The Fourth Step to Building a Customer Experience Strategy – Redefine Your Mission Statement

In this series, I’ll be talking about the 5 steps to building a differentiating customer experience strategy. The Customer Experience Strategy is a part of the Competency pillar within the Three Cs Framework I introduced in 2010 – Competency, Credibility and Culture.

The 5 steps to building a customer experience strategy.

Step 1: Understand Corporate Strategy

Step 2: Who are you as a company?

Step 3: What do your customers want?

Step 4: Redefine your mission statement

Step 5: Get CEO Buy In

After you’ve done this, start to id your holes.

 Mission. Vision. Value. Purpose. Many times these words are used interchangeably to describe the same thing. The big thing. The thing that is supposed to drive you in your decisions every day. The thing that is supposed to align the company.

I call it a Mission statement.

A mission statement, in my words, is the tie that binds, the thing that every single employee should aspire to helping make a reality – in every decision, in every minute of every meeting. Mission statements, if done right, can charge up and organization – give them a rallying cry! Give them something to be proud of.

I’ve learned over my years of working in and with companies, that the best mission statements are clear and concise. They make it incredible clear to each and every employee exactly what the goal is, and they are easy to remember.

I’ve spent as long as 6 months working on a mission statement. In one of my more, shall we say, interesting, interactions, we actually spent 6 weeks, yup, weeks, talking about whether to you use word “get” or “access” in our mission statement. I was championing “get”. After 6 weeks, I won.

You may ask “Why is this so important?” or “How does this my responsibility as a CX leader?”. It is so important because mission statements, if done well, are not just rallying cries, but they are the highlighted strands of your DNA. They are your brand promise. They are the elevator speech that your employees will use when people ask them where they work and what company “xx” does.

And it may not be your responsibility – but don’t you want to ensure that the voice of the customer is represented in that mission statement?

A few tips on building the best mission statements:

  • Have a large, impactful, cross functional team who is helping to re-write it. Human resources, brand, operations, corporate communications, marketing. You need them all at the table.
  • Don’t let it be longer than 15 words. 15 words or less is much more memorable.
  • Make sure it is written in plain language – language that your grandmother would easily understand without having to ponder.
  • Roll it out with a bang.
  • When you introduce it – introduce it as your guidepost for making decisions. Empower your employees to challenge points in meetings with a “does this help us to meet our mission.”

If done well, written correctly, reflecting the voice of your customers and reflecting of your true company mission – it can be one of the most powerful tools as a Customer Experience Leader that you will have.