Customer experience leadership the McKinsey way

Pre643 Customer experience leadership the McKinsey way

Early in 2016 the Marketing and Sales and Service Operations Practices of global consultancy firm McKinsey & Co published a collection of articles for leaders seeking to deliver state-of-the-art customer experiences. It’s an extremely comprehensive collection. You can find them on the web, or download the entire collection of almost a dozen articles as a 100 page PDF file.

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McKinsey describes the full compendium as representing “the collective thinking of our experts and practitioners, developed through years of working with customer-experience leaders around the world.”

It says: “The articles in this volume explore the critical elements of an effective customer-centric strategy, which can deliver benefits to customers, employees, and the bottom line. These include the central role of customer journeys, rather than touchpoints, in organising and measuring improvement efforts; the importance of establishing a vision to bridge the gap between board direction and frontline engagement; the key role of measurement systems that allow a company to hear the voice of its customers; and the essential link between customer experience and value creation that can elude even the best-intentioned efforts.”

It concludes by saying: “We hope this volume enriches your understanding of the benefits of improving customer experience and spurs creative thinking about ways to overcome challenges in the process.”

It’s not easy to summarise in a few words such a comprehensive compilation. As McKinsey says in its introduction:“[This compendium] represents the fruit of several years of research and hands-on work by McKinsey’s global Customer Experience Service Line in helping its clients build outstanding capabilities.  The articles here reflect our latest thinking on the hallmarks of successful customer-experience programs—thinking that we have distilled from our work with leading players around the world.”

But if there is one conclusion that can be stated succinctly it is this: “Central to these efforts is a focus on identifying, understanding, and mastering the customer journey:  the complete end-to-end experience customers have with a company from their perspective.”

Fortunately in the August edition of the McKinsey Quarterly, the organisation offers “time-starved senior executives” what it described as “a synthesis of the key ideas in that compendium: the central role played by customer journeys, rather than touchpoints, in aligning the organisation to deliver great customer experiences; the fundamentals of customer interaction; and the steps necessary to redesign companies in a more customer-centric fashion.”

This synthesis takes the form of an article in the quarter entitled: The CEO Guide to Customer Experience. It taps the expertise of McKinsey and other experts to explore “the fundamentals of customer interaction, as well as the steps necessary to redesign the business in a more customer-centric fashion and organise it for optimal business outcomes.”

The article runs to nine pages, but for the seriously time-starved executive it suggests, “For a quick look at how to improve the customer experience, see the [one page] summary infographic.”

The summary might be quick, but as the article stresses, implementing its advice is not.

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“In order to rewire a company to become a customer experience leader — for most companies this will be a two-to-three-to-four-year journey.”

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