Why 1 in 4 of You Will Lose Your Job in 2020


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Your CFO doesn’t care about your customer experience (CX) surveys. She cares about the health of your business, and it’s unlikely she sees a direct link between your survey scores and the measurements she follows.

Meanwhile, your CEO is focused on your customers, but that doesn’t mean he cares about your surveys, either. As one business leader confessed to me, “I keep seeing these survey scores saying we’re doing great. Then I meet with customers who they tell me how frustrated they are. So I don’t believe in the surveys.”

By extension, that means he doesn’t believe in his CX team.

So by focusing on customers scores, you’re at risk. Forrester predicts that one in four CX pros will lose their jobs in the year ahead, because they aren’t showing business impact.

Measurements Beat Metrics

Metrics are survey scores – that’s what CX focuses on. We’re really into them. They’re nice and neat, and easier to collect.

Measurements are what the business cares about. But they are trapped in operational systems, making them messy and hard to nail down. Lost customers, reorder rates, order size, service costs, repeat business – those are all measurements with financial impact.

That’s where you grab your CFO’s interest. You’re at risk if you don’t tie your program into these measurements.

The Evolution of CX’s Trouble

I see this story played out repeatedly. A customer-focused leader introduces the concept of CX to the organization and builds a CX team. She believes in the power of CX, and the team puts together a survey system and introduces the Net Promoter Score (NPS) system or the Customer Effort Score to the company. All is right in the world.

Until that leader moves on. That’s when things get dicey.

The new boss isn’t steeped in CX philosophy. So she asks a simple question: “How does this impact the business?” And CX struggles to respond in a compelling way.

This happened to a friend of mine. Her boss was terrific, sharing the CX story throughout the company. She loved working for him. Then his position was eliminated.

His replacement met with her still-new team and shared that he didn’t really understand what they did. Furthermore, he said, “So, you have insights – so what? What are you doing to drive the business?”

Suddenly, my friend and her team were at risk of being among that 1 in 4.

How do you ensure you’re one of the 3 in 4 who will keep their jobs?

Or, better yet, how can you become one of the 25% of companies that are able to quantify CX benefits or achieve a competitive edge?

One way that we’ve seen work well is loosely based on the research shared in our book, How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? Using Journey Mapping to Drive Customer-Focused Change. My co-author Nicole recently addressed this topic here, too. To do this:

  1. Understand what the business cares about. Look for the measurements that matter and find a meaty business problem you can attack.
  2. Identify a journey and customer that impacts that measurement. Start with a journey, because since it involves multiple silos, it likely involves handoffs, a common source of customer friction. It’s also easier to impact than the entire end-to-end experience, as I discussed here. One phrase that came up repeatedly when we interviewed successful CX leaders for our book was “boiling the ocean.” Avoid that pitfall by choosing a focused journey. Identify a clear business problem, then rally your leadership to conquer it.
  3. Form a team that can create CX impact, as we discussed here and here. Involve every silo that touches the journey, including back-end teams such as IT, Finance, and Legal.
  4. Involve customers to learn what’s really driving their experience, so you truly understand what’s causing the lost business or low reorder rates. And remember – you can’t create a customer journey map if you don’t involve customers in the process.
  5. Identify the measurements that matter in the journey. You may have started with a high-level measurement, but you’ll discover many more, such as wait time, number of interactions, and handoffs. Track these as you…
  6. Drive change. Identify what most needs to change and rally your teams around these problems.
  7. Don’t forget to record the CX impact you’re having on those business measurements!

It’s the last part that will keep you out of that 1 in 4 at risk – showing how you’re actually impacting the business. And then bring that back to your CFO, so she can validate that you’re truly driving value.

Customer experience has a tremendous ability to impact your business – there’s no shortage of data to demonstrate that on a macro scale. But that doesn’t give you a blank check. You need to show your CX impact if you want to continue to drive change.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Tincher
Jim sees the world in a special way: through the eyes of customers. This lifelong passion for CX, and a thirst for knowledge, led him to found his customer experience consulting firm, Heart of the Customer (HoC). HoC sets the bar for best practices and are emulated throughout the industry. He is the author of Do B2B Better and co-author of How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer?, and he also writes Heart of the Customer’s popular CX blog.


