None of us is in CX to track and trend metrics. Sure, we will all celebrate a significant increase in our customer loyalty or advocacy metric but that isn’t really our ultimate goal. As CX professionals, we are looking to make a difference, engage our organizations and drive meaningful change on behalf of the customer.
The problem is being that catalyst for change in organizations can be so hard. None of us can do it alone, and all the people who we need to help, well they all have full-time jobs already. The customer challenges you are trying to address are also likely not easy. You not only have to find the right people but engage them in your mission for CX action. If you are new to your CX role or just building a team, the thought of driving change can seem even more overwhelming.
As I look at the Top 10 Traits of Effective CX Leaders series, I see each trait as helping to set the foundation for driving meaningful change in your organization on behalf of the customer. In addition to working on things like building your CX knowledge, sharing your passion for the customer and engaging others through communication, here are five specific things that CX leaders can do to help increase success at igniting organizational change.
- Secure Leadership Support. Getting the organization on board for change requires support from the top. Remember, the best person isn’t always the one you report to or the one with the highest title – reputation goes a long way. As your executive sponsor, this person should be the voice of CX to your leadership team. Having CX as a standing agenda item on leadership meetings is your goal!
- Find Your Advocates. Who do you work with or know of who are also passionate about CX? Start to document your network of CX advocates. Are parts of the organization more engaged than others? Your advocates can be the start of a more formal champion or ambassador network.
- Don’t Get Siloed. A customer’s experience with you is not defined by your organizational structure – and your approach to driving change shouldn’t be either. Finding ways to approach change outside-in requires you think broadly across your organization. If you haven’t already, consider journey mapping the customer experience to bring life to the need for cross-functional collaboration.
- Build a Team. Again, no one person can drive organizational change alone. Cross-functional teams are critical to having a big impact. When building teams, don’t forget to challenge organizational structure and think about the customer journey. While this may seem like a big undertaking, it doesn’t have to be. Structured quarterly meetings with the right group can help bring momentum to meaningful change.
- Identify Your Organizational Barriers. The first step to recovering (or change in this case) is to admit you have a problem. Organizational culture, recognition systems, communications and having the right CX efforts in place can all be accelerants or barriers to driving change. If you haven’t recently taken stock of where you are at, formally assess your CX Maturity. This can help identify your organizational strengths and prioritize which key CX competencies should be your focus. With this knowledge in hand, you can start to formalize your path.
Support from above, advocates throughout and a strong team are all critical components to successfully driving change.