Customer Experience (CX) is the hottest topic to hit marketing and tech since…well, I’ve lost track at this point. For some organizations, it’s touch and go. They are either jettisoned into the discipline overnight and forced to learn what it’s all about from point zero or they’ve been reading up on it for some time. The number of professional-level CX practitioners operating their CX program at higher levels of maturity, i.e.: those sequencing a transformational, cross-function roadmap to compete on the basis of customer experience, is growing but it’s still a relatively low number.
At a CX for banking conference in the fall of 2016, I heard the CX champion for a major credit card company state that there were fewer than 100 professional level enterprise CX leaders in the Fortune 500. That stuck with me. Like a growing number of statistics in CX, I couldn’t personally verify, but whether it’s precise or not isn’t the point here. It would surprise you—how far we must still go in harnessing the power CX to achieve the profitability, customer and staff retention, and cost-savings we so often hear promised of CX. Exacerbating this is the fact that we don’t yet have a common sense across the CX universe of what success really looks like.
The effect of this is that many CX leaders inside their companies feel they have little option other than to a) rapidly accumulate and graft leading practices from other CX practitioners; b) hire outside consultants specializing in Customer Experience Program Management (CEM); or c) slowly, methodically calculate their strategy and approach and raise their CX “barn” Amish-style through a community or coalition of the strong and willing.
Having spent a few decades as both a participant and an architect of all three of these approaches, I have compiled a handy list of pitfalls or obstacles that in hindsight, I would consider easily-avoidable.
For example, integrating the enterprise CX program with marketing fortifies the bridges that content uses to fuse pre-purchase, purchase and post purchase stages of the overall customer experience with your brand. Too often, fledgling CX programs unwittingly embark on a more insular approach to understanding their existing customers exclusively in a post-purchase state, ignoring the experience that same customer may have had as a prospect. This creates a potentially disjunctive experience that could have been avoided if the marketers on the front-end of the experience were sharing data with those focused on the back end of that customer’s interactions with the brand.
For CX leaders to be more effective, it’s imperative they collect as much hindsight as they can get their hands on. In a recent eBook from CX Pilots, “The 12 Easiest Mistakes to Avoid in CX“, we shed light on topics from integrating CX with marketing, to how tying CX to enterprise content operations can accelerate measurable gains. We also share tools and resources for that CX leader who wants to benefit from the experiences of CX practitioners who’ve lived in those trenches for years—from those who’ve learned a lot, the hard way.
CX/CEM isn’t just about listening to customer comments and mapping customer journeys—it’s about listening to your peers and realizing that building CX within the enterprise is a journey in itself. There are a lot of lessons to learn and a whole universe of thinkers and doers out there with ideas that may address your specific CX challenges.
Whether you’re building your CX program from scratch, have hired a stellar CX/CEM consultant, or are piecing your program together from various leading practices, or all the above, keep an open mind and know this— you’re likely not that far behind all the others out there in the same boat, rowing in the same direction.
Views and opinions expressed by the author belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.