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The Challenges of Going All-In With CX

CX challenges

The Challenges of Going All-In With CX

Great customer experience (CX) means having a human-centric orientation that combines empathy, insight, technology, employee care and systems for the sole purpose of delivering and innovating in-the-moment value to your customers (whether or not they have purchased from you yet).

While that sounds like a great place to be as a company, there are challenges in getting there. Some of these are simply obstacles; others are barriers that take more energy to overcome.

One key to becoming customer-centric is the shared ownership of the process. For example, when everyone owns a car, who is the one person responsible for getting it in for an oil change? In this case, everyone is responsible to the customer and needs to be engaged in how to deliver an efficient, seamless, delightful, emotionally-evocative and memorable experience to your customer. At the very least, every phone call with a customer should be professional, answer their questions and leave them satisfied. At the most, every touchpoint your customer has with your brand should be delightful, evoke positive emotions and be memorable – ideally, so they share their experience with your brand through their personal networks.

Another CX challenge is that few people want to ‘rock the boat’ of the way things have always been done and, as a result, no progress is made toward being more customer-centric. Each person is focused on what they are already doing and the main goals are typically short-term results (‘I have to make X happen today’) vs. investing in new behaviors that have a learning curve and will not pay off immediately. Employees might try new customer-oriented systems or workflows on top of what they’re already doing but that doesn’t work because the new behaviors need to be tied to performance and measured accordingly.

Employees need to be engaged throughout the process of becoming customer-centric because your employees are the ones who will be delivering it. By the same token, if the company is not clear or has not clearly communicated the corporate values, vision, mission and purpose of the company, it is challenging for employees to know that they are in the right place. As the old adage in relationships says, if you don’t know yourself, it’s hard to know someone else – much less intentionally design the type of customer experience you want to cultivate and deliver.

Urgency Trumps Comfort

Stepping up to align with a new level of customer-centricity is absolutely important but it is not urgent, so many companies continue to do what they’re doing rather than take on a transformation initiative. It’s typically more important to handle the fires on your desk than to look up and see what might become a fire a few years down the road. Important always waits while urgent does not; and yet, the important is what will ensure long-term success.

Something else that often gets confused with customer experience is ‘digital transformation’. Digital transformation is a) more than simply digitizing your systems and b) is part of the process of becoming a customer-centric organization. In practical terms, when your company commits to delivering a new level or type of customer experience, your entire organization must transform to accommodate the new workflows, systems, philosophy and relationships with your customers. The full effect of ‘going CX’ can mean everything from gutting your current systems to adding new people with new positions to upgrading communication channels and more. It is a rigorous and strategic process for companies to withstand, not to be undertaken lightly, because nothing can be taken for granted in upgrading your customer experience.

Lastly, while everyone seems to be talking about customer experience, it’s a bit nebulous – like a fantasy that does not feel real or do-able. It’s the difference between hearing about millions of people affected by a flood (the masses) vs. seeing the one child with tears streaming down their dirty little face while holding a battered and grubby stuffed animal (the one).

When you remember that customer experience is like that – relating to that one person to meet their needs, solve their problems and have an authentic conversation that makes a positive difference – you are more likely to follow through on meeting inherent CX challenges. It’s the investment that will pay you back both on a very human level and on the company’s bottom-line.

Lynn Scheurell
Lynn Scheurell

Lynn Scheurell has been creating savvy experiences through digital content and copywriting since 1998. Known for translating the complex into clarity as well as her empowering, conversational approach, she imparts mastery in brand transformation, communication and connection.

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