The organizations that are most successful at creating a differentiated customer experience and intense customer loyalty - think Virgin Airlines, Nordstrom, Zappos (as Jeffrey highlights above), Four Seasons, Apple - share common approaches, but first among equals is clear executive sponsorship to make customer-centricity and experience a priority throughout all functions.
Bruce Tempkin, in my view one of the most thoughtful analysts in the CEM space, posts about each of the four core customer experience competencies: http://bit.ly/b1L7Ob
* Purposeful Leadership: Does your executive team operate consistently with a clear, well-articulated set of values?
* Compelling Brand Values: Are your brand attributes driving decisions about how you treat customers?
* Employee Engagement: Are employees fully committed to the goals of your company?
* Customer Connectedness: Is customer feedback and insight integrated throughout your organization?
The #Medallia blog http://bit.ly/aCriQy
just shared a post showcasing the original Nordstrom Employee Handbook—which truly captures the vision of enlightened management and empowered employees:
Welcome to Nordstrom
We’re glad to have you with our Company. Our number one goal is to provide outstanding customer service. Set both your personal and professional goals high. We have great confidence in your ability to achieve them.
Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules. Please feel free to ask your department manager, store manager, or division general manager any question at any time.
The post continues, 'during this time, Nordstrom had the highest sales per square foot performance in the retail industry— by almost double.'
With executive sponsorship, a clear CEx owner and organization-wide strategy, a methodology and tools to collect customer feedback, share it with employees, and measure results over time, and a culture that empowers and encourages everyone to focus on the customer, great brands are built and maintained.