company culture people at work Building a customer-centric culture takes time, and the results are not as easy to gauge as other, more quantifiable strategies. So why prioritize customer obsession? And how can companies measure the progression of their customer experience (CX) culture transformation?

For most industries, a better customer experience not only corresponds with higher revenues, it also creates satisfied customers who are more likely to recommend products or services to families and friends. Most companies already know this.

In fact, in a recent Forrester® survey, 97% of respondents “said that their company talks about the importance of customer experience to employees and other stakeholders at least some of the time.”

The survey appeared in the August 10, 2015 Forrester Research, Inc. report, “How to Track Your Company’s Progression Toward Customer Obsession,” which highlighted four indicators that serve as metrics to gauge the success of a customer-centered culture shift.

  1. Organization has a shared vision for the customer experience. The first key ingredient of a customer-obsessed culture is ensuring employees understand the intended CX vision “either because the message has been clearly defined and shared or because they have been trained on how to deliver it (or both).”Communication is essential to building employee buy-in, which in turn, creates a better customer experience. Ritz-Carlton employees often carry a wallet-sized credo card that prompts them with the employee promise and the company’s service values. When employees understand why CX is important, recognize what is expected of them, and how their efforts can achieve measurable success, they take a proactive role in realizing the company’s CX goals.
  2. Employees bring the CX vision to life. Customer centricity is taking hold when employees express the CX vision through their actions and communications. Employee training should incorporate job-specific behaviors and activities that help them realize how they can influence customer satisfaction. For example, if restaurant employees identified that serving customers more quickly had a major impact on the customer experience, they could adjust their processes to increase efficiency and improve customer satisfaction.
  3. Employees consistently deliver on the vision. The third metric for customer obsession involves assessing consistent performance. Many call center managers, for instance, listen to live or recorded calls, and coach representatives on customer-centric behaviors. Mystery shoppers are also used to ensure employees’ interactions align with a company’s CX vision. At Pret A Manger (an eatery chain in the U.K.), if a weekly mystery shopper spies positive exchanges between staff and customers, the employees receive bonuses. By incorporating customer-centric values into performance reviews, employees receive feedback on how to express behaviors that best support the company’s customer experience objectives.
  4. Data confirms improved outcomes. As a final progress indicator of a customer centric culture transformation, nothing beats real data to track whether customers and employees are benefiting from the changes. By gaining insights from Voice of the Customer and Voice of the Employee analytics, the business can better understand what’s working well so they can replicate it to drive retention and engagement, as well as opportunities for improvement.

Bottom line: Your employees are the driving force—directly or indirectly—behind your customer experience. When they are actively engaged in bringing your CX vision to life every day, you’ll see the effort was well worthwhile. Transforming your organization with a customer-obsessed culture can be a dramatic win for both your customers and your business.