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#65 | DCX - Perspectives and insights on digital customer experience
The Privilege of Being a CX Professional; A Restoration of Trust; Poll: Is CX ROI Real?; Links to Industry news and the DCX Thought Leader Profile of the Week
Thank you to 593 CX professionals from 38 US states and 71 countries for being loyal weekly readers of DCX. I am incredibly grateful for your continuous support and engagement.
The Privilege of Being a CX Professional
One of the awesome things about working in CX is that we get to focus on customers and their needs. By actively listening to their concerns and making improvements based on their feedback, we're helping to make their experience the best it can be. That's truly something to be proud of!
In a world driven by commerce and consumption, it's easy to overlook the profound privilege of serving customers. Businesses often focus on profits, growth, and competition, but at their core, they exist to meet the needs and desires of individuals. This fundamental purpose underscores the importance of recognizing the privilege inherent in customer service.
When a customer chooses a product or service, they place their trust in a company. They expect not just a transaction but an experience. Whether it's a warm smile from a barista, a prompt response from a customer support representative, or a well-crafted product, these interactions carry immense significance. Each moment of service is an opportunity to make a positive impact on someone's life, to solve a problem, or to enhance their well-being.
Moreover, serving customers is a two-way street. It fosters a sense of responsibility and accountability within businesses, pushing them to improve, innovate, and deliver the best possible value. This dynamic relationship between businesses and customers can lead to meaningful long-term connections, loyalty, and advocacy.
In essence, the privilege of serving customers is not just about sales and revenue; it's about building relationships, fostering trust, and contributing to the greater good. It's a reminder that businesses are not separate from society but an integral part. Embracing this privilege with gratitude can transform customer service from a transactional chore into a fulfilling mission that benefits both businesses and the communities they serve.
How We Make a Difference
Let’s take a moment to explore how we amplify voices, foster relationships, guide journeys, enhance brands, and achieve personal and professional growth. Welcome to the essence of meaningful interactions.
Being the voice of the customer is where the privilege shines brightest. Representing the voice of millions and making sure they're heard? It's both a responsibility and an honor.
Building Strong Relationships Working in CX provides the opportunity to build strong relationships with customers. When customers feel heard and valued, they're more likely to stay loyal to the company. And in return, this loyalty can lead to repeat business and glowing recommendations. That's a win-win situation for both the company and the customers!
Tailoring unique customer journeys. Ever felt like a brand just gets you? That personalized touch, and understanding of your likes and dislikes, is all thanks to the meticulous planning of CX pros.
Elevating the brand experience When businesses and customers sync in harmony, the brand elevates. It becomes more than just a name; it becomes an experience, an emotion.
A Constant Learning Experience As a CX professional, you'll always be learning and growing. The ever-changing world of technology and customer preferences means there's always something new to explore. You can develop essential skills like problem-solving, communication, and decision-making, which are valuable in any career or aspect of life. Plus, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that your hard work is directly helping others. Who wouldn't love a job that challenges and excites them every day?
Being a CX professional isn't just a job; it's a privilege. It's about weaving stories, crafting memories, and, most importantly, serving customers. In this dynamic dance of business, we are the unsung heroes ensuring they, our customers, always come first. The privilege of working in CX lies in the unique opportunities to influence business outcomes directly, positively impact customers' lives, and be part of a vibrant and mission-critical team.
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A Restoration of Trust
Every so often, in my work in Customer Experience, I meet a customer who tugs at my heart, making me question, learn, and grow. Sarah (not her real name) was one such customer.
Sarah had been with our company for years; she wasn’t just a customer; she was also an investor. She’d seen our ups and downs and every change in between. Yet, her loyalty was shaken, and her trust was fractured by a string of poor service interactions.
She was presented with an opportunity to upgrade to our latest technology - an option meant to enhance her life. But past experiences shadowed her decision, and apprehension crept in.