  1. Jim,

    Good post.

    I totally agree that CEOs don’t buy into CX because it doesn’t demonstrate business impacts.

    The seven suggestions are fine but they aren’t rocket science. They’re basically about “aligning what you do with business results.” Since CX has been prevailing in the commercial world for a decade, and there’re many intelligent minds out there in the CX industry, why are most CX practitioners still failed to “align what they do with business results”?

    I could think of two reasons. 1) The CX practitioners ignore the fact that they should “align what they do with business results” in order to gain the buy-in of CEOs; 2) The CX practitioners are unable to “align what they do with business results.”

    What do you think?

  2. Accepting the 7 fixes that you’ve identified, the fundamental issue remains that CX practitioners tend to be too complacent and risk-averse when it comes to the connection of conventional-wisdom customer metrics to real-world business analytics – – and this renders their programs, and them, expendable. Senior enterprise executives, themselves under pressure for the tactical production of financial results, exert that same pressure downward on programs, groups and individuals.

    I’ll always come back to what can be considered a core issue. CX analysts, i.e. those looking to connect the dots between descriptive, perception and performance scores and business results, focus on correlation rather than causation.. For years, social scientists and consultants have warned the corporate world about making too much of correlation analysis, the simple regression technique which shows the relationship between one set of attitudes or behaviors and another.

    Customer and marketing management, and the cultures in which they function, have also historically relied more on the conventional wisdom brought about by their own experience and instincts, creative concepts under consideration, and engaging communication. Customer data analysis, where applied, has largely been of the straightforward correlation or cross-tab type, for evaluating simple, basic business elements. In sum, marketing, service, and CX in general, has been more about supporting big ideas than having objective, insightful information.

    The worthy goal is to identify connections, or data stream correlations, between one set of customer information and another, in ever smaller and smaller audience microsegments so that marketing and CX dollars can be more effectively spent. But, correlation is not causation, and reliance on these approaches makes aligning what is done with customers and actual business results, even if identified as an objective, an ongoing out-of-reach challenge. To avoid the likely fate identified in your headline, practitioners would be wise to remember that, where demonstrating causation results, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

  3. Great points, Jim. Much needed examination. Every time I present about metrics people are surprised at how they’ve missed the logic behind what drives what.

    The main problem is getting to crystal clear workflow metrics to focus execs’ and teams’ attention. When that’s done robustly, you’ll be emphasizing true leading indicators of customer sentiment and behaviors and, in turn, business growth.

    Here’s my latest webcast on this CX metrics:

    Choosing the right metrics may be the most pivotal point for CX performance.

  4. I have been in this discussion many times. And, it reminds me of countless arguments over the difference between causation (If you drink arsenic, the outcome is not a maybe) and correlation (if you smoke two packs of Camel unfiltered cigarettes every day starting at age 14, you might live to be 93 like my Uncle Pete). We fuss a lot about the right metric or tool to mimic ROI arithmetic adored by the C-suite. Marilyn Ferguson wrote in her classic book, The Aquarian Conspiracy, “In our lives and in our cultural institutions we have been poking at qualities with tools designed to detect quantities. By what yardstick do you measure a shadow, a candle flame? What does an intelligence test measure? Where in the medical armamentarium is the will to live? How big is an intention? How heavy is grief, how deep is love?”

    I have a friend who is a wealthy chicken grower. Jim gets truck loads of baby chicks and grows them in acres of buildings to maturity and then sells them to large chicken producers like Pilgrim’s Pride. He can tell you the exact square footage, temperature, atmospheric conditions, feeding size and timing that will produce the fattest chicken the fastest. His COO is a super computer. His buyers love his chickens and have given him lots of awards and accolades for his results. They are uninterested in the methods he uses or the journeys his chickens might take. Jim once told me he plays music for his chickens and that certain pieces by Brahms, Mozart, and Beethoven created the best results. When I visited him at his giant chicken ranch, his wife told me in an aside that she wasn’t so sure about the impact of the music on his chicken production, but Jim sure loved to listen to it.

