Joe Dawson

Joe is the director of Creative.onl and oversees all of the design and technical work that we produce. Find him on Twitter.

Humans are creatures of habit. When you are looking at ways to change your company towards being more user-centric, it can be difficult to get your management team 100% on board with your new ideas and methodologies because they may have become stuck in their long-held ways of doing things. 

However, with research showing that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable compared to companies that are not focused on the customer, it is worth your perseverance.

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Because otherwise nothing will change and the same work processes will continue with little thought going towards your user experience (UX). 

Plan to build your user-centric company culture

So where should you begin? Every effective structural change starts with a good plan. 

Presenting your management team with a very well thought out and solid plan of action, including making changes to your Design System Management Plan to help build a user-centric culture within your company. Your plans will act as your foundation stone.

Changing your company culture in any way is a gradual shift of pressure over time. Sometimes it can take years before you can get the exact results that your company needs, so you need to look at your plan as more of a marathon than a sprint.

Here are six things you can focus on, to begin changing the company culture at your business:

1. Begin converting like-minded staff

All big waves start with a little ripple of water, so beginning your user-centric revolution by seeking out like-minded teammates and convincing them to get on board with your plans is the first step.

When you can build a solid core of people all working off the same page, then they, in turn, will affect a positive influence on those around them. 

As new employees are taken on and integrated into your management team, putting them under the care and supervision of one of your UX plan early-adopters will help them to see things your way rather than absorbing old, outdated work processes and habits that are not customer-centric. 

2. Target and collaborate with those that care about UX

By far the easiest way to effect change and enhance your customer experience is to bring onboard those within your company that are directly affected by your customer experience and genuinely do care about customers and want to help them to avoid bad experiences. 

These team members will usually include:

  • Your marketing team
  • Your sales team
  • Your customer-care support team
  • Your customer complaints department
See also →  5 reasons a digital strategy is crucial for your business

For your plans to be effective, you need to have people on your side. Having allies across all these different departments will help you to bring together those people with a vested interest in the user experience. 

You could even get your in-house web design team on board by encouraging them to optimise the company website user experience by adopting the latest tools and techniques aimed at delivering a better UX.

With studies showing that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience, your company web design and development team must be switched on to customer-centric design and build methods.

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It is important to keep up a good level of communication and collaboration between your different teams to create an all-inclusive feeling to your cultural change movement. 

Schedule meet-ups over lunch, create a mailing list or build a Slack channel to keep in touch and share ideas and experiences.

3. Establish your customer-centric movement

While it is great to bring on board like-minded people to share your goals to effect a cultural shift towards building a more customer-centric company, you will need to do more than just talk about it over lunch.

Developing a joint vision and creating a movement around your goal for a cultural change is what is going to bring about the shift in thinking cross-company and deliver your goal. 

Set up a working group that can work on what a more user-centric company would look like and how it would function. Discuss and define the steps needed to reach your goals and the changes that the company will need to adopt.

4. Create customer insights

If you are planning to approach senior management with your plans to create a more customer-centric company culture, then you will need to present them with enough real-life data for them to see the value of your project.

There is usually a high-level of disconnect between senior management and the company end-users. Here is where you need to deliver good quality and wide-ranging real-life customer data by raising the profile of the end-users. 

But it is not only your senior management team that you need to convince. Every company employee should have their awareness raised about the importance of UX and how it affects every worker – not just those with direct customer contact. 

You could look at gathering direct customer data in the following ways:

  • Creating and openly displaying customer journey maps and empathy maps throughout the company
  • Give staff talks on user experience
  • Publish a company-wide email newsletter with customer insights regularly
  • Running open usability test session
  • Share highlight videos of usability test sessions with management and all staff
See also →  Optimise your website UX with these video and animation techniques

5. Creating change with or without management support

It doesn’t matter if you are not working in a management position yourself. You can create a positive cultural change towards being more customer-centric by gathering together a group of like-minded people that work around you and beginning from there.

It could be that you start off doing this and develop your own working group to formulate a joint-plan to take forward for management support. 

With or without management support, you can help to generate a movement that your work colleagues can get on board with and become excited about. 

6. Influencing senior management and company shareholders

Once you have enough core members you will create a momentum to move things forward. It could be that your management team will start to notice the positive results from your efforts and will then be keen to get behind your movement. 

It may be that you need to tweak your language to appeal to what management already cares about.

Work out what your immediate boss cares about. If they don’t have any direct customer involvement, you will need to discover what motivates them. 

It could be reaching their sales targets each quarter, or it could be keeping their budgetary spending below a certain level. It may even be that they are focussed on achieving a personal bonus or a pay rise. 

You could stress that according to research, loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 7x as likely to try a new offering, and 4x as likely to refer. How better to build customer loyalty than to make your company more customer-centric in its outlook and actions.

Whatever their drives are, it worth re-framing the vision of your customer-centric cultural change goals to show how they can help your boss achieve their personal goals.

From here things can easily snowball and it will then become easier for senior management and shareholders to see the value of your efforts and adopt your new customer-centric methods into everyday work practices. 

At Creative.onl, we aim to ensure that you have all the tools available to deliver a superb user experience that counts. Contact us today or book a free consultation to find out how we can help you develop the digital strategies that work for your business. 

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