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What was on the minds of CX professionals in 2018?

And, most importantly, what does it mean for 2019?  That has yet to be determined, but “execution” and “results” are two words I’d like to see more of this year!

It‘s fun to see what was interesting for you – my audience – to read in 2018. I shared 58 blog posts (that includes a few posts from guest authors) in 2018; here are the top eight (because 18 would be way too many!) posts, the most-read CX Journey™ posts, that I wrote last year.

How Do We Ensure Employees are Happy and Engaged?
I’m excited that this post made the most-read list for 2018. It’s about time that companies start focusing on the employees. As I always say, “Quite simply, without employees, you have no customer experience.” And if your employees aren’t having a great experience, neither will your customers. In this post, I not only defined employee engagement for the reader but also underscored that employee engagement is about some confluence of emotions and commitment between employer and employee, meaning: each is party to employee engagement. I outlined how each contributes.

How Do You Measure #CX Success?
This is an ongoing conversation: What does customer experience transformation success look like? How do we measure it? How do we show ROI? First, it’s important to recognize that there are three different audiences of this transformation: employees, customers, and the business. In this post, I outlined potential success metrics to get your wheels turning. I’m sure you can think of others. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t need a ton of metrics; decide on a one or a few, and stick with them.

What’s in Your #CX Budget?
I think this is an important thing to consider – your CX budget. Traditionally, customer experience professionals are thought to have no budget. This is true. Kinda. They have no budget for making the fixes and improvements that they uncover in the course of their work. But, they do need funds to complete that work. In this post, I offer up seven categories that must be covered in the CX professional’s budget. Please add to the comments if you can think of others.

Customer Experience and the Bottom Line
Similar to measuring CX success, this post/topic is an ongoing conversation: How does customer experience impact the bottom line? How do we show ROI? This is a 2016 post, but it’s still getting quite a bit of mileage. I summarize some of the findings of a Sitecore/Avanade report that outlines the clear benefits of focusing on the customer and on improving the customer experience. The returns in their research are incredible.

The #CX Perception Gap
There’s this thing called the customer experience perception gap; it was uncovered by Bain back in 2005, and they referred to it as a “delivery gap.” It states that 80% of executives believe that they are delivering a superior customer experience, while only 8% of customer agree. And, clearly, this gap is on CX professionals’ minds. The reasons that Bain cites for it are real, yet trivial and overcome-able in the scheme of things. Let’s fix these in 2019!

Customer Experience and Customer Service: What’s the Difference?
I cannot write about this topic enough. Customer experience and customer service are not the same thing. They are very different. After having written about this three times prior, I’m glad to see this one hit home and got people reading and taking notice. One more time: Customer experience is the sum of all the interactions that a customer has with an organization over the life of the “relationship” with that company… and, especially, the feelings, emotions, and perceptions the customer has about those interactions. Customer service is one of those interactions.

Do Leaders Really Care About Their Employees?
I am beyond thrilled that this one made the top eight reads of the year. We have a crisis in leadership. The problem: leaders don’t care about their employees; instead, employees are viewed as a cog in the wheel to leaders’ and to the company’s success. Leaders drive to growth, to the numbers, and forget about the needs and the lives of the employees who help them get there. In this post, not only do I define the problem, but I also propose a few solutions. Be sure to read this, if you haven’t yet.

What Does the Future of #CX Look Like?
I’m often asked about the future of customer experience. And while I’d like to report that it’s all about  omnichannel, digital, personalization, AI, AR, and VR, it’s tough to talk about that when most companies can’t even get their executives to commit to putting customers at the top of the priority list (right after employees, of course). What does this year look like? What should companies be focusing on? The same things I’ve been telling them to focus on for years. Only this year, they must execute!

The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations. -Roy H. Williams