Building lasting customer relationships takes more than award-winning products and services. Understanding and addressing customer needs – especially when the business environment is challenging, changing and unpredictable – is fundamental. We recently spoke with Janelle Casella, Senior Manager for Software Client Engagement, about CCC’s Customer Experience First program, or “CX1” as it’s known here.

Before we dig in, can you give us a refresher on what the CX1 program is and how it came about?

JC: Absolutely. CX1 stands for “Customer Experience First.” It’s the name of CCC’s customer experience program. We’ve always been a customer-first company — our Customer Satisfaction and NPS scores are consistently sound and our Customer Service department has received numerous awards. But establishing a formal CX program has challenged everyone across the company to seek out ways to make our customers’ experience even better. It’s reminded us that each and every department within CCC influences the customer experience in some way, whether in traditional client-facing interactions or behind-the-scenes operations work. It’s given us a platform to celebrate when our team hits it out of the park for our customers.

How do you think embracing the CX1 philosophy will impact the customer experience at CCC?

JC: I think customers will notice that their interactions with CCC are more intuitive and seamless. At first, the changes might be subtle, but over time, they’ll expand as we gain momentum. To identify—and effect—these changes, we’ve embraced Customer Journey Mapping, an incredible tool to visually identify and demonstrate potential friction points in the customer experience. First, we selected a single product then we mapped the journey of our customers throughout their entire experience with us. We had a lot of ‘a-ha’ moments as we analyzed each step and identified immediate incremental changes to optimize the client’s experience, while at the same time planning for longer-term, larger-scale initiatives. For us, Customer Journey Mapping has proven to be a powerful process that has served as a launching pad to involve the whole business with CX.

Can you tell us a little about how the adoption of CX has changed how CCC operates?

JC: Perhaps, the biggest change can be seen in the mindset of the business units that are not typically client-facing—those that have historically felt more removed from the customer experience. Our CX1 initiative has highlighted how the actions of every business unit—and every employee—can have an impact on the customer experience. We’ve been able to connect the dots, demonstrating how, for example, the Finance department can improve the experience of our customers. Now, these non-client-facing teams understand that they can—and do—make a difference and they’re challenged and empowered to make decisions to prioritize the customer experience. So while we’ve always been a customer-first company, the CX1 initiative has enabled us to penetrate a little deeper within our organization to make everyone feel like they have a hand in this. And —to our great satisfaction— it shows.

What has driven this change?

JC: Implementing Customer Journey Mapping has been really eye-opening, it has provided us a lot of insight into how we can make changes to improve our customers’ experience. But that’s only one piece of the puzzle. We recognized that it was imperative to validate our findings with our customers; and we were able to do just that for a true outside-in view. With a direct line to our customers, we learned even more about what they were experiencing and, perhaps more importantly, what they wanted to experience. In many cases, we were able to make small changes—like ensuring that our training video links do not expire—to make a big impact. It’s all thanks to our clients for giving us thoughtful and actionable feedback.

What has CCC learned as a company through your Customer Journey Mapping and client interviews?

JC: A lot! We learned that our webinars, trainings and videos are incredibly valuable resources to our clients, so we extended their accessibility. We’ve begun to develop more of this content, tailored to their requests. We also validated how much our clients value and appreciate our Customer Service and Customer Experience teams and we’ve taken measures to streamline access to them. That’s just the beginning.

Wrapping up then, if you could speak directly to your customer, what would you say CX1 means for them?

JC:  For our customers, CX1 means that the customer-first mentality is deeply embedded within our culture. It means that here at CCC we’ll always approach things from a “What’s best for our customers?” perspective. Our goal is to make our clients’ experiences seamless and intuitive, as well as making their jobs easier. We’re keeping our focus on what matters most: our customers.

Author: Dave Davis

Dave Davis joined CCC in 1994 and currently serves as a research consultant. He previously held directorships in both public and corporate libraries and earned joint master’s degrees in Library and Information Sciences and Medieval European History from Catholic University of America. He is the owner/operator of Pyegar Press, LLC.
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