Sally Mildren, Chief Boss Lady & CEO, recently spoke with SurveyPal to discuss critical takeaways she learned from her 20+ year career of customer experience, marketing, and engagement. 

4 Things to Remember When Breaking into Customer Experience

1) Customer Experience (CX) is not a solo sport.

I’ve witnessed several newer leaders breaking into the field of CX thinking that they have to prove themselves quickly, and they launch off into action on their own. But the truly successful CX Leaders are those that take time to understand, observe, build relationships, listen to other colleagues, and familiarize themself with the voice of the customer….THEN they are ready to draft an intentional and informed strategy for CX.

Building collaboration is one of the most vital steps as a CX leader. This may look like actively listening, asking thoughtful questions, showing genuine interest in others and their needs, studying and understanding the pressure points for your colleague’s areas and those of your front-line staff. Don’t think about CX only from your frame of reference, but seek to understand how your work may influence every area of the business. Build those relationships – it will help you in the long run.

The rich cross-collaboration you gain from learning the POV of the executives to the call center will not only inform a well-rounded strategy and approach but will help build your allies within the organization.

Being a leader in CX requires focusing on relationship-building and collaboration as much as building a smart strategy.

2) You will earn respect when you first earn trust.

When you’ve done the work to develop genuine relationships with your people, they’ll start seeing you as a trusted individual who cares about them, their needs, and those of the people they’re serving. They will begin to understand how CX is built to help the entire organization and not just their own personal successes.

This is when you will find that people will start seeking your advice and counsel when developing new initiatives, budget allocation, and decision-making if they can see your value and trust you.

The old adage, “A rising tide floats all boats,” is an appropriate framework for CX leaders. Your work is to help support and improve the entire organization.

3) Resources are essential. Make sure you demonstrate the impact and ROI that customer experience can deliver to the bottom line.

Ensuring that your CX efforts and initiatives contribute to the bottom line is crucially important. 

If you are leading CX, one of your highest priorities needs to be connecting your work to the overall goals of the organization. If your CX doesn’t make sense financially, or your initiatives don’t align with your organization’s mission, vision, or most pressing business objective,  you’re not going to get the necessary funding or support that you need. Period.

This is where understanding the pressure points of your colleagues and executives is important. Understanding their priorities helps you align your actions to those KPIs and metrics. 

4) Look and learn beyond your own industry.

Remarkable customer experience initiatives thrive in diverse industries.

In Healthcare CX and patient experience (PX), if you want to innovate or “stand out” from the competitors, the LAST place you should be focusing is on them.  You need to expand your view to industries beyond your niche. This will help you see the innovative and service strategies that consumers are experiencing elsewhere – and expecting of your organization.

CX does not live in an echo chamber – we improve when we open our eyes and learn from other industries, case studies, and examples. Don’t be afraid to look out of the box and learn from the wins and failures of hospitality, tourism, retail, e-commerce, cell phones, automobile makers, etc. Your strategy can be greatly enhanced by it.

If you’re new to the CX field or you’ve been at it a while, adopting these principles of building collaboration, establishing trust, demonstrating value, and learning from other industries will improve your experience strategy and help you deliver more effective results.

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