Are there any good reasons for delaying a CX listening or improvement programme?

Timing always seems to be an issue with new voice of the customer (VoC) surveys, capability building, and customer experience (CX) improvement programmes.

I often hear “let’s deliver this (other) project first” reasons for delay. Particularly if it’s a digital initiative, upon which so much transformation is dependent upon these days.

But hold on, is that being driven by a desire for the ‘scores’ to be ‘good’ (or at least better than they otherwise would have been)?

That’s kinda missing the point!

It should be more about uncovering the things that the leadership will say “I wish I’d known about that sooner”!

Also, from a change management perspective you get at least as much valuable insight from a second or follow-up assessment as you do from the first, as you can then assess the impact (or not) of actions you’ve taken (and the wider transformation programmes in play).

Delaying the first VoC or CX improvement programme just postpones those actions, and pushes back the value you’ll get from the second assessment!

Leaders Required

The most important thing to consider about the timing of any CX improvement programme, be it outside-in or inside-out, is actually leadership commitment to do something with the findings / results.

If there isn’t the appetite, then it may be better not to raise customer and staff expectations by activating the programme! Don’t forget there’s always an implicit promise of improvement that goes hand in hand with every customer centricity motivated change initiative.

Not Another . . .

Another genuine reason for concern is ‘project fatigue’. There may be numerous uncoordinated VoC programmes in place that are driven by different parts of the organisation meaning that customers are being bombarded with questionnaires and surveys.

Internally, there may be a culture of continually kicking off “new and shiny” CX initiatives that never seem to fully deliver (requiring, of course, another programme).

Both these issues could point to silos within the business that are thwarting collaboration and efficiency. If that’s the case you may need a Chief Customer Officer type role to align internal processes and initiatives with the customer journey.

I Wasn’t Expecting That!

Both internal and external CX programmes need thorough communications before, during and after, and another issue I’ve seen is when delays in programme approval result in poor stakeholder engagement and untimely communication with customers and front-line staff.

In this case delay may be painful, but essential for the project’s success.

So, there may be reasons for delay, but I’d argue that none of them are positive ones!

At Customer Attuned we’re especially passionate about internal and external programmes that build trust within B2B customer/supplier relationships. 

Trust takes years to build but can be lost in minutes. And yet it is often taken for granted.

If you aren’t currently doing anything to specifically evaluate, embed and develop trust within your organisation and with your customers then we’d respectfully suggest there’s never a better time to start than now!

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about how to get better at co-creating trust-based B2B relationships for mutual value.

Peter Lavers