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The Headstrong and Heartfelt of CX

I've been known to write about my two passions – customer experience (CX) and fitness. There are so many similarities between the two and I've found the comparison helps me build a deeper understanding of each.

I have been training for a half marathon and during a training run I realized that I have a heart problem – not a physical heart problem, but an emotional heart problem. I know that training for a race isn't just about running. Sure, you have to put in the miles, but it's more than that.

It's about being headstrong and heartfelt.

Heart and Head

For the past three years, I've had a goal of running a half marathon in less than 2 hours and 10 minutes. And, for the past three years, despite my training, I haven't accomplished this goal. "Why?" I ask myself. 

I always thought I wasn't headstrong. I thought I lacked mental toughness. So, I added running drills for mental toughness and still nothing. 

Recently, during a long run, I found myself studying the situation…my body feels strong, my mind is in the zone, why can't I break 2:10? And, then it hit me…

…My heart isn't in it.

When push comes to shove, my heart gives up. It says, "it's OK. It doesn't matter. You did your best. You're not going to win anyway." So, I give up. My head wants it, but my heart could care less.

Like running, when it comes to CX we must be headstrong AND heartfelt.

  • Headstrong is about the process – showing up every day and putting in the miles, being focused (or perhaps obsessed) with a goal, not letting short-term obstacles get in the way, and creating habits.
  • Heartfelt is about being vulnerable – taking the risk; being open to failure or criticism; putting ourselves out there. I don't know about you, but this scares the crap out of me.

As you think about your professional goals and the objectives of your customer experience strategy, consider how you can become headstrong and heartfelt. Don't let your head or heart get in the way of creating extraordinary experiences for your customers.

About the Author

Leslie Pagel

Leslie Pagel

As vice president of customer experience, Leslie is responsible for incorporating the voice of Walker’s customers into the solutions development process. To do this, Leslie spends the majority of her time interacting with Walker account teams, clients, and prospective clients to understand their business challenges. She coordinates several listening posts that are used to drive strong client relationships and enhance our consulting and technology capabilities.

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