Firstly, to establish context, let’s start by defining customer experience (CX) as the ability to understand our customer’s situations, perceptions and expectations of their relationship with our brands across all touchpoints and channels of the customer journey. This typically includes the marketing materials they see before they become a customer, the sales experience, the quality of the product or service itself, and the customer service they receive post-purchase.

Understand the voice of business (VoB)

A comprehensive CX strategy and framework should begin with a deep review of the organization’s global, regional and local business strategies and/or business plans. Upon understanding the commercial levers, one should look for ‘customer’ related strategies and KPIs embedded within the business strategy. Use these existing data points to help establish a CX baseline and define what it means to your organization – your brand promise and customer expectations.

Conduct a thorough stakeholder analysis followed by a VoB survey and 1:1 discussions with your business leaders to further validate the CX baseline and what it means to each of them. Establish a common denominator (including nuances) that everyone can potentially agree with. This will help with understanding the “lay of the land,” mindset, expectations and alignment between ‘what’s-in-it-for-CX’ and “what’s-in-it-‘for-the-business.”

Design your organization’s North Star

You will need to agree on definitions of CX, customers, customer segments, route-to market, roles and responsibilities, e.g. does our experience need to be designed for both end-users as well as channel partners? Do customers include decision makers as well as key influencers? What is the influence of the influencers when defining your CX strategy? Clarity and alignment is key here.

Then, develop an approach using an established CX methodology to establish a ‘north-star’ that should detail your customer experience aspiration and purpose, transformation components as well as enablers, via a customer-centric target operating model that we call, “cTOM” covering dimensions such as people, process, data, technology, policy and culture.

It’s vital to align on the CX vision and strategy with your key stakeholders, followed by customer journey prioritization to target areas with maximum business value. At Kimberly Clark Professional in APAC, our focus is to listen to our customer’s needs and address them to the best of our ability. As such, we conduct surveys on a regular basis to actively gather feedback from our customers to help us identify what they value most to continually improve customer experience.

Think customer in everything you do

To conclude, do think about measuring value and the impact of CX to the business by linking your CX metrics such as NPS, CSAT and/or CES to commercial levers within your business plans such as customer acquisition. This is truly the age of the customer, and customer experience is rapidly overtaking price and product as the number one brand differentiator – so, ‘think customer’ in anything and everything you do and be the voice-of-customer within your organization to influence change and create an impact by enabling the cTOM.

Arjun Kochhar

Arjun leads the customer experience and insights agenda for Kimberly-Clark, APAC focusing on our ‘away-from-home’ i.e. B2B products