Often, CX professionals do not believe they impact CX design and experience for their customers. Why? What is the cause of this disconnect?
A month ago, I got a call from an acquaintance saying that her mom got the loyalty points for flying to her destination on an airline carrier, but not coming back. When she called the carrier, the person on the phone told her that since the booking was not made via the airline website, they could not find her reservation and help her.
Who is responsible for this bad customer experience? More importantly, who has the power, skills and authority to fix it? The answer is easy. All. Of. Us. Who do customers perceive as the person responsible to fix their customer experience problems? The Customer Experience Director. I realized this, pointedly, when my acquaintance reached out to me.
In this example, typical of airline industry providers, it is true that we cannot find a reservation that has been made on another channel. It is true that our systems can be better integrated, more CRM-enabled, and easier to work with. It is also true that despite existing limitations, many professionals across the organization can do something to improve the customer experience in a case like this one.
The person on the phone can come up with a creative way to find the customer reservation using another tool. The person in charge of partnerships can work on a better integration with other booking channels. The person managing the points tool can enhance the tool so that every customer shows the last 2 flights, regardless of where that customer booked those flights. The list of can-dos and should-dos goes on and on. Yet, these customer experience professionals do not see themselves as owning the customer experience, nor do they feel accountable to do something to improve the customer experience.
To change that, it is imperative to shift the culture in the mindset of customer experience professionals at all levels. This is very difficult to do.
Even the CX professionals who own the customer experience on paper frequently do not feel empowered to have a real impact. They do not recognize that something as simple as the example above can become a successful project in their portfolio. Instead, customer experience professionals journey map and look at holistic pictures, often without implementing or designing for real changes to the customer experience.
It almost feels like CX professionals have an identity crisis that prevents them from acting with impact. This may be because some are afraid of angering the operation, and so take a more passive approach. A passive approach does not advance the cause of customer experience design, nor does it make it easier to make real changes and to be heard at the table next time. Customer Experience professionals need a portfolio of changes to gain legitimacy in their organizations. The best way to do that is to find a seam in the experience and fix problems. No matter how small a problem may be, fix it. Don’t just document it, communicate it and assess it. Fix it!
It is okay to jump in and fix the customer experience because this IS your job as a CX professional. At the end of the day, if you are not fixing things you really aren’t doing your job. Own the customer experience. Be Brave. And you will see how much your internal brand will grow, and you will watch the operation start to come to you for solutions they know will work.
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