Experience optimization is not just a marketing project or an IT project, and approaching it as such is virtually a guarantee that efforts will be in vain. Optimization must be approached as a business-wide effort. Because all companies have goals, structures, philosophies, purposes and environments that are combined into a unique picture, no single optimization plan will work for all enterprises. However, regardless of where a company is in terms of volume, experience or size, there are seven things that effective experience optimization teams commonly do to ensure success.
1. They carefully analyze their current situation and accept the results.
Successful optimization requires a “voyage of self-discovery” before choosing a destination. Every business has things they do right — and things they do wrong. These elements need to be identified so that the good parts can be retained or enhanced and the negative parts can be remedied. Team members have to accept the reality of the current situation if they are to format a useful plan.
2. They create a proactive plan.
Before launching an optimization effort, successful teams create a proactive plan. Having identified elements that need to be addressed, team members determine precisely how to best approach the issues. The plan may require involving other departments or from outside the team to gain insights on the overall business picture, for example. It may also require team members to approach management to see if certain policies or practices can be modified or eliminated for the common good.
3. They know exactly what their responsibilities involve.
The team structure must allow every member to know precisely what his or her role in the plan is and what he or she is responsible for completing. They understand that they must do their jobs if the entire project is to succeed. Roles or tasks cannot be vaguely defined — every team member must understand how all of the pieces fit together.
4. They keep their egos in check.
Team members are more than willing to collaborate with others and offer or accept assistance when it is needed. Optimization is a process that involves the entire company, and as such, it is far too important to risk failure because one or two people are too proud to ask for help or too worried about receiving credit to offer help.
5. They understand that optimization is an ongoing process.
Optimization is not a stand-alone, one-off task. There will be some valuable “quick wins,” especially at the very beginning, but optimization is a never-ending process of continuous improvement. Technology changes rapidly, and so do the expectations of customers. Experience optimization teams must be ever alert to new ways to improve.
6. They make sure that they always have the right people and tools.
When an optimization project is initially planned, teams typically select the best team members and choose the best tools available. However, as the process continues, better tools may become available. Team members may prove themselves to be incapable of filling their assigned role, or new hires may possess a valuable wealth of experience. Teams must be willing to make changes when it is in the best interests of the project. They make technology their strength, but they do not overlook the importance of the people involved.
7. They secure company-wide support.
An optimization project has the potential to affect every department from marketing to accounting. Field personnel, customer service representatives and even the production line may need to make adjustments to “business as usual.” Successful optimization teams discuss their plans with all departments that are likely to be affected and do not treat concerns dismissively. They listen to others, offer solutions and if necessary, adjust the plan. Having broad support increases the chances that optimization efforts will not be met with low employee morale, which can lead to a lack of cooperation or outright sabotage.
To learn more about the benefits of experience optimization, feel free to contact EX Squared Solutions. We have experienced, talented — and highly effective — teams ready to help you find the perfect solution for all your technology needs.