by Linda Ireland | May 21, 2013
You’ve seen the show “Undercover Boss” by now, right? The premise is simple, but brilliant: Ask senior executives to go “undercover” within their own companies as frontline employees to investigate how their company is really doing and how they might improve and better satisfy their customers.
The executives get an up-close-and-personal look at how their company does business with customers—and what that customer experience looks like. From tip to toe.
As I watch the show, I’m constantly thinking: All CMOs (and Marketing Managers/Directors) should go through this experience. Why? So they can get a better handle on the customer experience their company fosters—from the eyes of the frontlines.
Here are four outside-the-box ideas to get a better handle on your company’s customer experience.
1. Ask your product managers to answer one simple question
What are your customers able to do differently or better because of your product/service?
Simple question, right? What you’re after here is a frontline understanding of what your staff is solving for customers, not what you’re selling.
Because customers buy absence of pain or a desire fulfilled rather than products or services, all of your operating decisions (and your performance outcomes) flow from focused execution on the answer to this key question.
If your product managers can’t answer this question fairly quickly, the chances that your company will exceed your performance goals are very low.
2. Be a customer all the way through the customer experience
Many CMOs go through this process from time to time—with the goal of trying to get a better feel for what their customers go through when purchasing from the company. Too many CMOs and marketing leaders get stuck in the “trial and purchase” phases and never bother to look at the whole experience. Don’t fall into that trap.