Propel CX Momentum With Quick Wins

I’ve been writing about how to apply John Kotter’s change management work to CX. This week, I’ll tackle Step Six: Generate Short-Term Wins.

The good news is that CX programs frequently excel at this. Many organizations have focused internally so much that they can easily find areas where they can develop quick wins.

Whether they have the infrastructure in place to execute them? Well, that’s another story.

The ripest opportunities for quick wins often come from digital efforts. Shortening a process here, improving communication there – these changes can make a real difference. Even when you need to take more comprehensive action, break it down so that you make an impact in the short term. This often paves the way for the success of your longer-term initiatives. Read more

Enable CX Action by Removing Barriers

On our continuing journey exploring John Kotter’s 8 Steps to Accelerate Change and how you can apply them to the CX world, we have reached the fifth step: Enable Action by Removing Barriers. (Catch up on earlier posts in the series here!)

According to our forthcoming work on understanding how companies improve their customers’ journeys, one of the top obstacles to improvement is organizational complexity. Read more

Enlist a Volunteer CX Army

One thing about being in CX – you’re unlikely to have a huge staff. Typically, that’s deliberate. CX doesn’t – and can’t! – own the entire experience. That’s what all those other departments do. Your role is to influence them, and align the entire organization on CX objectives.

We’re not yet ready to share the full results of the survey of journey maturity we recently conducted in partnership with Usermind and Megan Burns, but I will tease one of the results. (CXPA members can join our webinar at the end of September to find out more about what we learned.) Read more

Create a Compelling CX Vision

Rallying your teams to move to a more customer-focused approach requires letting them know what needs to be done. And nothing is more effective at accomplishing that than having a compelling CX vision for what the future looks like.

A clear vision is the accelerator for customer experience (CX) change. Sure, you can improve the experience without a vision – but it will be much more difficult.

A compelling vision is Kotter’s third step in change management. (I’ve explored the first two steps here and here.) As the firm explains in 8 Steps to Accelerate Change in Your Organization, “You can’t appeal to people with data and facts alone. You must also account for how people feel. If you can provide greater meaning and purpose to their efforts, amazing things are possible.” Read more

Build an Executive-Level CX Change Coalition

You can’t create an improved customer experience without active executive support. The top barrier to customer experience (CX) initiatives is “Other priorities.” Unless you actively engage executives on an ongoing basis, your program will become another flavor of the month. Read more

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 through your unused vacation time just trying to keep up. But when you get to the end of the year, the most important thing – customer loyalty – remains unchanged.  

A year filled with effort, but no actual change. 

That’s a problem.  Read more

To Spur Action, Create a Sense of Urgency

I wrote last week about the importance of change management for customer experience (CX) programs, using John Kotter’s model. This post dives deeper into Step One of his approach: creating a sense of urgency.

Without a doubt, this can be challenging. If your company is doing well, it’s hard to get people’s attention. Why tinker with anything if the business is growing? Conversely, if your company is struggling – as, due to COVID-19, so many currently are – noise and anxiety make it hard to focus.

When we look at successful CX programs, this is often where they move ahead of the pack. Those programs are creating a sense of urgency while others are content to focus on survey scores.

There are infinite ways to create a sense of urgency, but below are a few approaches you can try. Read more

CX Needs Change Management

You probably moved into customer experience (CX) because of a passion for customers. You chose this space because you know that if you can improve customers’ experiences with your company, they will be happier, they’ll stay with you longer, and both the business and your customers will prosper.

But actually improving the experience is hard.

If you’re like most of the 85 CX professionals we’ve interviewed so far this year, the reality has hit you that it’s incredibly difficult to move your silos enough to substantially improve the customer experience. That’s where change management comes in. It’s the missing element in most CX programs. Read more

Experiences Designed for Everybody Satisfy Nobody

In my role as Heart of the Customer’s mapper-in-chief, I get the opportunity to view a lot of journey maps. Beautiful ones, ugly ones, those built to drive change, and those that are little more than gussied-up Excel spreadsheets.

But, as mentioned in our book, one thing that continues to surprise me is how few include personas. In our research a few years back, we found that nearly one-third of the CX practitioners surveyed didn’t include segments or personas in their work.

That’s a big mistake.

Read more

Chase Business Results, Not Survey Scores

We had a great discussion on LinkedIn a few weeks ago about the disconnect between customer experience and leadership. This post kicked things off:  

As I interview CX leaders and CEOs, it’s been fascinating (but not surprising) to hear the vast differences in focus. 

CX people focus on survey results; their thoughts are on how to improve the experience in order to improve survey results. Since they often can’t track the survey’s impact on revenue, costs, or retention, they spend their time on what they can measure – promoters vs. detractors.  Read more