March 5, 2020 – Project Management Office (PMO) has always been known for managing projects and ensuring projects run smoothly within deadline and budget. As businesses are becoming more customer-centric, should PMO pay more attention to satisfying the customers too? The answer can be found in this month TRG Talk: Project Management hosted by none other than CX expert and a certified PMP – Carsten Ley.
This month, our TRG Talk: Project Management welcomes back a highly reputable speaker, who is also one of our favourites, Carsten Ley, for another intriguing topic on Customer Experience.
According to Carsten, as the market becomes more competitive to keep up with the ever-changing customer behaviours, businesses and PMOs need to be more customer-centric.
Many have invested a significant amount of time, effort, and resources into enhancing the customer experience (CX). Amidst the increasing attention on customer personalisation, what does a PMO need to know about customer experience? And aren’t CX and CRM (customer relationship management) under the care of Sales and Marketing function?
Why customer experience matters
Customer experience, or CX, is how people feel and think about every interaction with a company’s product or service.
The interaction can be something as simple as navigating the company’s website, talking to a customer service representative, paying for a product, or redeeming a voucher.
Every interaction can potentially make or break the relationship a company has with its customers. Unquestionably, businesses want loyal customers, those who keep re-purchasing as well as telling their inner circle about the company’s products and services. Customer experience is the key to success.
Tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Netflix have pioneered the era of personalisation, making it the new standard for consumer service industries. Customers today expect a seamless and highly tailored experience, which is a tough challenge for every business. Those that can come up with a formula for a simple, fast, but effective customer experience stands a higher chance of winning the game.
The project management office today no longer just follows methodologies. PMOs need to build trust and relationships with customers, both internally and externally. Therefore, there is no reason for the PMO to bypass customer experience.
How PMOs can help elevate the customer experience
Too often, PMOs just focus on enforcing the project process. As a result, they lose sight of the bigger picture and the fact that processes are just an enabler to achieve the project’s goals.
Furthermore, PMOs only turn their focus to the relationships with the project stakeholders when there are constraints, complaints, bad news. That is often too late to mend the relationships.
Understanding the customer’s needs, ensuring effective interactions between the customer and the brand, identifying satisfactory touchpoints as well as pain points, etc. are certainly applicable in project management.
PMOs need to be able to measure the right things (in this context, factors that enhance a customer experience) as the project progresses rather than just checking items off their to-do lists. PMOs should consistently measure customer satisfaction throughout the process.
Maintaining satisfactory relations with customers is not the sole responsibility of only one or two project managers. Every individual in the PMO can potentially affect the entire experience.
There are a wide array of methods PMOs can employ to measure customer’s pain points. Conduct user surveys throughout the project and employ mystery shoppers are the two most common examples.
Adopting a customer-centric mindset is a journey, but it can help to keep the PMO team more engaged and determined to achieve a successful project.