Sarah reached out to me via email after receiving a letter I sent encouraging her to upgrade. The way it was written was intended to help, but it seemed to have missed the mark. My tone was off-putting to her, stirring up her skepticism from past experiences.
This initial interaction was a reality check for me. Despite my good intentions, I'd triggered feelings of unease. I had inadvertently missed an opportunity to provide the personalized, empathetic approach that a long-standing customer like Sarah needed.
Over the next few weeks, we started a virtual dialogue. Through each text and email, I listened. Truly listened. I acknowledged her past experiences, appreciated her loyalty, and recognized her fear of the uncharted. With each interaction, I saw traces of past missteps - they were lessons we, as a company, had to learn from.
In my quest to rebuild Sarah's trust, I consulted and partnered with some other leaders in the company. Together, we discussed her experiences and strategized opportunities to regain her trust. We listened to her concerns, addressed her needs, and made sure she felt seen, heard, and appreciated.
Finally, after weeks of communication, patience, and empathy, Sarah agreed to the upgrade. We made sure that her journey toward this new product was as smooth as possible, a ‘white-glove experience’. Every detail was orchestrated with thoughtfulness, putting Sarah at the forefront of it all.
In the end, when everything worked as it should, Sarah’s joy echoed over the follow-up text. It was a joy that not only symbolized the success of the installation and the new technology but also renewed faith—faith in herself for embracing change and faith in us. And in that moment, every setback, every hurdle seemed worth it.
Sarah's journey became a defining chapter in my customer experience career, not because it was flawless, but because it was full of flaws. It reinforced the value of authenticity, reflection, empathy, and resilience. Furthermore, it reminded me that there's beauty in the struggle for change and growth.
My journey with Sarah serves as a reminder of the core of customer experience—it's all about people. It's about listening, understanding, and building connections that last. It's about nurturing trust, one interaction at a time. And amidst all this, it's a privileged opportunity for self-improvement—tolerance, empathy, patience, and the power of persistence.
In the end, Sarah not only transformed her technology; but she transformed her perspective of the company. And that is the invaluable privilege of working in customer experience.
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This week I asked our colleagues in the Customer Experience Professionals Group on Linkedin about whether or not CX creates a sufficient ROI.
The recent poll results provide a compelling snapshot of the ongoing debate around the true Return on Investment (ROI) of Customer Experience (CX). At first glance, the majority's faith in CX is evident, with a significant 73% believing that CX offers tangible benefits to businesses. Of this, a confident 42% stand firm in their assertion that CX delivers a clear and calculable ROI.
However, beneath the surface of these statistics lies a deeper story. A small yet vocal 7% outrightly dismisses the notion of CX ROI as a mere myth. This skepticism can't be brushed aside as a fringe opinion. Instead, it suggests a larger question: Is the CX industry, in its eagerness to gain traction and acclaim, perhaps overstating its potential impact? Are some companies drawn into the allure of CX, seduced by the promise of significant returns, only to find the reality falls short of the hype?
There's also a group, constituting 20%, who acknowledge that the rewards of investing in CX don't materialize overnight. They argue that it's a long game, with the real dividends of enhanced customer experience emerging over extended periods. This viewpoint underscores the complexity of measuring CX's direct impact, especially when other variables come into play.
This diversity of opinions prompts deeper introspection. Are we possibly on the cusp of a CX bubble, inflated by exaggerated promises and expectations? Or are the skeptics merely laggards yet to experience the transformative power of well-executed customer experience strategies?
Regardless of where one stands in this debate, the fervor around the subject is undeniable. The increasing emphasis on CX as a cornerstone of modern business strategy means its proponents must ensure consistent delivery on its promises. It's not just about winning over the 7% skeptics; it's about validating the faith of the 73% believers. In an era where customer loyalty is gold, the CX industry has the stage. The challenge now is to prove its mettle continually.
