Share on LinkedIn

Yes, this work is hard. Sometimes we all feel like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill. But after thirty years of doing this work, I am still grateful every day that I get to do it.

Here are three things I’m grateful for in this work…and three actions to take to “earn the right” to keep doing it.

Grateful: We unite organizations to focus on customers’ lives.

The role of the Chief Customer Officer or Customer Experience Officer or Chief Marketer has the capacity to unite the organization to focus on growth by improving customers’ lives. We have a seat at the table with leaders in refocusing how decisions are made. We influence the starting point of processes – to start from the customers’ perspective …the customers’ life. And as a result, we drive a new business decision blueprint for the organization.

Earn the Right to Continue…

Don’t boil the ocean. Don’t try to improve every customer journey, every process, and every action. Put the big strategy document in the top drawer of your desk and break the work into bite-size pieces. For example, engage with leaders to refocus decision making in one part of the customer journey until the new decision making behavior is embedded. Show change that occurred as a result. As a result you will earn the right to move on and expand the effort.

Grateful: We guide actions that lead to business growth.

For the first time in this past economic downturn, leaders weren’t quick to immediately sweep customer efforts off the list of investments as they were seeking to cut costs. Most leaders now accept that organic business growth with current customers is critical to the long-term success of their business. And they accept that part of our role is to establish an understanding of how to measure and guide that growth.

Earn the Right to Continue…

Don’t over-complicate the math. Establish with leaders a simple articulation of net customer asset growth that is the outcome of incoming customers less outgoing customers. Take customers off the spreadsheet and engage leaders in personalizing this data by using whole numbers. And most importantly, as noted in the point above, engage them to personally communicate this outcome of the entire customer experience by fearlessly sharing this outcome with the organization.

Grateful: We guide customer listening and feedback.

Customer listening is often one of the early actions of this work. As we assemble and engage the organization in the words of the customer, we turn on “aha” lights and drive action…if it is done simply and with operational relevance.

Earn the Right to Continue…

Simplify and orient multiple sources of information to achieve what drives action and commitment: convergence and volume. In other words, be the glue that brings together social media feedback, verbatim comments from your surveys, incoming volunteer complaint data and survey results. Unite this information by stage of the experience, with experiential elements to visualize the actions the customer needs to take that drives their feedback. Play calls, show videos, encourage people to go do what you are about to present as an emerging issue or opportunity prior to the presentation. Then knit it all together to tell the story of customers’ lives with operational relevance and urgency.

While these actions above seem simple…it is hard to execute these in this simple manner. But as every CCO or CXO knows… our work is about cutting through the silos to engage the company to take action to improve customers’ lives and drive business growth. Hard, yes. But we’re grateful that it’s our life’s work. If you ask any committed CX professional and they’ll say they can’t imagine doing anything else.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I’m thankful to be doing this work with all of you!



  1. Well said. Amen…..even though my wife still finds it hard to understand why this work, frustrating and challenging though it so often can be, is so gratifying for me. Like you’ve indicated, what we do is as much a calling as it is a profession.

  2. And, I am grateful to have your voice and extraordinary work providing wise guidance to the professional practice that we have all dedicated our lives to influencing, enriching, and improving.

  3. Michael
    You are so right… it’s hard to explain the passion around this work! Gratefully, our numbers are growing and we are making this work part of the critical competencies of business!


  4. Christine,
    Thanks so much…you, like me…love that we need to earn the right to this work! I think that’s part of the secret sauce in this work…knowing that this continues no matter what our most recent success is.



Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here