In the rush to stay competitive in today’s market, businesses tend to focus on buzz, branding, and innovation. All are critically important, but it’s easy to overlook another crucial component: customer experience (CX). If customers aren’t having a good time using your product or service or dealing with your company, all the hype in the world won’t matter.

To get some insight into creating compelling CX, I spoke with Microsoft partner Tim Wallis, owner and CEO of Content and Code—the Partner of the Year award winner for Customer Experience. Tim’s insights into CX are rooted in his company’s mission—a unifying philosophy that informs how all team members ensure a top-quality customer experience.

Start with the right philosophy

Start by using “client,” not “customer.” Tim’s team believes in providing professional advice and delivering only the right solutions and products to support customer needs. But “customer” conjures the notion of transactions, not long-term relationships. This philosophy is baked right into Tim’s onboarding process: he delivers this message to new team members personally.

To complement this foundation, Content and Code also measures the client experience and records Net Promoter Scores. These are not only excellent indicators of future revenue growth and one of four main KPIs for the business, but also a metric it uses to pays bonuses.

This orientation goes a long way to earn clients’ trust. They’ve folded this philosophy into everything they deliver for clients.

A recent example is how they’re handling clients’ concerns over the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Content and Code focused on its strengths, helping clients with what they know best: security and IT infrastructure needs. But it also teamed up with an IBITGQ-certified GDPR practitioner to fill in the legal gaps for clients.

Sharpening CX through innovative practices

Tim shared ways he honed CX through specific approaches.

First, Yammer is used to quickly share client feedback. This keeps the team up-to-date on performance and encourages discussion—not only healthy debate, but praise for those who deliver exceptional client satisfaction as well.

They also monitor employee satisfaction, because a happy staff is a cornerstone of responding to customers’ needs. All their managers have access to OfficeVibe to monitor employee engagement. The company also uses Best Companies for an in-depth survey of their team.

Stay on top of current security or regulatory issues

Clients need to feel reassured—business is risky enough without having to worry about cybercrime, massive regulatory interference, and potential fines.
For example, GDPR and cybersecurity are hot topics at the moment, so businesses need to be very careful with client data. Tim’s team regularly reviews and cleanses their data. They also store data securely and privately, only keeping what is required to service client needs.

Make sure your CX is adaptive to a changing market

As the market evolves, it’s important to consider the way potential clients would engage with your business.

For example, Tim has seen a shift in how businesses interact within the B2B market—the external environment has shifted to one with increased fragmentation. That’s why increasing the number of touchpoints through a variety of digital and offline channels is important to ensuring each client is attended to during of the buying journey.

In changing times, a strong focus on creating a “clients first” inbound content marketing methodology has helped them not just survive, but thrive. They’ve implemented this through search engine optimization, pay-per-click, and social media.

Adopting the right philosophy toward your client base, listening carefully, and making sure your own team is happy at work, you can set a solid base for creating superior CX. Your company will be rewarded not only with brand loyalty, but also brand advocacy.