Shelly Chandler, Vice President of Consumer Experience Consulting at Confirmit, identified the top habits for predicting CX success and how to incorporate these into the CX program.
“Today, I’m going to talk about some of the CX habits that are so ingrained and what we, as CX practitioners, can do to avoid them,” stated Chandler at the outset of her thought leadership presentation at the 2019 Customer Experience Leadership Forum: Beyond Satisfaction, Building Loyalty held on March 12 in New York City. “Computer imaging has shown us that habits are almost hardwired into our brains, so they’re very hard to break,” she stated. “People either think slowly or quickly. Thinking quickly is basically instinctive responses. Thinking slowly means thinking about something purposely. To change habits, we want to think more slowly,” she pointed out.
“We did a study last year in which we asked more than 700 CX practitioners in 30-plus industries over 53 countries about CX habits and what makes a CX program effective. In terms of leaders being effective and laggards being less effective, we looked at how much money their programs were garnering and whether they’d be getting a larger budget in 2019. If you’re delivering value, you’ll get more money,” she noted.
Chandler was surprised by which industries were leaders and which were laggards. Retail leisure came in last in the survey of CX leadership, and health/pharma/public services came in first. “Maybe retail leisure has gotten good at this, and they’re just rolling along,” Chandler observed, “or maybe they’re not being innovative.”
The top three habits identified in the study that predict CX success are 1) ownership of goals, 2) think innovation, and 3) listen to many voices. “We found that 37% of leaders aren’t setting goals for their programs, but, more important than that is who owns the goals. Do you, as a CX program, own the goals, or does the rest of business own the goals? If it’s the latter, that’s a game changer. We need to have responsibility for other people’s goals,” she stated.
“A warning sign that you may have a filthy habit is you’re lost in the weeds. Are you looking at data and pushing out reports rather than connecting that data to the bigger themes within the company? Are you just setting up a CX program and letting it run? A way to break this habit is to focus on business metrics. Speak in the language of your internal constituents. Absolute transparency is vital, and it’s important to have someone accountable for each stage of the journey,” she said.
“The second top habit is to think innovation. Half of the leaders in the survey didn’t believe their CX program was driving real change. If it delivers value, you’re driving change. Also, enable people to fail fast, and measure action rather than metrics. Focus on high-volume, smaller, manageable projects, not the big-bang projects, and make sure everyone has input,” advised Chandler.
“Lastly, listen to many voices to bring in different perspectives—not just customers and employees but suppliers and sales people. Try to get operational and financial data to align with your data. If your customer data isn’t part of your data analytics, you’ll be shut out. It’s about connecting all the data,” she said.
“A warning sign that you might have a problem in the data-collection area is that you’re not listening to the loudest voice. Don’t focus only on experience during product/service consumption. Also, get feedback from nonbuying customers, and engage with the field organization, because they know what’s needed.”
Chandler summarized the following roles as comprising the future skill set of CX pros:
In summary, Chandler said, “If you can bring all of these into your skill set, you can become a CX coach and supporter rather than carrying everything on your own.”