Let’s say you have a large internal team. Although they’re great at what they do, you might find it hard to get them to really focus on delivering great customer experiences. You may have tried setting new targets, team structures, motivational techniques, and away days to focus on a new customer-centric vision, but you’re still not getting what you want from them.
How do you get your internal team to unite behind a common customer-centred vision?
Here’s what we’d suggest to get your team to focus more on customers:
1) Run some usability tests on your website and get your team to attend - usability tests are great eye openers for people who’ve never seen them before. If you can get an external company or a separate internal team to run usability tests at your location for 2 or 3 days, you can invite as many people as you can to go along and watch. An hour of watching customers struggle to use your website is a great way for people to really understand customer behaviour.
2) Set your team some typical customer goals to achieve - get them to follow them to their conclusion without using shortcuts, technical tricks or internal knowledge. By getting your team to put themselves in the shoes of your customers, they can see firsthand some of the barriers they experience. The shift from an internal perspective to an external one can be a great way to realign their understanding and focus.
3) Work with your team to generate customer profiles - brainstorming customer characteristics and needs in a group helps people to incorporate a wider view of customers into their perception. Once the customer profiles are committed to paper and everyone agrees to them, you’ll find that the team no longer uses elastic terms like ‘customer’, ‘user’, or ‘consumer’ to justify their own personal opinion. Instead they remove their ego and talk about what Bob, Mary and Joe need.
4) Challenge your team to justify their work from a customer perspective – whenever your team present an idea, proposal, new product, or feature, ask them how it helps the customer. If they tell you all about how it will help Mary to achieve her goals then you know you’re starting to see a more customer-centred view from your team.
5) Appoint a ‘customer representative’ in each team – by ensuring that every project team has someone who represents the customers’ best interests at all times, you help to promote more customer-centred debate within your team. The more they get used to anticipating questions and concerns raised by the customer representative, the more you’ll get results which really improve customer experience.
These are just a few of our ideas. What do you think? How else could a team unite to be more customer-centred?
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About Damian Rees
Damian has worked as a usability and user experience consultant for over 13 years. He has worked in senior roles within companies like the BBC and National Air Traffic Services where he has researched and designed for users in a variety of different contexts including web applications, voice recognition, and air traffic control interfaces. Follow Damian on twitter @damianrees