Customer Experience Day: Time to Decide “To be or Not to be”

Annual events provide a milestone to check progress, and dream about what’s yet to come. Ta-Da. CX Day is here! No better time than now to evaluate the state of the Customer Experience world – its practitioners, its success stories, its struggles. Having staked my career to CX for the past 7 years, I would summarize as follows: There’s more talk about CX, than action. And those who are doing it, still aren’t doing it all that well. Fresh off of a conference with 100+ CX colleagues themes emerged on not enough budget, lacking influence and head-count, and little executive support. It’s been a similar stories for years, and I think we are now at an inflection point. It’s gut check time. Time to be polarizing and bold, not a time to acquiesce. Time to decide “to be or not to be”.

To be, I propose the following:

(1) Work on the Diagonal. Meaning, continue working across your organization to break down siloes, but more importantly be proactive managing up and down. Find the rising stars in your company and encourage them to get involved in a grass-roots exercise to promote and deliver on CX. Be relentless in advocating CX to your executives. Don’t look to negotiate. Look to ask for forgiveness, not permission;

(2) Be a Contrarian. Look to shake up the status quo. Figure out why the current business model fails customers today. Stir it up. Put CX at the center of your business model. If you can’t, find a new company that cares and needs CX;

(3) Align with partners. To get more done in your organization, look for allies in momentous teams. We’ve seen in-house agencies, lean programs, employee and culture champions, and human resources all fuel the impact and reach of CX leadership.

(4) Have a big ask. Piecing together budgets and projects is not the way to bring about real CX change. Build your business case, and secure funding that allows you to make a difference. A difference that is felt by customers, and drives the top line.

Or not to be. Letting Customer Experience become the latest hype cycle in the business world. I believe this will resolve one way or the other in the next two years. And as practitioners and consumers, we have a chance to determine that outcome. Let’s recommit ourselves this CX Day – dream big and perfect our craft.

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