Forrester says that 25% of customer experience professionals will lose their jobs in 2020. Here’s how to keep yours.

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Many customer experience (CX) initiatives and projects are currently failing to meet the expectations of both customers and businesses.

That’s not news.

What is new, however, is that in recent months we have seen rising calls for CX projects to prove their return on investment (ROI). And, if that wasn’t enough, Forrester is predicting that ‘One in four CX pros will lose their job’ in 2020.

Now, anyone who has experience in a corporate environment and hears about a project facing a new ROI challenge knows that this is often code for things like ‘why are we doing this?’,’ I don’t understand it’, ‘I don’t agree with it’, ‘I don’t like it’,’ what’s the best way to kill this?’, and ‘who approved this?’

When this happens, what is clear is that the project owners have not demonstrated their value and relevance to the core business.

Forrester’s prediction is a manifestation of that in human terms, i.e. if you can’t prove the value of your work, then we will eliminate your job.

That may have many in the CX community gripped with fear.

But, what is clear is that too many CX projects are not aligned with their business’ objectives and strategy. And are being viewed as ‘nice to have’.

I’d go further and suggest that many CX leaders don’t know how their initiatives or projects support or enable the achievement of the business’ overall strategy and objectives.

I know this because I’ve asked a lot of them.

When I do, I usually ask two questions:

The first question is: What is your experience strategy?

This typically gets a response something like ‘We want to create an effortless, digital, AI-enabled, connected, omni-channel blah blah blah buzzword buzzword buzzword ……customer experience.’

I tend not to dwell on their first answer and move quickly onto the second question, which is: How does your experience strategy support or enable the achievement of the business’ overall strategy and objectives?

Now, this question is more often than not met with silence, blank faces and, sometimes looks of confusion.

And, therein lies the problem.

As a CX professional or leader, if you can’t answer the second question with clear links back to the outcomes that you want to achieve and what they mean in terms of pounds and pennies or dollars and cents for the business then stop right there and consider starting again.

I’d suggest that you start by thinking about what the business wants to achieve and what that means in terms of outcomes that you can influence.

Once you have done that, then that should help you focus on what the right things to do and focus on are. That, in turn, will help you deliver both ROI and worth to the business.

If you don’t do that, then you might just be one of those folks that will lose their job in 2020.

This post was originally published on Forbes.com.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

1 COMMENT

  1. Adrian,

    You asked two great questions!

    However, the realm of conventional CX – which is focused on improving customer interactions – could hardly “support or enable the achievement of the business’ overall strategy and objectives” when the companies aren’t service-focused.

    In my view, CX professionals should be the one who advises where to add or cut resources, NOT the one to be fired or laid off.

    CX includes everything that customers can perceive – all experiences at the pre-purchase, at-purchase and post-purchase stages delivered by various functions and channels.

    That said, just because CX includes everything that would affect the feeling of customers throughout the entire customer lifecycle, doesn’t mean that it has to do everything. No functions can. The nature of CX dictates its role – strategic and not functional.

    If services have to be improved, leave it to Customer Service. If products or pricing are in trouble, let the Marketing folks handle that. Let the respective functions do their jobs.

    The role of CX should never be functional. It ought to be strategic and monitoring. It identifies what has gone wrong, where resources are used poorly and ensures brand promises are delivered.

    This direction is what CX should be heading towards. Without a neutral perspective, how can it render the best and non-biased solutions for companies to deliver their brand promises, yet satisfy customers’ needs and achieve business results?

    To survive and thrive, CX professionals must take on a strategic role.

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