What I Learned Through Years of CX Leadership

Here are the three biggest lessons learned that have helped frame my thinking as a CX leader.

On a February weekend in 2016, I received a call from the president of our payments division where he posed the following question, “How would you like to become the chief client officer?”

This was not only a new role to our organization, but at the time, a relatively new executive position within organizations that began to realize the importance of all things CX — the client experience. 

At the time I was responsible for running two sales teams that were both performing at a very high-level and fundamentally dialed-in on what it takes to be successful. Being the chief client officer meant that the sales life was over, and an operations life would begin. I’d been there before and was debating the fundamental question of do you really want to do this.

Yes. Yes, I do.

So now, as I look back on the past six-plus years, here are the three biggest lessons learned that have helped frame my thinking as a CX leader:

1. People: Empowering Your CX Teams

As a leader, and particularly as a CX leader, you are managing the team that has direct contact on a monthly, weekly, daily and by-the-minute basis with your customers. As such, this team is fundamentally the most important component of how the market views your enterprise.

It is up to you, as the leader, to develop and cultivate the team to fully understand that responsibility.

I’m a believer in the equation: EX + CX = RX

  • EX = Employee Experience as demonstrated by their level of engagement.
  • CX = Client Experience which can be readily measured but most importantly through the “ease of doing business” lens.
  • RX = Revenue Expansion and retention as a result of the absolute focus on EX and CX.

To be clear, driving employee engagement is not about pizza parties, T-Shirts or even free days off. It actually requires thought, and more importantly the input of the very team you are trying to engage.

There is no “one size fits all” on this front, but fundamentally being highly communicative, fostering two-way conversations, demonstrating that feedback has been actioned-on and treating people like adults tends to produce amazing results.

Related Article: What Do Customer Experience Teams Actually Look Like?

2. Consumers Rule!

Wait. What? Of course, consumers rule, but what has that got to do with lessons learned?

B2B is no more, and B2C rules the day. To be clear, my world was B2B, but the clients we engaged with daily are consumers first. Full stop.

You don’t enter your place of business and then suddenly lose your identity; your biases carry forward and are reflected in the expectations you have of the service provider with whom you are engaged. For too long B2B enterprises would hide behind the idea of we don’t need that or can’t deliver that — that is a B2C expectation.


The pandemic will yield more and more lessons (learned) as we study the full implications on human behavior. One thing that is not subject to debate: expectations accelerated and the tolerance for anything other than what I receive as a consumer is simply unacceptable.

So, client journey maps are lovely, but if you do not review the experience you’re creating for your clients through the lens of a consumer you are simply in limbo waiting to be disrupted by a provider who understands the importance of all things experience related.

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