One of the things that makes being an independent consultant different from work ‘on the inside’ is that doing things like keeping up with LinkedIn and other ‘work-related’ social networks is actually part of the job. While it may seem a luxury to be able to find cool stuff here or find out about promotions and career moves of connections, LinkedIn and other such platforms are bread-and-butter. It’s where we connect, sometimes where we find leads, and always where we share our insights. If you’re not in this sort of business, LinkedIn may be something you rarely even think about or a site you hardly ever visit. I know that, in my last corporate incarnation, I had several colleagues who never used LinkedIn, some of whom didn’t even have profiles. I had one co-worker who insisted that she never used it because she didn’t want to give the impression to the boss that she was looking for work (she wasn’t, but still, her reasoning went, why give anybody a reason to think so?) If you’re not as active as those of us who live and breathe business networking but still want to find a good way to stay in touch, below is an article I wrote a few years ago while I was working full-time that I think still stands up. I’ve updated a couple of spots and of course, edited it for clarity. Enjoy. (more…)
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…)
The world of work out there these days is simply weird. With unemployment clearly and dramatically impacted by the choices made in response to the whole Covid-19 mess, and yet the economy going gangbusters, it’s hard to understand if things are good or bad sometimes.
Lots of organizations are looking to hire, and especially in the CX field, what with the renewed interest in Customer Experience and care as a result of the new world in which we find ourselves. Many an article has been written since the beginning of the saga emphasizing how important Customer loyalty and care are to the ‘new normal.’ I’ve also been fascinated to see what’s going on in the world of CX employment. I’ve mentioned a few times that it’s an interesting world out there for CX jobs, but in some ways, there’s nothing all that unique about our career field than any other business discipline: People want (and deserve) to be treated fairly and respectfully. (more…)
LinkedIn, Medium, tons of CX blogs and websites, including the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), Customer Think, and others, are all great sources of information for those looking to expand their knowledge and understanding of Customer Experience. There are insights into specific tactical issues, organizational concepts and approaches, strategic thought leadership, and much more. Given the robust nature of topics within CX, it’s vital to be out there consuming as much information from as many different sources as possible in order to keep up. (more…)
Improving our processes is hard work. There’s a lot of research and thinking that goes into the exercise of getting better at what we do. Add to that the complexities and politics of change management—especially if your organization is large and/or well-established—and it can be daunting for sure. People spend careers refining their approach to Process Engineering, and quite frankly, if it’s being done right, there’s a lot of math involved. And as any one of my cadets can tell you…math is hard.
One thing that (unnecessarily, in my opinion) makes it even more of a challenge is the wrong perspective. I consider it unnecessary because it’s a human tendency, but not an inevitability, to see things from our own perspective and miss those of others. (more…)
One of my favorite Process Engineering tools is the Five Whys. The basic principle is to consider a problem or imperfection, ask why it’s the way it is, and then ask why that explanation is so. We keep digging (as the title suggests, five times, but your mileage may vary) until we’ve uncovered the true root cause of an issue. The idea here is to work toward better understanding what’s behind a problem rather than simply fixing the facial, obvious symptoms. This aids in efficiency as we’re less prone to waste our time simply swatting at proverbial flies but rather identifying an underlying failure, fixing it, and thereby avoiding further deficiencies.
Now, as with any tool, it can be overused or misapplied. Some folks will barge into a problem-solving situation, claim to ask “Why?” five times, and call themselves heroes for having broken through the “it’s how we’ve always done it” mentality. Nice try, but the Five Whys is more than just seeming to be an iconoclast or dynamic thinker. If you’re only asking “Why” rhetorically or just to be snarky or look like the smartest person in the room, it’s likely you’ll miss the whole point. The purpose of asking “Why” is actually two-fold: to search earnestly for the root cause, but also to better understand the systems that are currently in place and, well, why they’re there (the jobs they were intended to accomplish). (more…)
“You’re soaking in it.” Do you remember that commercial for dishwashing soap that was supposed to be so incredibly good for your skin that the lady who’d gone in (to see Madge, remember?) for a manicure was unknowingly enjoying its benefits, thinking she was dipping her fingers into some wonderful skin tonic? Or have you heard the concept of fish not realizing they’re wet because they’re surrounded by water? (more…)
I came across the following article I wrote in an earlier part of my consulting career (I was much thinner then). Without knowing it at the time, I foreshadowed a lot of reflection that I use now as an executive CX consultant and Fractional CCO. At the time my practice was mainly focused on training clients and facilitating workshops in Lean Six Sigma and Agile Project Management among other topics…mostly more transactional than the larger and more strategic work I do with clients these days. Nonetheless, I think it is a microcosm of the concept of seeking and acting on feedback wherever you can. I use it still as a consultant and encourage my clients to do the same in their own VoC programs. I’ve lightly edited and updated some parts. Enjoy. (more…)