The Customer Experience Train Is Moving Fast: Three Things To Focus On Now
Updated: Feb 20, 2021
1. Speed Can Be A Killer
Everyone knows that the rate of CX change has been dizzying. Customers live in different ways and have different demandsthan they did just a few months ago. Big brands typically have the resources to accelerate CX projects and get innovation to market more quickly. This is just another example of how the pandemic could be creating a bigger divide between "haves" and "have nots." As companies learn that they can implement big experience initiatives more quickly, they will likely be motivated to keep going and build a bigger competitive advantage.
This means there is no time to wait. All companies, regardless of size, need to find ways to innovate around their customer experience. If you don't have a giant digital budget, find other aspects of the buying journey you can upgrade. The key is to do it now. Make it a priority, or risk falling behind in a game where you may not be able to catch up.
2. Companies Need CX Leaders, Not CX Departments
The CX discipline is maturing extremely quickly. In the years leading up to the pandemic, CX was a growing focus inside companies, and teams were starting to form. However, the CX focus has created an entirely new trajectory. CX skipped over becoming a full-blown department (some might say another silo) because leaders are recognizing that CX has to be part of the company's DNA. Experience leaders and champions need to be embedded throughout a company, across a variety of departments and roles. You can argue that the strategy leader for CX should be in the marketing department, or in operations, but they should more of a conductor than a team leader.
This is not a revelation for brands that have set the standard for CX, but it probably will be for companies playing catch up. All functions need to align around a core company focus on experience, which means everyone is accountable. This will likely be the difference between making temporary improvements and achieving lasting trust with customers.
3. Linking CX To Results Will Take Time
I've noticed that pioneers in the CX space often share their frustration that their companies did not fully appreciate the value of CX. These professionals constantly felt like they had to justify the return on investment or else funding would dry up during the next budget cycle.
I have good news and bad news for today's CX leaders. The good news is many companies are realizing that they can't wait to invest in improving the experience. It has become almost a business imperative.
The bad news is that it is still a struggle to measure the impact. There is not a standardized way of linking the experience to uniform performance metrics. Each company has its own flavor. This will likely make the lives of CX professionals hard in the future. Just as CMOs have learned, results matter, and the performance of the leaders will be judged on how well results are tracked and correlated to investments. This is likely the biggest challenge and biggest opportunity for the CX craft. Those who can gather, analyze and test different data sets will be in a better spot to measure impact. They will also be better positioned to make adjustments and keep improving CX over time.
CX as a discipline is maturing faster than anyone could have predicted. Some of the things I have learned and the conclusions I have shared even surprised me. The most successful leaders will be the ones who can monitor this evolution and apply learning immediately.