Not making #CX progress? Start saying no

Too many customer experience (CX) programs get stuck. 

Stuck with no influence. No change. No leadership buy-in. 

We see it all the time. As a CX leader, you’re spread so thin, trying to juggle dozens of balls at once. You’re building a new measurement program while sharing your existing scores with anybody who will listen. You’re creating new training programs. You’re in meetings to support the new portal, the new customer campaign, the Customer Advisory Board, and the new loyalty program. 

You’re incredibly busy. You burn your unused vacation time just trying to keep up. But then you get to the end of the year, and the most important thing – customer loyalty – remains unchanged.  

A year filled with effort. But no actual change. 

That’s a problem. 

As a CX leader, you desperately want to impact your business through the voice of your customer. So, you do everything you can to make an impact, help each project to keep voice of the customer front and center. But all that juggling means that no single program gets the attention it deserves.  

It’s time to say no. So you can say yes to what really matters.  

Within each customer experience are moments of truth. These are a small number of specific interactions with disproportionate impact on customer loyalty. They vary for each company, but tend to happen around transitions – a first purchase, an upgrade, or customers going through onboarding or implementation. If you’re not focusing most of your time on these moments of truth, you’re sabotaging your own efforts.  

If you don’t know what these moments of truth are, then stop everything and figure that out. I’m obviously a fan of using customer journey maps to do this. But only if they’re done right. 

They’re not always designed right. I was recently asked to review a manufacturer’s journey map. The first thing I noticed is that they had nine – Nine! – moments of truth. As if all nine had equal importance to the customer.  

You can’t focus on nine things. Narrow the list down to three – four at the most – areas in which to focus. Few enough so you can create impact. 

Then say no to anything that doesn’t directly impact these moments of truth. Stop arguing whether NPS is the right metric. Start arguing about the best way to dramatically improve your customers’ onboarding experience.  

Only be saying no can you truly say yes to what’s most important to your customers.  


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