Deciphering the ROI of CX: Insights from the Community
The poll ignited a diverse range of opinions in our community. Here’s a look at the most prominent themes:
Complexity in Measuring CX: Christopher Brooks aptly highlighted that while a customer's interaction with a company could range from fantastic to awful, quantifying the contribution of the experience remains a challenge. The relationship between the product's quality, the customer's commitment, and the overall experience intertwines in complex ways. This complexity resonates with many; measuring the contribution of customer experience isn't black and white.
Operational Efficiency and CX: Francois Gall emphasized the role of Six Sigma in CX, suggesting that by reducing system, process, and policy errors, not only can costs be curtailed, but customer retention can be enhanced. However, while operational KPIs might correlate with "customer effort", they don’t always align with satisfaction and advocacy.
Tangible ROI of CX: Sarah Fiebiger stood firm on the stance that CX offers clear ROI. In many businesses, connecting CX initiatives to tangible financial gains is a skill mastered over time. Eric Klein simplified the math: poor CX costs businesses more in the long run, especially considering customer acquisition costs.
Long-Term Commitment: Darren Young's "unpopular opinion" resonated with many: Building a successful customer experience requires time. The journey from recruiting the right talent to deploying efficient systems demands commitment.
Human Touch in the Digital Age: Despite being part of a tech-savvy generation, Young prefers the warmth of human interaction to the coldness of digital interfaces. It's a sentiment that might be more widespread than we imagine.
Impact on Financial Statements: Scott Gilbey brought a pragmatic lens to the discussion, suggesting that CX strategists should relate their work to concrete figures in the income statement and balance sheet. The tangible impact of CX on the bottom line can't be ignored.
While the majority acknowledges the impact of CX on ROI, the journey to quantify it remains nuanced. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but the richness of the debate certainly indicates the significance of the topic.
Thank you to everyone who contributed and shared their insights.
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Each week, I share a profile from LinkedIn that I believe can positively impact your life and career
This week, meet Alex Brueckmann, Founder and President of Brueckmann Executive Consulting.
Meet Alex Brueckmann. Alex and his team at Brueckmann Consulting work towards empowering businesses to hit their ceiling and break it. His practical wisdom has been crystallized in the book, "Secrets of Next Level Entrepreneurs," a guiding light for businesses aiming to strike the elusive balance of growth and well-being. His upcoming book, “The Strategy Legacy,” promises more such pearls of business wisdom.
What makes Alex stand out is his exclusive invitation-only masterclasses and masterminds on 'Next Level Business Strategy.' This demonstrates his dedication to promoting growth. His educational background, which includes Harvard Business School, INSEAD, and EBS Universität, is reflected in his work's exceptional empathy and strategic skills.
In the grand scheme of his career, one thing stands unalterably true: Alex worked, learned, struggled, and then triumphed, always pushing boundaries for the greater good. Now, he shares those gains with others, helping businesses like himself embark on their journey to success.
Alex was kind enough to share an advance copy of his upcoming book, The Strategy Legacy.
It's a great book for business leaders. In it, Alex gives practical advice and uses real-life examples for creating a strong organizational identity. He stresses the importance of connecting strategy with culture and identity for long-term success. Plus, the book has useful tools for making sure everyone in the organization is on the same page when it comes to values and purpose. If you're interested in making a big impact with your strategy and leaving a lasting legacy, definitely give this one a read!
Here are three key ideas I took away from The Strategy Legacy:
Anchor strategy in organizational identity and culture for sustainability. Alex provides a practical framework called the Nine Elements of Organizational Identity that connects strategy to other elements like values, purpose, and culture.
Adopt a people-centric approach to strategy. The book emphasizes leading through change in an empowering way by focusing on capability building and helping people understand their contribution.
Legacy matters. Alex shares how to build an impactful organizational identity that outlasts any single leader and creates a lasting legacy. Key concepts include the Legacy Trident and conscious leadership.
Pre-order The Strategy Legacy - Available on Sept 27
Also, check out an episode of the companion podcast to Alex’s book, Secrets of Next Level Entrepreneurs on Spotify.
Thank you for reading this week.
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