    When I asked the late Herb Kelleher, founder and CEO of Southwest Airlines the best way to create a customer-centric organization, he did not mention metrics or journey maps or surveys. He simply said, “Get the leadership of the organization to love their customers.” Perhaps our CX plans and programs should not try so hard to compete with EBIT-talk and scientific formulas, but simply find new and innovative ways to help leaders hear their customers tell their stories…up close and personal.

  5. The core of the issue is that real-world measurements, guiding actionability, do beat metrics. And, if the measurements truly capture and prioritize key causal factors in customer decision-making and perceived CX value, whether emotional, tangible, or both (or the kind of music customers like), the capable CX analyst should be able to connect the dots to financial results. This is why, when conducting CX transactional and relationship research, I’ve continued to apply customer advocacy measurement across a broad range of business sectors: http://customerthink.com/marketing_case_customer_advocacy_measurement/

  6. To Sampson Lee: We see ample examples of both of your two possible reasons why most CX practitioners still fail to align what they do with business results. They don’t know that they need to connect the dots, and they don’t know how to do it even if they do realize that they should.

    To add some more detail, many CX people think that the reasons for improving CX are obvious; they’re disconnected from what executives really care about, which is not CSAT or NPS, it’s revenue growth, profitability, cost reduction, and their stock price. What’s more, many CX practitioners are specialists in measuring NPS or conducting ethnographic studies or design — they’re not typical business people. So, they don’t know how to make an ROI model even if they do realize that they should.

  7. There certainly are CEO’s who don’t care about CX. That doesn’t mean they are right. On one hand a process like NPR is great for taking the pulse of a customer base. On the other hand, the fact that your pulse is OK doesn’t mean you are healthy. Ditto with companies. In my line of work, I find that CEO’s don’t care about leads either. They just care about revenue. However, giving a little attention to what is being spent on leads and what happens as a result of that spend will fix revenue problems. Ignoring the effectiveness of lead processes does not fix anything. A survey is an opinion. It is valuable as part of a trend line. A purchase is a decision. A purchase has obvious value – but then it is also valuable to find out what caused you to lose in a win-loss analysis. The topic is not as simple as it looks. It could be that one in four CX managers lose their job in 2020. But that may not be because their function was suddenly less valuable. It could simply be that their CEO is forever in error, but never in doubt.

  8. To Chip Bell: Much as I love the late Herb Kelleher, there is a huge difference between companies that were founded on a bedrock of customer centricity (like Southwest, USAA, and Vanguard) and companies that were founded on other things (like maximizing shareholder value — even if that means locking in customers with some form of monopoly and then exploiting them).

    I think of the Southwests of the world as Lady Gaga companies because they were “born this way.” The execs there don’t need to be convinced that CX is important. (Although even the execs at Lady Gaga firms have to make decisions about where to spend their limited budgets, so ROI models are still helpful.)

    At most other companies — e.g., all four of the largest US retail banks, three of the four biggest US airlines — CX practitioners better be able to connect the dots between CX and $. There is nothing wrong with that. Businesses exist to make money. CFOs are useful. And it’s not that hard to model the ROI of CX — we do it for our research, and our Total Economic Impact team does it for clients. It’s a straightforward, mechanical process. Hard work but not rocket science.

    BTW, when I hear people start to get into the “correlation versus causation” debate I just ask them to argue the reverse of this proposition: Happy customers are less likely to switch business to a competitor and more likely to buy additional products. Does anyone really want to make the reverse of that case? “Our unhappy customers are more likely to stay with us and more likely to buy more stuff from us than our happy customers!” No one has ever taken me up on it. We all have a good laugh at how silly that idea is.

