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Want to drive a successful CX transformation? Here are 10 stumbling blocks to watch out for…

Whether you run a multinational airline, or operate a wine subscription business, you can’t escape your customers’ continually increasing and demanding expectations.

As a result, the importance of Customer Experience (CX) and the ongoing need to refine, transform or reinvent it, has become a key agenda item for most modern business leaders.

For many, customer-focused change or transformation can be overwhelming, and sometimes a risky endeavour. Shrouded with unknowns and spanning most silos within a business, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach…

1. The lack of a compelling and purposeful vision

Without a guiding star, compelling vision or strong case for change, it’s common place for CX initiatives to go off the rails, or put bluntly, fail to even leave the station. A compelling vision, that resonates with employees and executives, should form the foundation at the beginning of any CX transformation or change programme.

Without this, many start swimming blind – burning precious resources and time, whilst delivering minimal value.

Develop an aspiration and purpose. Communicate it. Get people onboard, revved up and aligned around a common goal.

2. Too many sous’ chefs

Delivering an excellent experience requires the whole organisation to work harmoniously – however this naturally means when a large CX initiative surfaces, everyone feels they need seat at the table.

Getting varied perspectives across the organisation is useful – but they also need to recognise your CX initiative isn’t a dumping ground for every business challenge.

Lock down who’s critical and who isn’t. Define clear roles and responsibilities, set sensible objectives, and make sure everyone understands your project scope.

3. A failure to link CX to hard value

Ensuring an optimal experience for customers is something many can’t argue with – however, quantifying the benefit and value of doing this is something many fail to do. In missing this, it’s common place for projects to stall, not getting the recognition they deserve or even losing executive sponsorship.

Ensure you illustrate a clear and direct link to strategic priorities. Make it easily quantifiable. Prove value fast.

4. Ignoring the customer

Delivering a CX initiative, whilst not getting input from the customer, may sound daft… buts it’s commonplace.

Without regular involvement and input from your customer, you’re working blind. Simple as that.

Involve your customer from day one. Give them a seat at the steering group. Make them a central stakeholder and share their insight with the whole business – not just your project team.

5. Getting touchpoint tunnel vision

When thinking about CX, people often get tunnel vision, falling into the pitfall of focusing on very specific issues in certain touchpoints or channels.

Although there can be tactical opportunities in doing this, it can often lead to CX transformations becoming detail focused too quickly – resulting in only incremental and isolated improvements being delivered.

Instead, focus on the big picture and root cause, before diving into the weeds.

6. Working in the same old fashion

Transformation requires new ways of thinking and regular doses of fresh ideas. Yet, it is not uncommon for businesses to approach a transformation in the same old way, with the same old minds.

As a result, many are already compromising the outcome, before you’ve even got started.

Switch things up. Instil a sense of something new. Break the usual assumptions of a working day.

7. Trying to fix too much, at once.

Trying to fix everything at once is something many try to do, but often this simply dilutes the overall impact, meaning only incremental and unconnected changes are delivered…

Forming a phased transformation approach gives teams the freedom and headspace to tackle deliverables at a time. Crucially, for large-scale CX transformations, it allows time for careful stakeholder and change management, reducing the shock factor of unbridled change.

8. Leading a Product or Tech-centric agenda, rather than customer

The desire to build and launch new products or technology can be enticing. However, it’s key to ask yourself “What job is this helping my customer tackle? Does the customer want or need this? What value does it deliver?”. A customer-centric approach to transformation allows you to listen to the market and create products which fulfil an unmet desire or problem.

Understanding and analysing customers’ intent, jobs-to-be-done and current failures is one of the first steps to successful CX transformation.

9. Avoiding difficult conversations

CX transformations, by their nature, are large scale projects and often open a can of worms to problems buried around the business. It can feel uncomfortable raising these with other teams, bringing to light other things needing to be fixed. But that’s okay.

Transformation at its core is about change. So, use this opportunity to highlight things which are not working well and propose how you think they could be improved.

Stakeholder forums like Steer-cos, Governance Committees and Product Reviews are there to listen and support these kinds of decisions or blockers at a strategic level. Used correctly, they can help push forward the CX transformation you seek.

10. No PR engine

Before you start shouting from the rooftops about your latest CX initiative, we encourage you to take this one slowly.

By building out a considered comms and engagement plan, you can engage the right people, at the right time, in the right way. Identify the people who will be your advocates and those who may need a bit more TLC. Then, by using personas, you can split up your stakeholders and tailor messaging to them.

No matter the size of the transformation, having a PR engine is vital for driving success both during and after project delivery. Give people clear and engaging information and word of mouth will help you do the hard work.