“Zanna, we mostly struggle with how to get our board and management more involved in CX.”
A common challenge.
Caused by common pitfalls.
Pitfall 1: We need a business case
Many CX programs start with this question: we need to make a business case for CX.
That was certainly important about 10-15 years ago.
But by now the McKinseys, Forresters, etc of this world have proven enough that CX yields results.
That is also essentially not where the doubt of management lies.
And besides, those who really don’t believe in CX, you’re not going to convince them with a business case either.
Pitfall 2: CX research is too vague, too qualitative
No, today the question is not whether we can make money or save costs with CX.
We are convinced of that.
The question is much more: what should we do to start making or saving money?
And that is the problem with a lot of CX research.
The quality of the research is insufficient or the research is too qualitative to specifically answer this question.
Indeed, once organizations see the hard evidence, with scientific steering information, that improving personal attention is going to increase NPS or satisfaction 5 times faster than improving my environment (example, but not entirely hypothetical 😉), then there is no longer a demand for a business case.
Indeed, one then has hard steering information that provides the fastest route to better CX.
And on the cost savings side, you can very quickly get hard data from your customer contact numbers.
Qualitative research is super valuable, but you need to know well at what stage to use quantitative or qualitative research.
Pitfall 3: The we-can-never-do-anything-right feeling
“Oh no, there she is again from the CX department, what have we done wrong now?”
Most CX professionals have an intrinsic motivation to make that customer (and often employee) happier.
That’s a super feature.
However, it does come with a pitfall (trust me, I’ve been there once, too).
Namely, that you think you have the wisdom of what is true.
And that because of that strong focus on the customer, you have little understanding and empathy for all the other stakes that many managers and executives also have to weigh.
More love for leaders
I do not envy the current leaders. For fun, just Google leadership.
Then you get a nice mountain of misery poured over you.
As a leader you have: too much ego, too much focus on numbers, too much short-term focus, no vision, etc.
One wonders how all these companies can function at all.
So do managers and directors always get it right?
But I really think we need to have a little more love and more empathy for the system in which they have to function.
Every employee, every project thinks theirs is the most important thing.
The mere fact that no one can do without a Chief Whatever Officer anymore, is a sign that we are no longer looking for other, creative routes to make a theme a successful part of the organization.
And it can certainly be different if you put yourself better in their shoes, apply scientific insights from behavior change, for example, and use some creativity.
They want to, just facilitate the how!
I can count on one hand the number of leaders I have met in the last 20 years who say: no, no active role in customer centricity for me.
Almost everyone wants to do their part, but is just looking for: HOW do I do it, WHAT can I concretely do?
This is something you, as leader of CX transformation, can and should respond to.
One of the methodologies that works very well and provides a lot of energy is Tiny Habits.
Translate Tiny Habits to the context of team leaders, managers and board members.
Below is an example of Tiny Habits I created using a mix of CX leadership behaviors from Forrester (left side) and our own habits (right side).
Link to download image:
You can use it in two ways.
During a meeting with all (senior) managers, ask all attendees to look at these 13 habits and count for themselves how many YES! they can check off.
After 5 or 10 minutes, you ask with hands up:
- Who has 3 or more?
- Who has 5 or more?
- Who has 8 or more?
Of course, the group gets smaller and smaller and eventually you keep one or a few colleagues.
For example, in 10-15 minutes you have energetically completed an exercise in which people become aware of their own concrete role to their own teams for greater customer focus.
As a follow-up to this exercise or if you are in a smaller group with a little more time, see which Tiny Habits people would like to pick up to experiment with on their own.
You can use this list as a base and then further brainstorm together or see who already has certain habits that are relevant to colleagues.
An important part of successful Tiny Habits are existing routines.
After I finish my zoom call, I ask one of my team members how his or her Tiny CX Habit is going.
After I boot up my laptop, I think about which client I’m going to call this week to learn from his or her experience.
After I walk to the coffee machine, etc.
Help your colleagues gain insight into their own routines so they can link their chosen new tiny habit to them.
In this way, you create active involvement, make their role very concrete and tangible, and empower them to lead by example to their teams.
A small role, with big impact.