Anyone who works in customer experience will tell you that, without the Chief Executive’s understanding and endorsement of how vital CX is, any programme will be a lot harder to get off the ground. That’s assuming it ever flaps its way off the runway in the first place.
We’re working on a customer experience programme with London’s newly merged Peabody housing association. Peabody looks after 111,000 residents and 8,000 care home services customers. That’s 1 in every 100 London residents.
Yesterday was our first customer experience session with the people who work on the front lines. The people who man the phones, sort out the complaints, pay the bills and send the service charge statements.
And, at the very start of the very first session, Brendan Sarsfield, Peabody’s Chief Executive, stood up and explained how he was determined to make sure that Peabody focused on its customers first. He spoke about how Peabody existed because of – and for – its customers. He told the group that this wasn’t a quick sheep-dip of a programme, but a long-term journey towards being a better organisation.
When the CEO turns up to a coalface customer experience workshop, it sends an absolutely unambiguous message to the whole organisation. Customers – and the people who look after them – matter.
When an organisation’s senior management stands up for its customers, the focus it brings is huge. And the potential for change is even greater.