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3 more misconceptions in customer-centric transformation

Customer-centric transformation is the supreme discipline in customer experience management. It is the next level after having designed customer interactions, mastered design thinking, and implemented measurement systems. Exactly where Customer Experience Management (CXM) and Change Management merge. I have been working in these areas for almost 20 years now and support companies in putting customer-centricity into practice in their daily work. Again and again, I come across errors and mistakes. I have described 5 of them in the first blog article. Today I dedicate myself to three more.

 

 

1. The Customer Experience (CX) team must have as many customer contact points as possible under control.

 

Many CX teams "drown" in work and are under a lot of pressure. They have the claim to have all customer contact points "under control" and feel responsible for them. The CX Teams sometimes define their tasks accordingly with sentences like: "the CX Team is responsible for the entire Customer Experience", "the CX Team is responsible for the implementation and anchoring of the Customer Experience in the company". The large measurement and closed-loop feedback systems underpin this "race". Besides, there are inquiries and expectations for projects.

 

 

No beautiful CX Heroes, you are not responsible for every interaction and touchpoint. Your job is to involve the whole company - (and no, I don't mean giving all employees an NPS goal). As long as you try to move all the gears in the company, you will never have enough resources and you will have to expend an extreme amount of energy. You have to increase your gravitational surface and increase the driving force. The transformation within the company is the translation you need to achieve the impact that is expected of you. You don't have to manage CX as much but emphasize to be more in the CX Lead. This means: thinking strategically about how to systematically bring this responsibility into the organization and how to create the intrinsic motivation for it. When you think of change, you automatically think of complexity and large programs. But that does not have to be the case!

2. Change is a complex undertaking that must be driven by the CX Team.

 

The respect to initiating a change process in a company is often high. Anyone who has experienced one of these major change programs in the past will not necessarily want to experience it again. But you should be careful not to confuse E-Change with O-Change (SOURCE HBR). E-Changes have profitability goals (usually increasing shareholder value), are strongly top-down driven and short to medium-term initiatives. O-Changes are long-term and rather incremental developments, ideally driven from within. A customer-centric transformation is one such O-Change. This important difference has been described very well by Nitin Nohria und Michael Beer in their HBR article "Cracking the Code of Change".

 

 

What is the role of a CX Team in customer-centric transformation? The CX Team must lead the change process - in the sense of 'guiding'. Having a strategy, a concept, and a rough plan on how to achieve the goal of customer-centric transformation is a fundamental prerequisite for successful implementation. It is not a rigid blueprint, but rather many milestones and a set of measures that support this process. Most CX teams and organizations have started this process long ago without really realizing it. Often all it takes is a pinch of systematics and guidance to give the transformation a massive boost. By the way, transformations happen in thrusts and not linearly. It's like climbing a stair. If you need inspiration please get support, e.g. in the CX Pop-Up School, at the end of each month (in November 2020 the Pop-Up School will already take place on November 19, 2020), or come for a 1:1 mentoring.

3. It’s change time ... everybody has to follow.

 

WRONG! Big mistake. Most of you who are in contact with Change know the skills-wants matrix of BCG (check LINK). Those who can not will be enabled. Relatively simple. What do you do if someone doesn't want to? You can try to motivate them, which is not necessarily crowned with success. These people are then often portrayed as change-resistant and "unadapted" employees. That is not fair! Why I do not find this correct? When a company embarks on a journey of customer-centric transformation, it potentially impacts values, vision, and culture. For example, the values of the company may no longer match the values of individual employees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a relationship, no one has the right to insist that someone accepts or shares their values. This is also the case in the relationship between companies and employees. Even more, because it is a relationship of dependence. The company has changed the context. No one "must" accept this for themselves. On the other hand, the company does not "have to" orient itself towards each individual employee. That would be impossible.

So what is to be done? I have had the best experience with authenticity. Speak openly, describe your own impressions, and seek dialogue. If there really is no more common value intersection, it is better to split up or support the person in finding a position in a company where the values match, which is certainly the far better solution. It is also important to mention that this happens quite late in the change process. Over time, these people crystallize very clearly and it can be a very beautiful and enriching process.


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