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7 Common Mistakes CX Leaders Make (And How To Avoid Them!)

Whether you’re new to customer experience management or a seasoned leader, it can feel challenging to know where to prioritize your time and resources, can’t it?!

There is a lot of area to cover when designing better customer experiences. It’s understandable for CX leaders to want to address everything, everywhere, all at once. Along the way, however, we’re bound to spread ourselves too thin and lose sight of our greater customer experience vision (myself included!).

There are several common mistakes that I see CX teams make. And many of these mistakes happen when leaders overlook some of the business foundations that set them up for success.

Let’s dig into seven CX program pitfalls so you can avoid them!


CX Mistake #1: Forgetting About Your CX Mission Statement

Without a guiding statement that explains what the customer experience should be, your efforts will likely be inconsistent or fail to help you achieve meaningful progress.

The first thing every customer experience leader should do is to set (or revisit) your organization’s Customer Experience Mission. Don’t confuse this with a corporate vision statement or mission statement—there needs to be a statement that rallies your team behind the unique ways your organization will show up for your customers specifically.

Brush up on the importance of a CX Mission Statement and the five questions you should ask to create or update yours.

CX Mistake #2: Setting Unattainable CX Goals

CX goals are often really just wishes. It’s common for CX teams to set goals they can’t directly control, like focusing on improving Net Promoter Score when there’s no real influence on the actions that impact these outcomes! Or goals are too abstract, like “make every customer experience better than the last.” The intent is admirable, but how exactly will we know when we’re successful?

It’s OK if your initial goals are small steps that get you closer to big goals. We all have to start somewhere! Over time, your goals can grow, and ideally drive the right outcomes for your business goals.

To start setting better CX goals, think about the common pain points in your customer journey. How can your CX team make those experiences better? If your customer adoption rates are slow, for example, a goal could be to accelerate that time. Strategies like creating new implementation videos or FAQ documents to guide your customers can be the baby steps to get to the outcomes you want. But they can all be clearly defined so it’s clear when you are successful.

As you think about the right goals for your organization, I’ve found the SMIRC goal format is especially helpful for keeping CX teams focused. And of course, your Customer Experience Success Statement is the key to defining your CX goals in tangible, achievable ways.

CX Mistake #3: Putting CX in a Silo

Building great customer experiences requires help from everyone within your organization. CX leaders are often asked to “stay in their lane” and simply track customer feedback. But that doesn’t actually lead to better experiences unless that feedback is turned into insights and actions throughout the organization. That means everyone needs to be involved and empowered in this process!

Ensure every employee at your company understands your CX Mission Statement. Partner with department leads and managers to create CX goals that are directly relevant to their work. As teams make strides and accomplish great things for your customers—celebrate those wins!

It often helps to assign ownership to CX to guide the program, keep everyone involved, and establish clear roles and responsibilities.

I explore some considerations for where CX can belong in your organization in this post.

CX Mistake #4: Ignoring Your Customer Feedback Strategy

CX leaders frequently rely on gut feelings to decide what to prioritize. A lot of the time, we do know the important areas to focus. Or we collect and report on customer feedback metrics, but don’t turn those metrics into insights.

Of course, listening to customer feedback is essential for finding critical issues and fixing them quickly. But are you listening strategically to have the most impact?

Set up customer listening posts the right way, so your team understands the needs of individual customers. As you do this, create markers you can track to understand the emotions your customers experience when interacting with your brand, product, or service. Consistently revisit these listening posts and build processes to ensure all customer feedback is heard and acted upon.

CX Mistake #5: Overlooking Micromoments

It’s understandable to focus on big moments in your customer journey. It’s exciting to find ways to make those major experiences memorable, isn’t it?!

After a while, it can feel like the changes stagnate a bit. Yet, the customer experience is built with every single interaction, not just the big moments! These small interactions along the journey matter and make a difference. I’ve called these small moments that matter micromoments. (Now for more than a decade!)

Small, almost forgettable moments can have a big impact on your CX. And many CX leaders don’t understand the micromoments within their customer journey. Commonly neglected micromoments include the whatever welcome, the punitive invoice or payment, or the drifting customer triggers.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out this article where I dig into each of those CX micromoments and explain how to align them with your larger customer experience goals.

CX Mistake #6: Relying Entirely on Manual Processes

Many CX teams are understaffed and underresourced—but you still drive significant results and improvements. As you build the case for the budget your CX team deserves, rely on tools and technologies to help you accomplish more.

There are some pretty incredible ways artificial intelligence and machine learning can transform customer service, for example. And that’s just one area AI can help. Look into ways to automate your processes and use technology to help you do more, regardless of whether you have a team of 2 or 20! Tools are especially helpful for eliminating repetitive and manual tasks, as well as keeping your customer information front-and-center when your teams need it most.

The key is to remember you should never set it and forget it—continually assess how you use AI and tools to orchestrate experiences across your customer journey, and audit if those tools or processes still support your CX mission.

CX Mistake #7: Treating Lost Or Former Customers As Strangers

It’s inevitable you will lose some of your customers. And some will leave despite being entirely satisfied with your product or service experience.

How you treat them when they stop being your customer is just as important as when they first joined. As they leave, make the experience as simple as possible and consistent with your brand identity.

Remember: You could win them back! It’s possible to keep lost and former customers on your side. To do so, you need to reapproach them with personalized offers or information that respects their history with your brand, not generic messages and “try us out!”

Keep all customers in your CRM and create a category for customers who have left. This way, you can send these customers appropriate messages (when the time is right, of course!).


Resources To Overcome Your CX Challenges

By avoiding the above seven common customer experience mistakes, your team is in a much better position to drive ongoing success. It will also help you achieve noticeable wins that help you prove to your organizational leaders that CX delivers results. (And your team deserves a bigger budget!)

But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possible challenges you might be facing. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! My team and I are here to help you with whatever CX issue you’re facing.

Leave me a voicemail at speakpipe.com/experienceaction and I can walk you through a solution on an upcoming episode of the Experience Action Podcast . If you’re wondering where to focus next on your CX journey, our free CXI Compass™ assessment can point you in the right direction.

For more customer experience resources, guides, and courses, visit the Experience Investigators Learning Center or contact us today.



About Jeannie Walters, CCXP, CSP

Jeannie Walters CCXP CSP small square photoJeannie is an award-winning customer experience expert, international keynote speaker, and sought-after business coach who is trailblazing the movement from “Reactive Customer Service” to “Proactive Customer and Employee Experience.” More than 500,000 people have learned from her CX courses on LinkedIn Learning, and her insights have been featured in Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and NPR

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