WHAT I KNOW: Customer Experience Is Floundering

Posted on July 14, 2022

Hi everybody, Jeanne Bliss here. What I know is that customer experience is floundering.

We are focusing on the mechanics instead of the meaning of the work.

Customer Experience Is About Leading

At the end of the day customer experience is about leading. It’s about leadership. It’s about finding a way to guide your people and your organization to rise to show up as a different kind of company in the marketplace.

But what’s happened in our work, as it does often in a lot of work, when it becomes popular is that we focus on the specific action items, and we lose the purpose of the work. We’re focusing on surveys, survey scores, the mechanics of running journey mapping, individually by silo sometimes, the action items of understanding what’s broken and fixing the broken things.

We’re determining and defining success by actions we took, not by improvements to the customer’s life, not by creating a wholesale change to the company, understanding the goals of our customers lives, and reorienting what we do and how we do it for their life. We’re not defining success and growth based on growing our customer base, growing the customer value, and by not by understanding who they are as people.

Customer Experience Does NOT Belong in a Silo

We’ve also relegated the work frequently to a department. And we all know that when that happens, the work becomes another silo. We think that we’re doing CX when in fact, what we’ve done is relegated it to its own part of the organization, where it sits, and where we get a false positive, that we’re taking action on this.

Many of you know and I’m a broken record that I grew up at a company called Lands’ End where we didn’t use the words “customer experience,” but it was who we were. We angsted around how it felt to have a package delivered to you opening up a package of overalls for your child. We thought about the woman pulling at her swimsuit. Before we made swimsuits, we watched them swim in our pool; we thought about the life first. And we chose to earn the right to growth by building an experience and by delivering to improve the customer’s life.

I am fearful. And I’ve seen that we’ve lost this. That this doesn’t exist. And so much of our work, it’s relegated to dashboards, to PowerPoint decks, to making the numbers and to getting the score.

At the end of the day, if you improve someone’s life, the score comes naturally you earn it because you’ve automatically improve the life.

What I don’t see also is the leadership shift that has to occur to change behaviorally how an organization leads in too many cases, the zealot leading the work is the one championing the work and when they leave the building or take another job—frequently—the mantra, the work, the focus departs.

At the end of the day, this work is about embedding new skill sets and competencies into how we lead and into how we enable people to grow.

In another sessions, I’m going to be peeling this away for you showing you and talking to you about goal mapping about uniting the leadership team and about the behaviors that need to exist.

So ask yourself: are you truly leading for customer-driven growth, based on improving the life? Or  are you focusing too much on the survey on the scores on outcomes and then things that you care about those red, yellow and green dots? Until then, this is What I Know: that customer experience is floundering. Thanks, everybody. Stay safe out there.

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