  9. Most attribute the following quote to Peter Drucker: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Metrics are important. They give you a score card to help you make decisions. But, there is one metric that is almost more important than most… Did the customer come back? (And, how often?) Generally speaking, happy customers get you higher scores. Returning customers add to the bottom line. And, the CFO is looking at the bottom line. If your customer service/experience metrics are driving a better experience that gets customers to return and buy more, then the CFO should be happy.

  10. Team,
    I don’t agree that the primary issue is correlation versus causation or how the data is analyzed. I come back to Samson’s core question. We all agree that most CX pros don’t tie to business value. But WHY don’t they?

    When I look at a question like this, I like to use the ADKAR change model (quick refresher: To change, a person must be Aware of the need to change, Desire to change, Know what to change, by Able to change and have that change Reinforced).

    There are certainly some who are not Aware of the need to tie to business value. In my first CX job, I had the world’s best business case, but didn’t even think about using it – I just said we we needed to listen to customers, and never included the value to the business. This also ties into Desire – I just thought that we should listen to customers, no business case required. Again, I was young! I see a lot of CX pros in this space. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve put business KPIs in the scope for our projects, and the CX lead removes it, replacing “improve customer churn rate by 10%” with something unmeasurable like “improve the customer experience.”

    Others do not Know how to tie in business value or have the Ability to do it. Harley, you all do great work at tying business value across many organizations. But this can be hard to do within a company, minus huge customer populations. If a B2B CX organization wants to take credit for the 5% revenue increase, that’s pretty difficult to pull off – sales and marketing will be unlikely to let you take that claim. For our clients, we work on looking at specific journeys, as referenced above. It’s much easier to show that those who go through your new ordering process order more than to try and claim it across the entire experience. Many CX pros don’t tie to business value simply because they don’t know how to do it, or don’t have the analytical capability.

    Lastly, sometimes this is the cause of the leader, who implicitly believes in the power of CX and doesn’t require it. Which is short-sited.

    I’m amazed at how many people on LinkedIn – and even on CustomerThink – say “Why don’t executives care about customers?” That’s just a distraction. Show me an executive who doesn’t care about customers, and I’ll show you a stock you should short sell. Executives care. They just need to understand how this specific customer need warrants investment, and that business case is too rare.

    I’ll probably rerun this as part of a future blog post – thanks, all, for your input!

  11. Jim,

    CX practitioners ignore the fact that they should “align what they do with business results” in order to gain the buy-in of CEOs is not because of they unaware of this fact; they are unable to “align what they do with business results” is not due to the lack of know-how. In my view, the real reasons are:

    1. Business Model. Unless you don’t read any news and articles re CX, it’s almost impossible for anyone in the industry unaware of the fact that CEOs don’t support CX because it doesn’t show business impacts.

    The inconvenience truth is, the business model of most CX consulting firms and independent CX consultants is consultancy on culture transformation, emotional engagement, employee engagement and service improvements.

    These external CX folks will have no income if the business drivers aren’t about customer interactions.

    2. Positioning. Largely being influenced by the opinions of CX experts, most CX functions in enterprises are functional, not strategic. CX executives are in parallel position as marketing and service and fight against each other for the company’s limited resources.

    These internal CX executives will have nothing to do if the business drivers aren’t about customer interactions.

    Based on the above two reasons, this problem – CX can’t drive business results – won’t and can’t be solved.


  12. Great discussion. If/when a recession hits (2020?) then any programs viewed as “fluffy” will be the first to get cut. I fear that the vast majority of CX programs (75% based on recent CT research) are at risk due to lack of tangible business results.

    Sampson raised an interesting but different question — are CX pros working on the wrong things? I would tend to agree that there’s been too much focus on improving touchpoints, when a number of studies show greater returns by improving the end-to-end journey and/or creating a differentiated experience.

    That said, the issue at hand is really about CX pros proving their value, by demonstrating that VoC programs and the recommended CX changes move the needle on something that senior leaders care about.

