I admit it. I am addicted to Olympic sports coverage. I’d like to tell you my favorite event but, truth be told, I am not that picky. Sometimes I find myself watching a sport that I didn’t even know existed! There is something compelling about the risk and speed inherent in many of the sports, the narrow margin that separates the medal contenders and the years of dedication that these athletes have invested in their craft.
Back at work (and only a little worse for the wear), I am asked to think about what attributes make a CX person effective in their role. Of course, there are many key ingredients, but one is surely the ability to focus.
Focus is a differentiator more and more in today’s dynamic workplace environment. The best CX leaders I have worked with are skilled at prioritizing customer-focused initiatives and are persistent in seeing them through to have the greatest possible impact. There is no shortage of possible projects to undertake, but the best CX leaders know which ones to pursue and how to keep them alive. They are determined to make progress.
Focus on Winning
In Olympic terms, South Korea’s “Iron Man” Yun Sung-bin is a good example. He won gold in the men’s skeleton event, representing the host country. He secured the largest victory margin in Olympic skeleton history. How did he get there? He said he focused on winning by imagining himself on the Olympic podium. And after receiving the medal, Yun said,
“The medal is heavy. Good things ought to be heavy.”
I interpret that to mean that good things won’t come easily, but the feeling of accomplishment is greater when something difficult is achieved. Thinking more about how Focus applies in CX, I see five ways CX leaders can become more focused and achieve the ‘heavy’ things:
- Champion a key customer need. Rather than attempting to measure and manage everything under the sun, consider orienting your CX focus around one major topic for the year. Ease of doing business, innovation, and customer focus are good examples.
- Pilots. Try something new on a limited scale, refine it, build trust and then scale it.
- Collaboration. Extend your reach through communication planning and the inclusion of other key stakeholder groups. CX leadership teams and ambassador programs are a good way to start.
- Persistence. Expect some resistance. It’s natural. The best CX leaders exude confidence and excitement about what they do and have their ‘elevator speech’ refined and ready to go in the face of pressure.
- But not too much persistence. Like every other CX leadership trait, it’s a matter of balance. It is possible to become TOO focused. CX teams must stay connected with changing business strategies and information needs.