4 Customer Experience Potholes to Avoid

In my new Daily Dose video series, I explore the topics that chief customer officers must grapple with on a daily basis. Join me as I discuss what I’ve learned over the course of my 35-year career, so that you can more effectively do the work that needs to be done.

Today’s video is an excerpt from a longer video of 10 customer experience potholes to avoid. Sign up below to get the full video. The following is a lightly edited transcript of the short video.


Today I’m going to outline for you 4 customer experience potholes to avoid, things that get in the way from leading a transformation and from making traction. (Use the form below to get the full video of all 10 potholes.)

#1: C-Suite Commitment

What I mean is that often people begin to work and the C-Suite says, “Yes we want it, we’ve hired you, get ready to go. We are committed to the work.” But, if you don’t really identify for them what the work means, they’re committing to an idea but not actions. They’re committing to a concept, but not their skin in the game.

So, you really need to outline what they will do differently, how you will need them to hold people accountable differently, what their personal commitment will be to challenging the operation of the organization. And how metrics need to change, how leadership styles needs to change, and how you need to bring people to the table differently.

That’s why for example I’ve provided you with the five competencies which you can learn about here. Those competencies give you a specific roadmap. And if you don’t walk the C-Suite through what they’re buying, they will say, “Yes,” but their lack of specificity will come back and block your path towards action. So, outline it deliberately, be specific.

If you don’t you’re going to hit a roadblock. You’re going to hit that pothole.

#2: Is the C-Suite really in sync?

Again, what we find is that every leader comes to the table when we begin this work with a different definition of what they consider success to mean: their KPIs around their operational processes; around their standards, around their projects; and their red, yellow, and green dots.

One of the first things that we actually do with leaders that changes everything is bring in customers and have customers talk about how reliable you are. Now this doesn’t sound very interesting, or pie in the sky, or really powerful—but reliability is important. And, what we need to do is have leaders check their silo at the door, understand, and agree on—from an across the journey standpoint—”how reliable are they?” and “will they link arms to deliver an experience to the customer that means a one-company experience?”

So, often again you’ve got lots of leaders who come from different places: Marketing has a different point of view; operations has a different point of view; IT has a different point of view. If you’re in insurance, the Claims or Actuarial Science teams have different point of views.

Every vertical has leaders who come into this work understanding and believing that score is aligned to their vertical or is aligned to their operational silo. We need to check people’s silos at the door and unite them. And, if you don’t do that, again that’s a pothole you’re going to step in.

It’s going to make your work slow down or possibly challenge your work altogether because if you don’t unite the leadership team in common language and in a common commitment they’re going to go back and send different messages to each of their operations. And then, when people try to come together they’re going to have different agendas and those different agendas? There’s your pothole.

How reliable are you? Early in your journey as a chief customer officer, you need to bring in customers to talk about this topic and rally your team around reliability and delivering a one-company experience. Click To Tweet

#3: Who’s in and who’s out?

What we know about this work is that often it’s as much about understanding the underbelly of the organization and people’s priorities and what motivates people, as it is about the tactics. Frequently, we start with the tactics and we forget to do the underbelly work. So, you need to know number three, who’s in and who’s out?

One of the things that we know as leaders begin this work, as we get started with this work is that we assume because there’s a commitment to CX that everyone’s on board—that’s not true. Don’t assume that everyone’s on board. Have individual conversations with people and really get to know and listen to what their priorities are and be that person that has their antenna up to hear where this concern and worry, especially in those parts of the operation where they might feel like the CX work in encroaching on their own. And, what I always say is, “Hold your outliers closer”. Know who they are.

It’s not that people want to be outliers, it’s just that their nervous, or concerned, or don’t understand the work, or feel like it’s duplicating something they already have pride of ownership in.And then, this is the secret sauce, bring the outliers in to be your partner. When you share the spotlight it changes everything.

[Click here for a recent episode of Daily Dose…of Reality that expounds on this topic.]

10 Customer Experience Potholes to Avoid

Join Jeanne Bliss as she outlines common issues she often as she coaches CCOs and experience leaders AND gives you advice on how to avoid them.

#4: Getting to the whack-a-mole work too fast.

You need to create a strategic path, a strategic conversation for understanding the lives of customers, uniting the leadership team to find out the few things that will move the needle and endear yourself to customers the most. Click To Tweet

If you are forced into being a problem solver too fast, what happens is your work will be defined as reactive. Your whole CX mission will be surveys come in and react to them or people go out in the field and we react to them.

What you need to do is create a strategic path, a strategic conversation for understanding the lives of customers, uniting the leadership team to find out the few things that will move the needle and endear yourself to customers the most.

And, this is hard, I know because there’s an issue when we take on these roles which is to hurry up and do something. As much as you can push for a little bit of time so you understand, you can prioritize, and then you can deliver greater value.

For the full 20-minute video with #6-#10, fill out the form above.

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