How Does an Organization Develop a Customer Experience Strategy?

What questions should be asked of the organization?

Answer

Evan Hamilton (Community Manager, UserVoice)
I agree with James, you need to really understand your customers. This goes beyond just trying to think like them. Some tactics to truly understand them are:

1. Try using your competitors' products. Suddenly you'll become an end-user, and understand what frustrates you.

2. Go out and talk to existing or potential customers, and have them tell their stories. This is important: you don't just want to know what bugs them, you want to really understand what and why they're trying to accomplish.

3. Take these items to heart and build a mockup or beta of your product and then show it to these customers, and new customers. Get honest feedback. Let them walk through the product and tell you what they're trying to do.

4. Set up a way to consistently collect and prioritize customer feedback, so you can monitor what specific things people want (and how bad they want it).

5. Perhaps most importantly, make it a key part of your customer culture to consider existing data from the above (and consider collecting new data) every time a decision is made that will affect the user experience. If you start letting changes to the product happen without the filter of customer experience, things will fall apart quickly.

It's not easy, and it will require tweaking. I highly recommend someone is in charge of this, be it a Product Manager, Community Manager, or something else. Don't let it be an afterthought!

*Disclaimer: I work for http://uservoice.com, and we make customer feedback tools.
3 Additional Answers
James McGovern (Industry Analyst)
A great strategy requires putting aside any internal perspectives and stepping into the minds of your consumers and asking what would you desire as a buyer? Once a company can successfully adopt the mindset, the rest of the strategy falls into place...
maz iqbal (Customer-Based Strategist | Insight & Customer Experience Specialist, Dynamica Consulting Group)
Good strategies and plans are based on insight. In a business setting that means insight into your customers, your competitors, yourself, latest technology developments and the wider environment.

maz iqbal (Customer-Based Strategist | Insight & Customer Experience Specialist, Dynamica Consulting Group)
Good strategies and plans are based on insight. In a business setting that means insight into your customers, your competitors, yourself, latest technology developments and the wider environment.

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