Is Your Company Too Internally Focused?

The reality is, improving customer experience does require internal focus. Here’s how to create a more efficient, thoughtful, meaningful experience for you, your employees, and ultimately your customers.

by Kelly Coppinger

"We're too internally focused!  We should be focusing on our customers!" 

Does this sound familiar? With an all-too familiar lament, most companies come full circle.   

It often starts with a known issue impacting customer experience, or getting new, less than favorable feedback directly from customers.  Once escalated, fire-drill efforts ensue.  This is usually followed by a more extensive commitment from leadership to address the issue and fix what's broken.  Teams are assemble, committees are formed, processes are reviewed, technology is looked at, and data, if available, is analyzed.

Slowly, that tug of the string starts to unravel and reveal all of the ugly underneath. Pure ugly.

What's discovered is seldom a surprise to folks who work in the ugly.  Their day often consists of a series of "make it work" workarounds, usually attributed to:

  • Processes that need to be standardized, enforced and made customer focused
  • Technology that needs updating or consolidating to enable better customer experience
  • Data that is needed to help drive accountability
  • Proper onboarding of new associates that's non-existent
  • Training that's inconsistent and based purely on ideology, not culture and human need

Now we have ugly, compounded.

Experience tells me what typically unfolds next is a Project or, depending on the magnitude, a Program with multiple work streams.  Words like "transformational change" are often associated with the effort.  From there, a timeframe is established, resources are secured, project plans are developed and out of this come target dates.  Investments are made and the road forward has been established.

Oh goodness.

What began as an effort to address a customer pain point can easily turn into a massive undertaking, often resulting in delays, reduction in scope, additional resource needs, or the dreaded "re-planning effort".  With any perceived (or real) lack of progress, it begins to feel too internally focused.  It's easy to get lost in 400-line project plans causing leadership and associates to become frustrated and impatient.  Often, efforts are abandoned altogether so "we can get back to focusing on our customers!"

The reality is, improving customer experience does requires internal focus.

We need to get into the ugly, fix it and make it better for the future, and not let it continue to exist in its current state.  There is tremendous benefit to separating and executing short-term opportunities from long-term strategies and making incremental, impactful changes.  This enables alignment with the voice of the customer through every step of the process.

Ugly exists in every organization – but that is what makes our work so rewarding – lets fix it, make it a more efficient, thoughtful, and meaningful experience for you, your employees, and ultimately your customers.

So take the first step.

2-4 Week Timeframe

  • Identify a major pain point and get leadership buy-in for an exploratory effort
  • Conduct a current state analysis – internally and externally
  • Gather key metrics and analyze your findings
  • Develop 3-4 key recommendations
  • Create a plan of action and present to leadership

Want help taking the first step? Reach out so we can discuss your challenges. 

Kelly Coppinger
Kelly Coppinger
Process Excellence Lead
Contact Kelly

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