Framing Customer Experience to Win Leadership Buy-In


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Using Framing techniques for customer experience, we can focus the attention of people in our organizations and win the critical buy-in needed with leadership to create a culture of customer focus.

Framing is an effective technique for focusing the attention of people within a specific concept. Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman are often seen as the founders of Framing theory in management and the term was initially used by Fairhurst and Sarr.

The central concept of rational choice (people usually make the most rational choice in any given circumstance) is generally accepted as true, however Framing theory suggests that how an individual is presented a different idea or concept (how it’s framed) can encourage people to adopt alternate points of view.

Frames are abstract notions that can help organizations or groups develop structure and social meaning. Frames affect the perception of an idea by it audience. This method of developing an idea not only tells individuals what to think, but how to think about the idea.

3 Elements of Framing Customer Experience to Win Executive Buy-In

Effective framing requires adherence to three general concepts of message delivery according to Fairhurst & Sarr (1996):

  1. Language – The words we choose in delivering our message of experience.
  2. Thought – An articulated strategy that we want to implement.
  3. Forethought – Clearly defined expectations of processes which will yield maximum return from investment.

Language helps us to remember information and serves to transform the way in which we view situations. To use language, people must have thought and reflected on their own interpretation frameworks and those of others. Leaders can and should learn Framing spontaneously in certain circumstances. Being able to do so, is related to having an insight in what the future will bring to predict Framing opportunities. In other words, leaders must make plans so that they can be spontaneous.

7 Effective Framing Techniques to Win Organization Buy-In


  1. Metaphor. To give a new meaning to an idea or to a program by comparing it with something else.
  2. Stories (myths and legends). Framing a subject by telling an anecdote in a vivid and memorable way.
  3. Traditions (rites, rituals and ceremonies). Patterning and defining an organization at regular time increments to confirm and reproduce organizational values.
  4. Slogans, jargon and catchphrases. Framing a subject in a memorable and familiar fashion.
  5. Artifacts. Illuminating corporate values through physical objects (vestiges). Sometimes in a way language can not do.
  6. Contrast. To describe a subject in terms of what it not is.
  7. Spin. Talking about a concept so as to give it a positive or negative connotation.

Framing customer experience in our organizations, specifically with senior leadership and executives is critical in order to develop a culture of experience in organizations today. The quality of communication we use can drastically affect the meaning order perceive from the message conveyed. It’s the process by which we develop our chosen form of communication that will define the reception of our idea within the group we’re trying to convince.

As CX professionals, it’s ever critical that we master effective ways to frame customer experience with senior executives, general management, and even our front-line agents in order to create a culture of customer experience. Winning customers with service and customer experience requires organizations to be bought-in to the strategy of differentiating experiences. The level of buy-in within organizations will often be determined by the effectiveness of CX practitioners to help frame the general strategy, concepts, and potential returns of customer experience management for the organization.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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