Assemble Your Customer Intent Team

By Roy Barnes, Bob Kelleher

Your goal is to identify exactly what you want your customers to feel and experience at every point of interaction with your organization. This is your customer experience intent. Then you need to write it down. This becomes your customer experience intent statement.

Your customer experience intent statement should resonate with all the different parts of your business. That means you want very knowledgeable people from every corner of your organization to participate in the intent statement’s development. The people in this diverse group should have a clear understanding of how customers interact with their particular part of the business, as well as how customers interact with other parts of the organization.

As you choose your team, keep these points in mind:

  • Representation: Ensure that every group (department or functional area) that interacts with the customer inside your organization is represented on the customer experience intent statement team.

    In particular, invite someone from your company’s marketing arm or brand team (if your organization has one) to participate.

  • Assertiveness: Select employees who have a strong opinion but are also collaborative in nature to participate on the team. This isn’t a job for shy, shrinking violets. You need strong, informed voices at the table!

  • Influence: If possible, include some influential individuals on your team to help with efforts to persuade the organization to adopt the proposed customer experience intent statement when the time comes.

  • Experience: Be sure to include seasoned veterans who have a substantial history in your organization. At the same time, don’t overlook younger, less-experienced workers. Include your next-generation leaders. These employees have a personal and professional stake in how the business will operate over the next five to ten years. If you’re prescient enough to know who your CEO will be in the coming years, get her on the team.

After you’ve pinpointed who should develop the intent statement, assemble the group for a one-day meeting. Its mission? To answer the question: “What do we want our customers to feel and experience when they are interacting with us?”

The group can — and should — use more than three words to answer the question. The idea here is to come up with a paragraph or two that will serve as the customer experience intent statement. You want this group to struggle over the words, parse their exact meaning, and fight over the nuances until they develop a statement that’s right for your organization.

For more on the particulars of that statement, read on!