The CX mindset that drives success
In the pandemic years, CX leaders across the world focused on the things to be done to get the businesses going. Putting this era gradually behind us, CX is now confronted with a new challenge, that is how to best deliver the change required to build back better around a revamped Customer Experience.
CX enters a new, brave era, where CX professionals, from leaders to agents, will be required to have the right mindset that will drive their businesses to growth, longevity, and success. This requires conviction, a clear vision, and empowerment to bring this cultural change first in the organization before the customers themselves.
Let’s have a look at these special traits and mentality that a businessman should have or build to be a CX leader and drive success.
The things to be
- Visionary and decisive. A leader must be able to instill a clear vision to the organization’s culture while being at the same time clear about the value proposition and how this delivers customer benefit, motivated by a shared purpose, the people. Great leaders are at the same time decisive and confident about the decisions they take to realize their CX vision and strategy.
- Transparent. Safeguarding a culture of open communication to keep employees engaged about what matters to customers and how this links that back to vision, purpose, and strategy, keeping employees connected around a shared common purpose.
- Action-driven. Successful CX leaders tend to take actions and decisions about how to deliver business goals and KPIs that are driven by insight from the right CX analysis tools.
- Breaking the silos to get things done. Change requires cross-business collaboration. In a chaotic world, they get things done. They pay attention not just to the ‘what’ but also to the ‘how’. They are happy to import innovation to bring about the change required.
- A stand-up guy or gal. CX leaders need to inspire employee trust and be crystal clear about their wants, while listening, coaching, encouraging, and asking for honest feedback. They care about what their people go through and invest in making their employee experience more meaningful and rewarding, knowing that customer experience fails when businesses fail to take care of the gatekeepers of that experience – their employees.
The things not to be
- Keep your feet on the ground. There is nothing wrong in aiming too high, but make sure to always check on the things you need to do to create more positive client experiences, as well as to improve your capacity to manage more of CX toward desired outcomes, also known as customer experience management).
- It’s not all about those metrics. Metrics that can be achievable might mean nothing to if they are actually not valuable and move the company forward. This happens because CX is more emotional rather than rational/cognitive and isn’t always related to the hard metrics that many would feel comfortable with. Choose to really understand that the nature of CX is about psychology, experiences, and thus subjective, no matter how much pressure there is to measure financial gain out of it.
- Just a service assurance or the whole world? Some CX leaders tend to think of CX through one of two extremes, either as a service assurance or efficiency endeavor, where they aim to eliminate all possible service defects, or as “everything under the sun,” as if your brand is the only thing on your clients’ minds. The real question you will need to ask yourself though is “What does it take to understand your customer and what am I doing about that right now?”
- Keep calm and analyze. A common misconception is that swift, impulsive decisions under the lack of time to analyze the available data and based on hunch, will win the day for you. This is a big mistake to do, as well as to use this as an excuse to avoid the agreed commitments that were made with the stakeholders.
And some quick wins for you
- Measure. Check your organization’s CX readiness or maturity, modeling the capabilities and enablers, and do the work to get the most objective metrics that will honestly help you assess where you are and what steps need to be taken.
- See the big picture. Voice of Customer or NPS scores may be a good start to know where you are heading, but this is no reason for you to miss on the big opportunity here, which is to move your company, its employees, and ultimately, its clients and other external stakeholders to a CX-driven culture
- Adopt your expectations. Make sure to differentiate those hard and soft expectations of your CX project, in terms of early, middle, and late-stage adoption. Make no mistake here, as all successful organizations never start with hard metrics, but make sure to involve and check them in the latter stages.
- Meditate. Make yourself comfortable for a few minutes and answer the following questions. What does it really mean to understand your client relationships over time? How can you create real value for your clients? Do you really know what your customers think of your brand? How can ROI improve your relationship with the customers?
Knowing the Difference Between CX Leadership and Management
To make your CX program work, you will need to align CX goals with your company’s C-level goals, as well as instill a CX-focused culture, develop CX strategies, improve employee experience and assess the right data insights of customer and employee feedback.
These multivariable tasks will certainly call for both leadership and management and this is why it is so important that the organization itself can differentiate between leadership and management so that leaders can focus on the big picture, managers can focus on building CX-focused teams, and everyone can learn and improve. Here are 4 things to be on your checklist, so that you know that you are driving a well-balanced CX program.
- Leaders build the culture, managers nurture it. A leader’s first step in creating a CX-focused culture is aligning CX goals with C-level growth goals. as well as creating a customer-focused culture across the organization. This starts by demonstrating empathy for the customer and encouraging managers and employees to think that way, too. Managers can support leadership’s CX culture goals by regularly talking with their team about empathy for the customer, encouraging solutions that make the customer journey simpler and better, and rewarding team members who create better experiences for customers.
- Leaders set CX strategies, and managers implement them. Leaders create CX strategies, while managers and team leaders make sure that those strategies are deployed correctly. Team leaders, after all, are the ones in daily contact with customer-facing employees and those who support them. Leaders must also make sure to lift any administrative and other roadblocks that could keep managers from working with employees on new CX initiatives, while it is also helpful to set clear goals for managers and encourage them to set individual and team CX goals.
- Leaders develop leadership qualities, and managers support that growth. Successful leaders understand that employee experience affects customer experience, so they work to develop leadership qualities in their managers. Managers can then use what they learn from leadership to develop leadership skills in their team members, to empower them to make decisions that lead to better customer experiences. This kind of on-the-spot problem-solving by front-line workers can retain customers.
- Managers share feedback with leadership, and leaders leverage it. Leaders often rely on website analytics, manager, and team member KPIs, net promoter scores, and other data to evaluate and improve their programs. CX leaders also need to encourage managers to funnel customer and employee feedback upward, so they can make adjustments that improve the experience for everyone. When CX leaders align their goals with the C suite, foster a customer-centric culture, focus on talent development, and stay open to feedback, they create the conditions for managers and employees to deliver better service. As CX becomes more central to customers’ buying decisions, this approach to leadership and management will matter more than ever to retailers and brands.
As a CX leader, you might be often told “here’s the customer survey, let’s now make CX better”, as there is a lack of understanding around what customer experience really is, and perhaps more importantly, what it takes to deliver it.
Customer experience done well is an integral part of the organization and its culture, not an ad-hoc project or campaign.
This is why, as a CX leader that wants to drive your business to the success you will need the right mindset to define and commit yourself to what it takes to create a Customer Experience culture, a customer-first mentality that will drive success for the organization and the customer and develop all these best practices and business discipline as part of your brand’s DNA.