Why YOU should NOT lead your Customer Experience program…

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One of the key mistakes I see CX professionals and/or teams make, is that they take too much responsibility for Customer Experience.

It’s not about you.

It’s about all the non-CX departments.

They are the ones that need to feel the added value of your insights, of your services so to speak.

This is even more the case when it comes to leadership.

Some of the most common quotes I hear from CX professionals:

  • “They (leaders) say it’s really important, but they don’t act on it”
  • “They are only focused on sales or operations”
  • “They don’t make time for customer experience”

When you are in a context where this is happening, you have not (yet) been able to connect CX sufficiently to what matters most to THEM.

How CX can help them to realize their goals.

The key to moving from a CX project or program to CX transformation is figuring out how you can facilitate others instead of leading it:

  • Don’t create a separate hour on CX during the onboarding, redesign all facets from the onboarding to incorporate CX
  • Don’t plan separate meetings to discuss CX progress, integrate 2-5 mins on customers in each existing meeting

In other words, don’t be responsible for CX, be responsible for facilitating that all others feel comfortable taking their responsibility for better CX!

In my experience, most leaders are willing to support CX transformation.

They are just wondering: what exactly can I do to support it? Please tell me!

It’s often way too abstract what is being asked from leaders.

Or we assume that it’s super clear what we are asking them.

If you’d say: spend the first 5 minutes of each meeting to talk about customers.

This may seem super concrete, but for most people it’s not.

‘What do I do in those 5 minutes? What should we talk about? What are some example questions or exercises we can use?’

In other words, they are asking us to help them lead and take their role in better CX.

Make it super tangible.

Start by making an overview of all existing meetings, existing communications and existing trainings.

That’s where you want to integrate your CX content and/or activities.

For the content part you can think of:

  • doing a quiz with the most important drivers
  • share some quotes from customers
  • let a leader share what they recently did to create an amazing experience for someone
  • share a nice example of an improvement that led to a sharp increase
  • etc.

Plenty of content to share, just make sure you adapt it to what your audience deems valuable.

For the activities part, this is where the lovely, impactful approach of Tiny Habits comes in.

For employees, we create a menu of Tiny Habits based on the most impactful drivers for customers.

Then we recognized the need for more concrete tips for leadership as well.

So we also created a menu of 10 Tiny Habits for leadership.

Here are some examples from that menu:

  • Each morning, when I startup my laptop, I think of one team member who I call today and ask how they are impacting the experience of our customers
  • Each week, at the start of our team meeting, I ask one team member to share if they feel they are enabled to deliver the best customer experience
  • Every time I start a zoom call with one of my team members or the whole team, I think to myself: what can I do to help them improve our customers’ experience?

You can use this menu in different ways:

  1. During a workshop, just to have a start for creating awareness, you let them read through the menu and ask: how many of these behaviors are you already doing? In a small group of senior managers, you let them share one at a time. In a large group of managers for example, you can have some fun just by a show of hands: how many of you had 3 or more, how many 5 or more, etc.
  2. During a period of 6 weeks experimentation with tiny habits on the employee side, you also ask the leaders to select 1-3 tiny habits from the leadership menu to test during these 6 weeks.

With these very concrete tips to facilitate leadership to take an active role you are able to take the next step toward CX transformation.

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