Customer Experience Consulting

WEBCAST: When Journey Maps Don't Go the Distance

June 19, 1pm Eastern

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Hiring a consultant is like confiding in a good friend.
At least it should be.

Unfortunately, too often consultants get a bad rap (deservedly) for arriving at shallow conclusions their clients already know, delivering advice and reports without providing the “how,” or even selling services that meet their sales goals instead of their client’s business needs. Our approach is different. Like a good friend, we’re there for you to provide sound advice focused on your objectives. What’s more, we won’t abandon you. Instead, we’ll work with you in the trenches to implement your programs and make sure you achieve your desired outcomes.

At Walker, we take pride in our role as an objective outside advisor. Our consulting is based on sound approaches and extensive experience from serving hundreds of global businesses. And we do more than simply deliver recommendations – we collaborate with you to bring CX plans to life for your business.

We want to see you succeed. After all, that’s what friends are for!

Selecting a CX Consultant –
7 Factors to Consider

Considering the use of an outside consultant? Consider these key factors to ensure you hire the right firm for your organization.

  • 1: Objective Viewpoint

    Having an “outside view” of your organization can be incredibly valuable. This is one of the primary benefits of hiring a consultant – to provide an objective, third-party viewpoint.

    Most (if not all) customer experience professionals can’t elude the “curse of knowledge” – knowing so much about the workings of the organization that they cannot objectively create an accurate view of the customer. An outsider is in a better position to put themselves in the shoes of your customer and provide a unique perspective.

    Look for consultants that will take a close look at all customer interactions to gain an understanding of the complete customer journey. Carefully evaluate their knowledge of all types of customer strategies, including customer feedback methods used in understanding customers across your organization.

    Ultimately, seek a consulting firm that will ask all the right questions to quickly understand your company and your objectives. Typically, you will find that the more insightful they are about the questions they ask, the more value they will provide to you and your business.

  • 2: Relevant Experience

    CX leaders deal with many obstacles. That’s why it’s important to hire a consulting firm with a great deal of experience – one that has worked with a wide variety of businesses and can not only anticipate common obstacles but also help you avoid them.

    t’s not enough to have experience. It also must be relevant. The role of a CX leader is unique, so it is essential that the consulting service you choose have a deep understanding of customer strategies and a breadth of knowledge in the tactics associated with customer experience management (CEM). Because terms like customer loyalty, customer satisfaction and customer experience get tossed around in many business contexts, make sure any consultant you hire understands these disciplines in depth. Find out if they are involved in the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and if they have Certified Customer Experience Professionals (CCXPs) on their staff.

    As a CX leader, you deserve someone who really understands CX. Look for consultants who can tell you the stories of the many companies they have assisted in achieving CX success.

  • 3: Collaborative Approach

    Good consultants take a collaborative approach, rolling up their sleeves to do more than just provide recommendations. Instead, they are also prepared to get in the trenches with you to see your plans through to fruition.

    Look for a consultant who really wants to understand your business – the range of customer interactions, how customer service works, the management systems you deploy and the level of customer focus that is exhibited by your employees.

    Don’t settle for a consultant who takes a look around and delivers a shallow report with their observations. You deserve more than that. Seek a consulting firm that provides a thorough roadmap and is willing to work with you on all the details to get the work done and generate the results you want.

  • 4: Range of Services

    Good consultants have an extensive portfolio of services to carry out your objectives. They resist recommending the solution they typically offer and can go in multiple directions to help you solve your business issues.

    Look for a consulting firm that is skilled in developing and implementing a wide range of customer strategies. They should be able to assist you in building an effective customer feedback initiative, developing a customer loyalty program, understanding customer expectations and anticipating future customer demands.

    Their services should go a step further to include proven methods to embed these programs into the day-to-day workings of your company. Ultimately, you deserve a consulting firm that listens intently to your needs and can select from an extensive menu of services to select the right approach to achieve your objectives.

  • 5: Focus on You

    Good consultants focus on you and your needs, not on their solutions. They are genuinely interested in helping you, even if that means referring business to other companies.

    The CX profession is rapidly evolving and it is easy to see how it interacts with marketing, service, quality, product development and other functions within an organization. So, it’s no surprise that few firms will offer every service you may need.

    Let’s say you are looking for guidance on word of mouth marketing, brand loyalty, and social media strategies. These are all programs closely related to CX, but often more associated with the marketing department. It may be a CX consulting firm will offer these services. However, it’s more likely that a specialty marketing firm can deliver more relevant insights.

    A good consultant that is truly focused on your needs knows their limitations. Look for a consulting firm that is competent and self-aware – one that has a clear understanding of what is best for each client they serve.

  • 6: Flexibility

    Things are constantly changing. Good consultants know that and are patient in working with their clients. They are prepared for shifts in strategy, reorganizations and personnel changes that may change the direction of a project.

    CX is much more than simply gathering insights from your existing customers. Instead, it is very dynamic. Companies are constantly reevaluating their strategies, adjusting their direction and introducing new initiatives. Within this atmosphere of constant change, the best consulting firms work with CX leaders to maintain focus on customer initiatives. Customer focus is a discipline that requires attention and persistence, and skilled consultants can help you navigate around all the change and the distractions that go along with it.

    Look for a consulting firm that embraces change and adapts well to a constantly evolving corporate environment.

  • 7: Focus on Results

    Naturally, all consultants need to do more than simply manage a good project. They need to be focused on results.

    What is your objective? Are you seeking to increase loyalty? Obtain a clearer view of the customer? Understand customers better? Improve the customer experience? More clearly understand customer expectations?

    All of these are noble aims. However, the most effective consultants will consider these to be too “soft” and will likely push to understand objectives that will get the attention of the C-suite – higher customer retention, increased share of wallet, better customer acquisition, reduced cost to serve, competitive advantage and more. This type of focus on results is an essential characteristic of consulting firms for CX leaders.

    Look for those firms that have business-savvy consultants who will challenge your objectives and excel in the eyes of your senior leaders.