For CX, Where is not as important as What and Why

Where a CX function is located within a company is a frequent discussion topic among CXers.  I’ve been thinking about this recently and, while obviously each company is unique and every situation different, it occurs to me that where a CX function resides isn’t nearly as important as is what it’s chartered to do.

But if I could get all Simon Sinek-y here, naturally the greater question still, is the Why.  Let’s look at the charter of what your CX organization should be in the first place, then we can start to look at what difference it may make as to where it’s located.  The why should drive the what, and therefore, the where will really just be a slight tweaking and refinement of range of influence. (more…)

By | 2021-03-30T15:13:13+00:00 March 30th, 2021|Categories: CX Culture, CX Jobs, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Leadership|0 Comments

CX professionals are the best (and worst) Customers

The Wall Street Journal has a daily column called “Best of the Web Today.”  Its originator, James Taranto, created it as a bit of a light-hearted end-of-the-day quick-hit piece with a bit of political commentary thrown in as well.  A recurring gag is to make little jokes about headlines published around the Web that, regardless of the actual story attached, sound funny or irreverent when read on their own.  A meme he used a lot was to append a clever label to such headlines as, say, “Florida man critical after bout with runaway gator” pithily with:  “Everyone’s a Critic”.  When it comes to Customer experience, all of us CXers are, well…critics, no?

And if we’re doing it right, if we’re truly curious and hungry to learn about CX broadly, we’re actually looking for the good and the bad in our experiences with brands.  Just like a food critic doesn’t want it known that the restaurant he or she is visiting is being evaluated, lest they go all out to deliver a spectacular meal just for the review, and just like a theater critic wants to (to the extent possible) see the performance through the eyes of his or her readers, we as CX professionals won’t learn much if we all treat each other better than the average Customer.

That has an upside and a downside.  We as CX professionals can be the best Customers but also sometimes the worst. (more…)

By | 2020-12-14T16:36:57+00:00 December 14th, 2020|Categories: Consulting, CX Culture, CX Jobs, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts|0 Comments

Two roles of a Chief Customer Officer

The concept of a Chief Customer Officer (CCO or, sometimes, CXO) is still pretty fresh for a lot of organizations.  I’ve even posted a video to go over some of the simple questions like, Why should you have a CCO and what are the benefits?  But just what a CCO is sometimes feels foreign, even though the responsibilities are pretty simple to analogize to other leadership roles in any organization.  As with these other positions, the job can be broadly broken down into two main hats the CCO wears: one as a leader and representative of an important part of the organization on the leadership team, and the other focused functionally and inwardly.

If that sounds familiar, it should.  In much the same way as the Chief Finance Officer is responsible not only for the day-to-day keeping of the books but also for bringing insights from that bookkeeping into the leadership team in order to offer guidance and expert opinion on what those finances are saying and what we should do about it, the Chief Customer Officer likewise has a team of CX experts deriving Customer-centric insights and acting on them (day-to-day functions), while also representing that part of the business in a collaborative effort to make the best strategic decisions as a leadership team on behalf of the organization.

When it comes to the CCO functional responsibilities, they fall into three categories:  the Voice of the Customer (VoC) program, Process Engineering (PE), and Customer-centric culture.  These all work together to create an ecosystem from which the CCO draws insights to inform the rest of the leadership team (the other part of the CCO’s job) about how decisions they make will impact the Customer and the impact that will have on the organization as a whole. (more…)

By | 2020-11-05T16:00:51+00:00 November 5th, 2020|Categories: CX Jobs, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Leadership|0 Comments

Customer Success is not CX

I’ve written previously about different job postings with CX-sounding titles.  One of those jobs is in the family of “Customer Success” positions.  If you’re like me, and work in CX, you may have wondered, What, exactly, is, Customer Success?  From a CX perspective, it may be useful to understand how these roles and their responsibilities differ from ours.  To that end, it’s a lot like CX, but it’s not exactly that.  While I’ve not played much a role in this space, I’ve made quite a few connections in the CS world and here’s what I’ve been able to gather from these conversations:
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By | 2020-10-22T14:50:28+00:00 October 22nd, 2020|Categories: CX Jobs, CX Thoughts|0 Comments

The value of certifications

I once had a mentor whose cubicle walls were covered in certificates and evidence of completion of training and qualification.  People considered him a bit of an egotist and obsessed with certifications.  Credentialism is a thing, after all.  But I asked him once about all his accreditations.  He said, “Some people say, ‘Sure, well you’re just good at taking tests,’ and I say, ‘Yea, I am, I guess.’”  Point being, he was pretty humble and casual about them, but wasn’t kidding himself that lots of folks take them to heart.  In his mind, it didn’t hurt that some people weren’t impressed—he likely wouldn’t lose favor with any of them for being credentialed (he was, it should be said, supremely smart and talented too…that always helps).  But for those who did care, why not jump through a little hoop here and there to get your foot in the door?  I’ll just say, it served him well.

