How to Start Improving CX in the Real World

by Jeannie Walters

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I’m often asked how or where a company should start improving CX. While the answer may be a little different for everyone, it’s critical to start out right! However, very few leaders take a realistic approach.

Consider this way-too-typical scenario:

Marcus decides one day to stand in front of his employees and request in no uncertain terms how everyone needs to be more customer-focused. “Help customers love our company and brand more!” says Marcus.

He promotes the idea of becoming more customer-focused. And that’s all.

Then he scolds his people when metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Satisfaction go down. And since he doesn’t offer any ideas or help direct an initiative to drive those metrics upward, those numbers continue to slip or stagnate.

improving CX

But saying “we have to be more customer-centric” simply doesn’t work.

Your people need to understand what it means for YOUR company to deliver a great customer experience for YOUR customers. Because if they’ve only heard about improving CX in generic terms, how do they even know what to do about it?

It’s time time to start improving CX in the REAL world.

Here are a few steps you can take to get your company on the right path to truly becoming customer-centric.

1. Make sure everyone knows what the ideal experience is.

A terrific experience at your favorite restaurant is completely distinct from a great mobile shopping experience and still different than an excellent patient experience. Saying you want a great experience is like saying you like food.

Define what the promise and mission is for your customer experience. Focus on one central mission about what makes it great. Is it easy? Is it fun? Help your employees understand what it is to make a great customer experience at your organization, specifically for your customers and what they want from you.

2. Communicate.

Then over-communicate. Again.

It may feel redundant and repetitive and like you are saying the same things over and over. Guess what? You will be. It’s likely your people have already heard various catch phrases, mantras and slogans around campaigns that have changed a few months later.

It may take a while for them to trust that you really mean it this time!

3. Find out what’s broken and fix it.

Too many well-meaning leaders get this one backwards! It’s important to start eliminating pain points before lecturing your team about creating “WOW” moments. First and foremost, you must understand that adding “delight” to an otherwise lousy experience is often insult to injury. Make sure you find out and address what’s broken and what needs your attention quickly.

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Regardless of what promise you have made, if there are parts of your customer journey that are frustrating, create extra work for everyone or are just plain rotten, now is the time to get to repairing them. Your promises to focus on the customer fall flat if your employees know how bad the processes really are.

Invite your people to help transform or eliminate broken and out-dated processes for customers and employees alike. Do everything you can to get to know the customer journey from your customer’s true perspective, then start fixing!

In the real world, improving CX is REAL work!

Getting serious about truly improving CX is like anything else that requires discipline and dedication. Create a plan, keep iterating, but stay true to your goals.

In order to achieve the outcomes you want, you must truly, deeply, passionately believe in it. And you must know exactly where the target is. Share this with your employees to see a better experience for everyone!


This post was written for and a version originally appeared on the CallidusCloud CX blog.

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators™ by 360Connext, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, a Forbes Coaches Council Member, a C-Suite Network Advisor, a LinkedIn Learning and Lynda.com instructor, and a TEDx speaker. Learn more here.

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