How to Improve CX at Every Level of the Organization Through Personal Responsibility

In lieu of alieu of a regular Daily Dose video, I want to share with you an excerpt from an interview I did this summer with my good friend Laura Ortman—chief customer officer of Equinix—in which we discuss how practitioners from call center representatives to business leaders can impact customer experience in their roles every day. 

The following is a lightly edited transcript of the video below.

In each of our roles, in each of our work, you’re going to be involved in broader team or business-wide projects. But you also can take personal accountability. In my latest book, I pose a question that goes all the way back to my experiences as CCO of Lands’ End, where founder Gary Comer told me I was the conscience of the company in 1982.

Would You Do That To Your Mother?

The point of this book is I’m offering you a simple question. If you’re on the frontline, yes, you can’t change your policy, but you can adjust your shoulders and your attitude and the way you deliver even a “no”.

Ask yourself, “Would I do that to my mother?” All of you in the middle of the organization— figuring out onboarding or return or even creating the spaghetti bowl— should ask, “would you do that to your mother? Would you cause your mom to go through those things?”

How Will You Grow Your Company?

For leaders, it’s about making decisions about how you will grow. We’ve all lived through “gotcha” moments, where fine print exists and suddenly it’s like some hand comes out of the paperwork and it says, “Gotcha,” and there’s a $10 fee you didn’t know about.

Think about those actions. Are you willing to earn short-term money for the long-term potential loss of customers’ goodwill and their feelings about you?

Because that feeling really grows and drives whether people are going to become your advocates and whether or not they consider you to be the kind of good people that are, again, congruent with how we grew up, how we were raised.

Get Involved. Check Your Ego and Your Silo at the Door.

First, we can take personal accountability, and then the other thing is to get involved with these projects within our organizations.

Here’s the thing that’s really interesting: we all need to check our ego and our silo at the door. Because we’re very proud of the work we’ve done, and we should be. This is about embracing the past to advance the future. But sometimes the work we’ve done is perhaps competing with somebody else’s work, or perhaps not built from the customer’s point of view. We need to be willing to step back.

There’s an exercise we do when we do the customer experience journey work, in which we rate the reliability of the stages of the customer journey.

From the customer standpoint, five or six parts of the organization, or silos, need to be involved. But if you’re only rating your own part of it, and saying, “We’re great.” Then you’re not really stepping back and looking from the customer’s point of view. That’s a shift that’s hard to do, but truly necessary.

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