The WAYS CX Framework

The customer of the future is here. Is your company ready?

The last few years have caused consumers to re-evaluate their purpose and what they value in life. With new priorities, many customers are changing brands and thinking differently about their relationships with brands. 

Customer experience is a decision everyone in your company needs to make every day. When you invest in making your customers’ lives easier and better, you set your company up for long-term success and loyalty.

Creating a customer-centric mindset means deciding every day to put customers first. There are four ways to do that, which follow my WAYS framework: 

W: Walk a mile in the customer’s shoes. You have to walk the walk for the customer and meet them where they are. It may be unpleasant, but walking with them is much more valuable than just looking at survey data. The CEO of Waste Management attends a 3 am employee meeting once a week so he knows what’s happening with customers and employees. Being visible and walking with people sets the tone for the entire experience. 

A: Ask for truth. Ask and listen for feedback, even if it’s uncomfortable. We don’t improve and grow without knowing the truth. When David’s Bridal was struggling, the CEO asked executive team members to read one- and two-star reviews every morning. Leaders have to know the truth about how customers feel and interact with the brand. 

Y: Yes to accountability. A CX mindset creates a sense of accountability. You have to do the right thing even when the customer isn’t in the room and jump in every day excited to serve. 

S: Small improvements every day. Becoming customer-centric doesn’t happen overnight. Just start somewhere and improve a little bit every day. Small improvements lead to huge cumulative gains. High-growth companies are constantly improving, not through major transformations but through regular, small improvements. 

No matter where you are in the customer journey, you can make the daily decision to focus on customer experience. We’re in the business of feelings. How do you make customers feel? But too many companies don’t care or know about their customers’ feelings. This framework keeps you connected to customers so you can continually grow and improve. 

Customer experience is a decision. By making the choice today to make customers’ lives easier and better, you’ll see benefits in the long term.

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