I’m spending some time in hot and stormy Atlanta this week. It’s the fourth annual Customer Experience Professionals Association Insight Exchange, where CX professionals from all sorts of industries come together to share stories, showcase best practices and in general learn from one another.
It’s one of my favorite events of the year. And a big reason is because everyone is HONEST. There are no self-proclaimed “experts” here. Instead, we all realize the best customer experiences are created from constant examination and innovation. We heard from several great speakers today, but a few messages really stood out to me.
1. Understand the world you’re in NOW, not the one the experience may have originally been built for.
Alison Circle, Chief Experience Officer of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, faced the very specific challenge of updating the experience of going to the library. Think about that for a minute. Think about how LONG a history they have. How the library we knew as a child was pretty much the same one our parents knew as children. Alison and her team tackled the issue by really understanding how people interact with books today. They connected the experience to people who otherwise had barriers. And one of my favorite quotes of the day was how she explained designing the new buildings:
Connections are what they should be built for now. What experience are you missing by not understanding the world today?
2. Most leaders “aren’t there yet.”
No matter how advanced or great the CX program seems to be, the leaders themselves admit there is still a lot to learn. So much of this is because the metrics that work for my organization might not work for yours, or vice versa. When Donna Peeples, Chief Customer Officer at AIG, asked the crowd about their opinions on Net Promotor Score (NPS), one person yelled out “GREAT!” while another yelled “IT’S BOGUS!” There is truth to both statements. Figure out what works for YOUR organization, because there is no perfect wisdom from the crowd.
3. Communication about customer experience is just as important as action.
Those people who deliver the experience to your customers need to be in the know. They need to internalize why it’s important. Your executives must understand where customers are experiencing pain in their dealings with you. HOW you tell them is key. David Shapiro, Vice President of Member Experience for United Healthcare Group, discussed how critical it was to share not just data, but the emotional stories behind the data. He uses call recordings, visualizations, and individual customer case studies to get the point across. This matters. Communication only works if those hearing it can internalize the message.
Overall, it’s been a great kickoff to a very worthwhile event. In Day 2, I share a tool with the group, our Touchpoint Inventory, and continue to learn more.
Oh, and I was totally surprised and honored to receive the “Extra Mile” award from the organization. I appreciate it very much! 🙂
Who is the CXPA?
The CXPA is a global non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of customer experience management practices. Members are individuals who develop, manage, optimize, and envision how organizations interact with their customers. This community includes customer experience practitioners within companies, vendors who support customer experience efforts, and other stakeholders in the industry. The CXPA supports the professional development of its members and advances the field by providing research and education, developing standards, offering networking opportunities, promoting the industry, and creating a better understanding of the discipline of customer experience. Learn more about us!