliver on your organizational goals.

Jeannie Walters:

Great question. As always, I love hearing from you directly about the challenges that you're facing, and if I ever don't quite get it right, go ahead and let me know that too. We want to make sure that we are empowering you to live our mission, which is to create fewer ruined days for customers. By you being here on this podcast, by you following along, you are helping us live that mission. So thank you for being here. Thank you for everything you do every day to stand up for your customers and move your organization forward. I can't wait to hear your next question and thanks for being here. To learn more about our strategic approach to experience. Check out free resources at experienceinvestigators. com, where you can sign up for our newsletter, our Year of CX program and more, and please follow me, Jeannie Walters, on LinkedIn.

Strategic Differences
Customer Empowerment and Appreciation