4 Customer Experience Questions to Ask Yourself

By Jessica Kinghorn, CCXP posted 19 days ago


This article originally appeared on LinkedIn:

Last week I spent two packed days with other customer experience (CX) professionals at CXPA’s CX Advance. This workshop-based conference gave us the time and space to dig deeper into key customer and member experience topics.

If you are in the customer experience profession or thinking about customer or member experience, here are a few questions you might want to explore in coming months.

1. Am I speaking my CEO’s or Executive Director’s (your board and/or committees for that matter) language?

Keynote speaker Joel Trammell, co-author of the Chief Executive Operating System, reminded the CX-obsessed crowd to

tone down the talk about CX. Instead, speak the language of your CEO. Share answers to what CEOs want to know: What will this effort improve? For what audience segment? And, how are we are going to do it? Finally, when you talk about the customer, also focus on the other key audiences - shareholders and employees. Focusing on all three shows your leader that you are considering all stakeholders.

Tip: Study your leaders. What do they care about? What information do they need to know? Even, and hear me out, ask to interview your leader to learn the answers to these questions. They will be glad you asked.

2. Am I empowering others or trying to do it all?

Do you like being the hero? Or do you really want to be a guide? Many times, professionals who are knee-deep in customer experience feel alone, like they are the only ones heeding the call of the customer. To be successful this cannot be the case. CX expert, educator and podcaster Mark Slatin, CCXP reinforced the power of being a customer experience guide, rather than the hero. This empowers others and strengthens your CX efforts many-fold.

Tip: Create a cross-departmental CX ambassador group. Train them on CX. Bring them into key CX discussions. Give them talking points for when they engage with their team. These are your superheroes!

3. Are our customer systems working for us or against us? How do I get them aligned?

The other day I called a mortgage company to get information and when I reached a person I verified who I was and what I needed. Then they passed me along … to another phone tree. And, finally, after a circuitous and frustrating journey, I got to another person - who didn’t know who I was or what I needed. This is an example of a disconnected system working against a company. How can you align your people, processes and technology so your customer doesn’t also have a disconnected experience? Podcaster Greg Kihlstrom and solutions consultant Mikal Reagan, CCXP focused on the five stages of customer journey orchestration - discovery (in-depth understanding of process and tech), planning, optimization (of process and tech), observation and finally management of your improvements. I'm going to lie though - it's a ton of work and here's a tip to get started.

Tip: Be a personal shopper. See your organization’s experience through the eyes of your customer or member. You think you already know, but you likely don’t.

4. How does customer emotion impact our business and how can I affect customer emotion?

“How you make someone feel resonates above all else.” Wise words from Roxie Strohmenger, CCXP, VP of CX Strategy at UKG. While her keynote was enlightening, the conversation in the hallway (as tends to happen) struck me. In customer journey development, and more, we often focus on what positive emotion we want our customers or members to feel at each stage of their experience. What about if we also focused on what negative emotion deteriorates the experience? For example, when a potential member is in the exploration phase of your member organization, you may want them to feel excited. What you don’t want them to feel is confused. These may be two sides of the same coin but articulating them in this way can help you identify where you may need to make improvements.

Tip: When creating customer journeys, identify the positive emotions you want customers to feel and the ones that you don’t. It will prove to be enlightening and help you be more specific about next steps.

What an energizing conference. I know that the engagement there will weave its way into my future posts and work!