CX is NOT a Program

By Lynn Hunsaker posted 09-21-2023 06:17 AM


For your Customer Experience (CX) programs and Employee Experience (EX) programs, take a page from these playbooks: Data Processing and Personnel Administration programs of the 1960s are IS&T and HR functions today.

  • As programs, these areas of your company were siloed, managing something specific on their own.
  • As functions, they are indispensable to everyone's operational capabilities.
  • As functions, they require every employee to responsibly manage data, devices, people, and interactions.
  • As functions, they enable efficiencies, scalability, strategic advantages, and brand differentiation.

Re-position CX and EX programs as CX and EX functions -- no longer siloed -- requiring every employee to responsibly manage their effects on fellow employees, as well as their internal and external customers -- and enabling companywide efficiencies, scalability, strategic advantages, and differentiation.

Call CX+EX your Experience Leadership function, or your Brand Integrity function, or your North Star function. Treat it like the IS&T function, etc.

A program implies a self-contained effort or an effort that may be finished sometime. Neither is true for CX or EX. No matter how big your CS, CX, or EX teams are, you can never guarantee excellence, because frankly, every person in your enterprise (and your suppliers and partners) can make decisions or handoffs that mess up CX or EX. This is why CX and EX are NOT programs. They are functions like Finance, HR, IS&T, Safety, and so on, that require proactive sharing of responsibility among every employee, supplier, and partner companywide.

Shared responsibility across all employees for their respective ripple-effect on customers, both external and internal, expands the value and ROI of CX and EX. There is plenty of precedent for this: as a vital function,

  • Finance requires every manager to pay attention to budgeting at least quarterly.
  • HR requires every supervisor to pay attention to performance reviews and much more.
  • Safety requires every employee to pay attention to certain safety needs.
  • IS&T requires every employee to pay attention to how they use email and data and devices, and so on.
  • CX and EX leaders certainly can and should follow suit!

CX and EX responsibilities of every employee are not an extra burden on their plate. CX insights and EX insights are like regulations or industry standards for what it means to do a good job. "Three-quarters of executives said nobody in the organization is setting the roadmap for how to be an effective employee", reports Tiffani Bova, author of the newly released book, The Experience Mindset.

Indeed, CX and EX insights are even better, because they come from the hand that feeds you! Customers pay for your salary and budget and dividends. Employees make it possible for customers to do so. CX and EX responsibilities of every employee are simply tweaks of how they make decisions, how they communicate internally and externally, and how they make handoffs of their work to whoever uses it.

Let's all STOP using the word program with CX, EX, VoC, journey mapping, etc. Instead, let's START using the words function, initiative, effort, and way of life. CX and EX insights are your C-Suite's North Star to guide every strategy!

The key is in how you collect, clarify, communicate, and champion insights from customers and employees.

How to pivot from "programs" to "functions": 

How to combine EX = CX:

CX/EX Leadership influences how all managers manage. 

CX/EX Management controls touch points.