Technology resources working at large organizations often are not aware of the pain points the customer faces and the queries they have. While they receive insights from respective departments to build or improve the product, it does not help them to understand the “Why” behind their product development. This results in a product that is out of reality and a poor customer experience.
Customer experience has become the prime aspect behind a product or service to success. If the organization does not provide the desired experience, most customers will walk away from them. In fact, as per a 2018 report from PWC, titled “future of CX,” nearly 32% of the customers say they will walk away from the brand they love after having just one bad experience.
Technology personnel working at startups often have close connections with customers. Every department in the organization has to keep close relationships with customers otherwise, the organization might fail to acquire them, resulting in business loss. This also means the leadership in these smaller organizations has to build and foster customer empathy that needs to work closely with customers. However, in large organizations, every department, including IT is, sticks to their specific task. Engineers working on the product often just create code without insights on how the product will have an impact on its customers.
It is crucial that engineers ask themselves, “Why are they writing code?” The answer is essential to the success of the organization since at the other end customer is the one who is experiencing the result of coding. It is humbling as well as educational for employees to realize the gap between how they think customers utilize their products to the chaotic reality of how they use the products.
Here are some best practices organizations can utilize to close the connection gap between engineers and customers:
Have an on-call program in place
At a given moment, organizations should of at least one engineer on a call with the customers. They should seek errors in the system as well as address them to listen to the customers. Engineers will listen in live or recorded calls in Sales or Customer Support. They should attend to customer complaints and accordingly note down the points that will help them to improve the products. Listening to customers who voice their concerns, ask queries, or share their frustrations provide insights to the engineering team of who in the team they serve, how they utilize the product or the service, and reasons behind why they like it or not.
Foster customer empathy
Team members often imitate the values exhibited by their leadership. Every action taken by leaders is subconsciously ingrained in the rest of the organization. Thus, if the organization aims their engineers to develop customer empathy, it is crucial that the leadership take action as they want the rest of the team to mirror it.
Make the back office department attractive
Often organizations are focused on building customer-facing software and thus heavily invest their resources there. This means the top talent also works in the customer-facing departments. But, the employees working in the customer support department or organization do not get the same affection. These organizations allowed their back office to languish with obsolete, fragmented technology and poorly maintained infrastructure. However, without access to the best back-office resources, customer service declines. Instead, organizations should shift their top talent to the back-office engineering department. They should enable them to build experiences that allow customer support to delight customers.
By closing the gap between engineering and customers, organizations will have more valuable engineers and subsequently a better product. The customers will see the organization incorporate the changes they suggested. This will help organizations to increase their NPS score. These efforts will not only yield better customer outcomes but will also help the organization with highly engaged and productive employees.