Agile and CX: Prioritizing People over process

This is the first in a four-part series of articles about Agile/Scrum and how we as CX practitioners and leaders can integrate the approach and theories of Agile Project Management in our work.  I’m framing the series by way of highlighting Agile’s four values as enumerated in the Agile Manifesto and also integrating what are called the twelve principles advanced by the same group that invented it.  You can find the introduction article to this series here.

In this installment, I’ll be reviewing the first Agile value of prioritizing individuals and their interactions over adherence to processes and the use of tools. (more…)

By | 2021-05-27T16:29:20+00:00 May 27th, 2021|Categories: Agile and CX, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts|0 Comments

Agile and CX

One of the more curious—and least expected—experiences in my professional career is how I became a professor at the US Air Force Academy.  I wasn’t formally trained as an educator but learned at the knee of some wonderful academicians and thought-leaders in the field.  One thing that I took to right away was analogizing, or finding different ways to explain or apply a concept.  This is vital to education because a classroom full of cadets is a collection of different ways of looking at the world:  If you can’t make some effort to appreciate different ways people grasp concepts, you’re in for a rough day in front of the class.

That translates into the business world in some interesting ways, most fun of which is leveraging one’s skills in ways that are less traditional or somehow different than they were initially intended.  I’ve written a bit about the importance of leveraging Process Engineering generally, and Lean Six Sigma in particular to the field of Customer Experience.  It’s the “do something” with the VoC that differentiates a truly successful CX effort from simply a survey reporting function within your organization.

All of that throat-clearing as a setup to introduce that, before I started the CX chapter of my career, I was also a Certified Scrum Master, coaching and teaching Agile Project Management and Scrum.  Recently I was thinking deliberately about how the principles and practice of Agile and Scrum may apply to the CX field of work.  As you may expect, I found many lines along which one can find the value and applicability of Agile in CX, as well as CX in Agile (there’s a joke about peanut butter and chocolate in there somewhere). (more…)

By | 2021-05-25T15:35:08+00:00 May 25th, 2021|Categories: Agile and CX, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts|0 Comments

Regulation as a CX opportunity

As a CX consultant and Fractional Chief Customer Officer, at times I’ve had clients and worked with companies in highly-regulated industries; from healthcare to insurance as well as others.  In the online webinar panels I moderate, I also come across senior leaders at companies in these sorts of fields all the time.  I love working and speaking with them, if for no other reason than that, within these lines of business, there’s so much potential to differentiate among competitors from a CX perspective.  In industries such as pharmaceuticals to banking and finance, if you’re in one of these greatly-overseen businesses, you’ve actually got an advantage when it comes to CX. (more…)

By | 2021-05-18T15:24:18+00:00 May 18th, 2021|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts|0 Comments

Is NPS right for you?

Does NPS make sense for you?

Let’s try this thought experiment:  Say you’re a plastic surgeon, specializing in a bespoke and specific sort of work that’s…um, shall we say, personal in nature.  Naturally, all plastic surgery is by definition personal, but I mean that your specialty is the sort of thing that people…just don’t talk about, whatever that may be.  No, I’m not thinking of anything in particular myself.  And yes, I’m sure this sort of thing exists.  Based on this business model, what do you think the likelihood would be of any of your Customers discussing their procedures (and your work) with other people?  Obviously, they’re unlikely to initiate such conversations themselves, but also based on the intimate nature of the need, I don’t imagine “friends and colleagues” of theirs—who might also have use for it—would ever raise the topic themselves either.  Even if they’re extremely pleased with your work (and perhaps even more so if they are), your clients are not likely going to recommend your services to friends, family, co-workers, etc.  Here’s an obvious place where NPS would make no sense as a metric for you. (more…)

By | 2021-05-11T14:42:43+00:00 May 11th, 2021|Categories: CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, VoC|0 Comments

Don’t abandon your Chief Customer Officer

I was recently speaking with a friend who’s a Chief Customer Officer.  She was in good spirits but nonetheless was lamenting a bit about her colleagues:  “It’s like I feel I have to defend my existence sometimes,” she said.  Oh, boy, have I been there.  My career has included time within PMOs, BPM/BPI organizations, and of course CX.  Some organizations approach these sorts of disciplines as nice-to-haves, often because it’s fashionable to put effort (or appear to do so) into these sorts of things.  At the end of a lean quarter, or if temporary business enthusiasm simply starts to ebb, you find yourself on the chopping block.  No matter how poorly sales go, it’s never sales they come looking to get rid of.  But our sorts of ‘ancillary’ organizations are often in the crosshairs.

Fortunately, my friend didn’t mean it that way.  She didn’t feel her job was on the line or that her team could be cut because people didn’t see the value.  That’s a relief.  But more frustrating for her was that she found it difficult to gain traction and buy-in for her CX improvement efforts.  She has the support of her boss, the CEO, who often speaks of the importance of CX and why having a Chief Customer Officer is so valuable.  But whenever she attempted with her peers to institute a change or to improve something in what they did in order to improve their CX, she ran into continual pushback. (more…)

By | 2021-05-04T14:56:20+00:00 May 4th, 2021|Categories: CX Culture, CX Jobs, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Leadership, Process Engineering|0 Comments