Turn overwhelm into excitement for your CX team in 2023


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This article will help you to turn the 2023 mountain of uncertainty, doubt and overwhelm into excitement and anticipation for the journey.

Many CX teams read articles from CX experts about the trends for 2023, and instead of being filled with excitement, they are filled with dread and despair.

People ask me these questions as they get off the blocks at the start of a year:

How will we achieve differentiation if we struggle to get the basics right?
How will we move the needle on the metrics that our executives are addicted to?
How will we engage the entire organization when teams are measured as silos and operate primarily without considering how the customer traverses our silos?
How do we engage and deliver value to the organization as a CX team?

As you look at these questions, I know you also find this challenging, and although there are answers, the truth is that we operate in complex environments.

CX is often slapped on top of a dysfunctional set of processes and systems, and the expectation is that the CX team will be the silver bullet that relieves all the pain.

Most CX teams are set up for failure as they are
Not given the mandate to make decisions
Not given the support from executive leadership to effect the necessary change
Not listened to when they make recommendations
Not given the tools, budget or resources to make a substantial impact
Not positioned as change agents that will take the organization to the next level
Set up as a silo that has to hustle to engage various silos in the organization to work together.

Mostly they are sent from pillar to post to fight fires and find superficial solutions to problems. They often have no alternative but to put plasters on severe underlying problems. On top of that, they have the pressure and demand to constantly show results in scorecards that do not consider the entire system.

The battle is lost even before a CX team has started. Or that is what it feels like for many CX teams!

Many organizations’ structures are not efficient in supporting a central CX team to thrive at improving the customer experience.

So, should a CX team give up?
Is it just too hard?
Is a great CX unachievable in a large organization?

Is there anything a CX team can do about the overwhelm and hopelessness of standing at the start of a year with KPIs and demands that feel like it completely exceeds their capacity and power to do what needs to be done?

Here are a few ideas that might empower you to take the daunting out of 2023!

Agree on clear goals.
Often in large organizations, goals need to be appropriately negotiated. Usually, it is a one-directional process of leaders putting down their demands.
Once you have a demand statement from your c-suite, take the time to position your needs to achieve what they want. Communicate with clarity what you need to succeed. Spend more time on alignment to ensure a higher likelihood of success. Agree on goals at the c-suite level, then communicate the goals across the organization.

The CX team and everyone that needs to be involved in making that happen need to understand the goals and be excited about it.

Ensure that you adopt a superior toolbox.
Upgrade your methods and processes continuously as far as CX design and implementation is concerned. Look for the shortest path to the most impactful results.

Nurture beneficial relationships.
Set up mutually beneficial agreements with stakeholders. People will help you for only one of two reasons. One is to avoid or decrease pain, and two is to increase pleasure or move closer to the promise of pleasure. If you understand your role players better, you can engage them in a much more strategic manner that will assist in you achieving your objectives. Ask these questions: What do they need from me? And What do I need from them?

Ensure that you make each other shine with team contracts.
We are excellent with dishing out work, but most teams could be better at contracting and agreeing with each other on how they will get the job done. If your team is set up for success with clear expectations that they contracted with each other, they will pridefully deliver to their purpose. A great tool to use is “The personal user manual”. The manual helps teams understand each other better. It removes assumptions and makes it clear to everyone what your ideal way of working is.

Create a success roadmap for the year.
Set your roadmap up in such a way that it celebrates the wins and the milestones. Create pride in every deliverable and celebrate what is done well instead of focusing only on risks and non-delivery. Often, the fear of failing permeates how we communicate our roadmaps, project plans, and what we focus on. Pick an initiative you know is likely to succeed and something small enough to deliver in a quarter, do that first. Set your team up for success and grow their confidence early in the year. Once delivered, celebrate.

There is no silver bullet for operating in a complex environment where CX teams have to rely on the rest of the organization to work together to deliver solutions, so the customer has a better experience.

Through these five practical pieces of advice, I hope you find energy and inspiration to give you fuel to make an impact in 2023.

Agree on Clear goals
Adopt a superior toolbox
Nurture beneficial relationships
Make each other shine
Create success roadmap

For me, this year is the year of simplifying, stripping back all the frills, and focusing on the basics.

Stay brave and committed to unlocking your genius.

Chantel Botha
I'm Chantel Botha, the author of "The Customer Journey Mapping Field Guide" and the founder of BrandLove. I help business leaders to empower their teams to live their brand proudly. I am passionate about closing the gap between what a brand promises and delivers in reality. Employees are often the moment of truth in customers' experiences with a brand. Over the last 15 years, I have perfected the recipe to turn ordinary employees into Brand Warriors.


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