A couple weeks ago, Sarah Simon shared her thoughts on warring factions experienced within many corporations around the world, specifically, the lack of unity between CX teams and other parts of the organization that are also trying to understand the customer and deliver a better experience. Her key takeaway was spot on:
Stop arguing about which of you is the “real” CX team. The customer doesn’t distinguish between your brand, your digital user experience, your comprehensive CX Strategy, and your Customer Support quality. I argue, increasingly, neither should your company.
There must be a more-unified approach to customer experience design and delivery within and across the organization. So Sarah and I asked three customer experience practitioners about their thoughts on the article and their experiences with bringing organizations together.
First to weigh in is Roberta O’Keith, CCXP, Strategic Business Advisor and Customer Experience Strategist. She shares her experience from her time at GE. Listen closely for some great tips!
Next up with her thoughts is Michelle Morris, CCXP, CX Design Partner, Verizon Business Group.
I loved reading this article and comparison and found myself truly wondering: Why is there a war in the first place? Is it just the silos causing the battle? Can each group not see the bigger picture that being unified helps the customer and in turn each “professional village,” as Sarah described? I have considered that there are at least two possible reasons. I’d encourage you, the reader, to propose others!
Why the war? – #1 Focusing on the Wrong Thing
How employees are measured informs their objective and focus. If the success measurement is narrowly focused and either allows for a negative customer experience or directly competes with another professional village’s measurement, it’s a setup for a battle in which the customer ultimately loses. Measurement systems can cause a lack of unity if not considered with the end customer in mind as well as other complimentary parts of the organization. An example here is using Time to Resolution as the contact center main focused measurement. On paper this sounds like a great idea and is aligned with the customer. The time it takes to get to resolution is aligned with the customer’s needs for speed in time to resolution. However, if an agent is measured by Time to Resolution (even in conjunction with other CSAT measures), it will drive the agent to potentially be less conversational, less emotional, hurried, and skip over details that could get to a more holistic and satisfied client and ultimately impact the overall customer experience.
Why the war? – #2 Pride or Ego and NIH mentality
Unfortunately passionate and excellent leaders can slide down that slippery slope where his or her ego becomes so large that they can’t allow anyone else in. I’ve witnessed those who have a “Not Invented Here” (NIH) mentality that can’t see past themselves and the potential that unifying with others for a greater good could bring. Obviously pride can get in the way of a lot of things, but success through collaboration with diverse, complimentary skills is so painful to watch and sets up a battle.
I not only encourage you to read this article but also encourage you to think about what can you do differently to prevent the war in the first place.
And last but not least, Michelle Brigman, CX Director at 7-Eleven, Inc., weighs in with her thoughts, learnings, and experiences from her career.
Gotta love that both Roberta and Michelle B. used sports analogies – offense and defense!
As for my thoughts on this, you might know by now that I’m all about the foundation and getting the right foundation in place. Getting the organization unified comes from the top, specifically, from a culture that is deliberately designed to be customer-centric, a culture where everyone knows what it means to deliver a great experience, a culture where every department works together to ensure that happens. I’m also thinking about a cross-functional governance structure that breaks down silos and has the entire organization working together toward a common cause.
Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. -Mattie Stepanek
Annette Franz, CCXP is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. She recently published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your CX game.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.