This week, Promotional Consultant Today is delving into the drivers behind a recent trend toward stagnation in customer experience across all industries, and what your company can do to beat the odds and continue to improve on that experience.

Yesterday’s issue discussed how important it is to involve departments other than marketing and customer service to successfully build a top-level customer experience. One of those requirements is create and maintain a corporate culture that supports your customer experience goals. It’s an activity that’s much easier said than done.

Customer experience is not the same as customer service. Customer experience is the holistic experience your customer has with your company, including your offerings, sales processes, service, communication, reputation, billing and other activities. It encompasses everything that goes into what your customer thinks and feels about your company, which is much more than just the immediate customer touchpoints.

With that definition in mind, Vanessa Mitchell at Australia’s CMO magazine offers this four-point checklist for creating and maintaining a customer-centric culture.

1. Purposeful Leadership. It all starts at the top. Leaders must act consistently with a clear and well-articulated set of customer-centered values.

2. Compelling Brand Values. The organization must have a compelling customer-centered vision and values. The values must embody the intersection of the experience desires of your customers and the operational capacity to deliver on that experience. It also must resonate with and inspire your organization.

3. Employee Engagement. The organization must develop and maintain an environment where employees think, believe and act in support of the customer experience, and are supported and rewarded for doing so.

4. Customer Connectedness. Decisions across the organization should be based on deep insight on your customer. Having a way to synthesize and understand various customer inputs, including purchase behavior, customer service feedback, social media and other channels will help solidify those insights.

The worst thing you can do, according to CMO, is to treat this culture change as an internal marketing campaign. Instead, it must be a strategic initiative that gets the proper amount of care and feeding to ensure it starts of the right way and continues to grow to improve your customer experience.

PCT returns tomorrow with our final installment on achieving an exceptional customer experience.

Source: Vanessa Mitchell is senior journalist for CMO, the digital publication that addresses the unique marketing, technology and leadership challenges chief marketers face today as they look to align their own practices and insights with those of the business.