Imagine having a conversation with your CX sponsor:

“Dear CX sponsor,

  • We defined our customer experience strategy with the help of the best strategy firm
  • We deployed cutting edge technology to listen, characterise and emphasise our customers
  • We collaboratively designed and map customer journeys
  • We provided tools & equipment to our employees to innovate and improve the customer’s life
  • We perpetually measured the experience of our customers and took an action on-time
  • We activated our governance with clear roles and responsibilities

As a result, we have spent millions of dollars to invest in customer experience; unfortunately, we FAIL.”

No one expects to have such a conversation when they start a highly anticipated CX initiative, and yet, our experience shows that such a discussion is more likely than you think.

Below are the three customer experience mistakes resulting in failure even if you design the best in class CX.

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1. Paying less attention to the heart of the organisation – Culture and People

There is a triangle in CX: people, technology, and process. Many companies heavily invest in technology to understand customers, get insights in real-time, and reflect these insights into a sophisticated and well-designed dashboard. Moreover, they revamp their processes to interact with customers in a leaner and seamless way.

However, they forget who is going to use the technology and drive the processes. People. They invest the least in people and culture.

Why does it happen? Establishing a customer-centric culture takes a lot of time, effort and is generally underestimated. The people in charge do not see the ROI impact related to culture in the short term. They think the culture will gradually adjust just because the top-down approach is applied.

“A CX program without considering and putting the human element in the hearth of the organisation cannot be successful.”

What needs to be done? Investing in employee experience (EX) in collaboration with human resources and operations teams is needed as a part of the CX program. It is not enough to train your customer-facing employees to be a part of the success or rely on heroes to deliver exceptional experiences; understanding the routine of your employees, what matters them the most, and their motivation buttons to innovate are essential to address.

Furthermore, implementing formal and informal rewards for doing the right thing for customers and communicating success across the organisation should be in place. Embrace your employees, let them understand the bigger picture, and make them CX champions to drive the change.

5 Stages of Change - Ian Cleary

2. Positioning CX as a temporary endeavor, not a change program

Customer experience accumulates activities that are everlasting and consistent across the organisation. Framing the CX program like a temporary endeavour/project and not applying any change management models jeopardise the success and sustainability of the CX program.

Why does it happen?  In an ideal environment, the CX starts with a small scope and scaled up eventually with an increase of awareness. When organisations intend to do everything once just like a sprint rather than a marathon without sizing the right work and effort needed, the mind-set slips into one-time delivery of initiatives to enhance the experience.

“Planning for change is not difficult; simplifying and interpreting the change is difficult”

What needs to be done? CX strategy depends on mindset change and how an organisation adapts and acts on delivering the desired experience. Right at the beginning, the CX vision and mission should be articulated across the organisation with clear expectations from people. Besides engaging the hearts and minds of your employees, cultural change models like Adkar, Kotter needs to be applied for organisational transformation. People should be turned into champions to promote the right customer-centric behaviour, not only one time but a lifetime and sustain the efforts across the organisation.

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3. Lack of confederacy across the organisation

As Steve Jobs said, “Customers don’t measure you on how hard you tried; they measure you on what you deliver”. Working in a silo-based organisation with a lack of cross-functional collaboration wastes resources and reduces effectiveness and consistency in delivering one common experience.

Why does it happen?  When organisations do not have a unified vision on what experiences will be delivered with a lack of cross-silo accountability and leadership alignment, each business unit operates separately, such as collecting customer feedback, measuring and interpreting experience, which fuels the growth of a silo-based mindset in the organisation.

What needs to be done? The leadership alignment at the beginning of the CX effort is needed. The leadership can not only show the commitment verbally; they also need to take actions towards unifying the teams underneath. The CX governance needs to take necessary actions towards the oversight and execution of building one common experience in the company.

Furthermore, activities towards collaboration must be in place such as journey mapping as a co-creation, solicited feedback design session, innovation labs, sharing customer success stories, customer persona development and customer war room sessions. Lastly, the customer growth and departmental collaboration KPIs should be in place to sustain the collaboration across the organisation.

The CX generates economic top and bottom-line growth only when you do right.