I wrote recently about hiring your CX leaders from outside of your industry.  I understand that that’s quite a plunge to take for some folks:  You mean you want me to go with a complete novice in our industry and trust that person with our Customers?  Our entire CX program?  You must be nuts. (more…)

By | 2020-10-01T14:46:12+00:00 October 1st, 2020|Categories: CX Jobs, CX Thoughts, Leadership|0 Comments

For a CX leader, don’t hire from within your industry

There’s a meme going around LinkedIn these days about a job posting that requires of the ideal candidate experience that’s physically impossible:  a history of use of a platform or programming language that’s longer than the language’s existence in the first place.  There’s even been a mocking job posting put up with a cascade of similar impossibilities as requirements.

But that led me to thinking:  As I’ve written about before, I sometimes browse through job postings on LinkedIn and Glassdoor in the CX field.  What I mentioned in that previous post was how disparate the actual jobs are that are all listed as “CX” in some way or another.  But the joke about a job requirement for experience that’s literally impossible to have acquired set off a bell in my mind that reminded me of another thing a lot of these CX job postings have in common:  They almost universally require extensive experience in the hiring company’s industry. (more…)

By | 2020-09-17T13:33:10+00:00 September 17th, 2020|Categories: CX Culture, CX Jobs, CX Thoughts, Leadership|0 Comments

What makes a CX job an actual CX Job?

When I left my last internal, corporate CX gig to go back into consulting, I wasn’t interested in taking on another full-time job. But a series of continuing interactions with recruiters and start-up founders has made me curious about it so from time to time I poke around on job boards and take a look more generally at what’s ‘out there’ on the CX job market.

If you’re looking for CX work, or if like me you just dip into Glassdoor or LinkedIn Jobs every once in a while just to see what’s up, you may have noticed what I did:  It’s like the Wild West out there!

I don’t know if it’s because CX is a relatively young field (or at least it’s become more prevalent lately) or if perhaps “Customer Experience” is becoming popular enough as a term or perhaps a catch-phrase in the business world that it’s popping up more often.  But one thing’s for certain:  There are a lot of jobs listed out there whose titles at least sound like they’re CX.  My first thoughts on this took me back to the trend many years ago where organizations were falling all over themselves to create a Quality Department or Office of Operational Excellence or Business Process Improvement Team and I wondered if perhaps this was another trend that companies are chasing after with varying degrees of success and different levels of actual dedication. (more…)

By | 2020-05-18T15:46:23+00:00 May 18th, 2020|Categories: CX Jobs, CX Thoughts|0 Comments

Hiring your CX Team

One of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done as a leader was build a team.  Whether I’m actively looking or get a random call from a recruiter, usually the most intriguing potential aspect of a job is getting to hire people for a team.  I’ve learned a lot of lessons over the years about that.  Naturally first among them (and I learned this the hard way!) is to go out and hire immediately when you’re given the chance.  I’m sure a lot of you are nodding your heads along with that sentiment.

When it comes to hiring a CX team, what’s most important?  Well, the composition of the team will depend greatly on what part the new (or existing) team is supposed to play in the broader corporate landscape.  There are too many branches and possibilities to get too much into the roles of any specific CX team based on its position in the organizational structure.  You’ll surely have analysts, process engineers, perhaps some folks working on culture, and other important facets as well.  But exactly the sorts of skills you’ll need, it’s hard to say generally.

But aside from the technical knowledge and capabilities, what are the characteristics of a good CX team member?  Since CX is a pretty young field*, it’s hard aside from the few certifications that are out there to ensure someone’s proficiency in a technical field is adequately complemented by the knowledge and approach of a true CX professional.
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By | 2020-08-29T19:41:08+00:00 April 24th, 2020|Categories: CX Culture, CX Jobs, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, Leadership|0 Comments