As I’ve thought about my career, I realize that most of my roles have always evolved to be more comprehensive of the experience a user goes through than just the component I had been working on.
In my early years at CareerBuilder I was managing all of the brand social media channels for job seekers, but I operated in a silo disconnected from the people who managed the website experience, and those who ran the email programs were disconnected from the website teams. Imagine then the career services teams, the actual staffing/outsourced recruitment teams, etc.
All of these different groups were at times all interacting with – and competing for attention from – the same person.
As I am want to do, I started pulling people together who were touching the same customer and began asking, “Does all of this make sense together?” “What’s the flow of how a person gets all these different messages?” “How does a person get from point A to point C?”
In every job, I’ve stayed in my own swim lane for a very short period of time before I started just finding gaps between teams, which usually meant there was a gap in the customer experience as well.
In hindsight, I’ve been in CX before we had the acronym or name fully realized in the world as a business discipline or principle.
As I lead the CX Strategy & Research team at Coyote, it’s important to me that talk about CX broadly as an organization where we all participate in building the experience a customer has when working with us.
I remind people that our customers don’t recognize or care about our internal structures, departments, siloes, politics, etc.
My function as a CX leader is to help bring context to the customer journey, what real people go through to do business with us as they interact with human and/or digital touchpoints and the perception thereof. And the point of CX is to provide focus and clarity of what to tackle first that will make a real difference for a customer, elevate their perception of us, and increase the likelihood of continuing to do business with us.
CX should be challenging to the organization. We act as the catalyst for collaboration & co-creation across teams to swarm around the experience we’ve built and how we deliver our services.
But the thing about customer experience – if you’re not taking into account what type of environment you’ve set up to create that experience, you’re missing a huge component of how to effectively improve a customer’s perception, much less whatever arbitrary scores you may be measuring.
So much happens to create the ‘front stage’ scene in the illustration below, which is what we’d think of as the ‘CX’ part. But if you’re not evaluating what’s going on back stage and what happens behind the scenes, you’ll have little understanding of why the customer goes through what they go through and what leverage you have to make changes that enhance and make that experience better.
In another post, I’ll talk more about my own journey through this and understanding how to make this work visible and meaningful to stakeholders who haven’t done anything like this or who don’t understand the inherent value of understanding how your organization actually services customers.