    The challenge is the wide variety of skills that CX pros are supposed to possess. According to CXPA, they should have these skills:

    • Customer Experience Strategy
    • Voice of Customer, Customer Insight and Understanding
    • Customer-Centric Culture
    • Organizational Adoption and Accountability
    • Metrics, Measurement and ROI
    • Experience Design, Improvement and Innovation

    That’s a lot to master!

    In my last CX study (200+ CX initiatives) I asked which of these skills were “missing or significantly limited in your company?” Around 6 out of 10 selected Org Adoption and Experience Design. Metrics/ROI was tied for 3rd at 42%.

    What was interesting is that most ‘beginning’ CX initiatives didn’t view ROI as a big issue (29%), but that rose to 51% for ‘developing’ and then dropped to 19% for ‘winning’.

    What this suggests to me is that it takes time to really understand the importance of ROI. CX programs are launched with good intentions and then, a year or two or three down the line, someone asks: “What are we getting for all this work?”

    Seems to me the CX industry needs to do a couple of things better:

    1. Raise the priority of developing ROI skills so it’s not ignored in the early stages. If you can’t make a business case for what you’re doing, none of the other skills matter.

    2. Provide more education and tools to help actually build the business case. I think many CX pros have a general idea of the value of improving CX, but struggle to execute on internal “selling” with sponsoring execs.

  13. Bob,

    Lack of ROI skills could be a reason but it’s not the most important one for the disconnect between CX and business result.

    Insufficient desire for the connection is the key – it has conflict of interest with the business model and positioning of CX consultants and executives.

    Business drivers can be product features, product quality, pricing, advertising & promotions, etc.; they aren’t necessarily related to customer interactions.

    For example, when CX consultants found out that the business drivers aren’t customer interactions, then customer journey mapping and surveys are all their business with their clients, since things like advertising, production or operations aren’t their coverage of consultancy.

    Or, when CX executives discovered what drive business results is pricing or product, not service, then after they’ve presented the facts to management and let marketing to follow, most of the people in the CX dept. are redundant.

    Yes, the ROI skills could be improved, however, it won’t help much as the motivation for CX practitioners to connect what they do with business result is weak.

  14. Sampson, if a company believes that CX is about improving interactions, and hires CX pros to do that, their jobs won’t be lost because they failed to do something else… like improve products or cut prices.

    They will, however, be fired if they can’t show how improving interactions delivers benefits to the company. And in most cases, it does.

    Like it or not, CX is more commonly positioned as a way to improve the interactions *around* a product or service. That is how Pine/Gilmore defined CEM in their seminal book “The Experience Economy.”

    Companies already have organization focused on product improvement and price optimization, so the “green field” is improving the interactions and processes that glue together the customer’s journey. There’s plenty of opportunity there, but only if CX pros can demonstrate that their work contributes to business value.

    That said, I’m sure there are plenty of businesses that can succeed by focusing mainly on product or price. I don’t think many CEOs see this as the job of CX pros.

    Of course, if a CEO bets on CX = process improvement and a better strategy is product excellence, it is the CEO’s job that is at risk!

  15. I suppose it’s advisable for any employee at any level to convey to others “I’m making a valuable and important contribution to the company,” and never leave it solely to metrics to perform that advocacy. What you describe for CX professionals is similar to the position of IT workers and management 20 years ago. Companies that saw IT as a cost center, a ‘necessary evil’ in the organization, or ancillary to core operations had the same low opinion of IT workers. “Prove your ‘impact’ to the business, or you’re fired.”

    It wasn’t until companies began not only to make IT integral to strategy, but created new lines of business where information was the core product did IT professionals get recognized as drivers of revenue growth. The downstream effect was more job security and greater demand for IT talent. Strange as it seems, even today some businesses operate with the mentality that IT is a cost center whose budget somehow must be pared every year. I think that’s a reflection of the competitive situation for the particular industry in which the company operates, and a bit of myopia, as well.

    The same for CX. Companies in hospitality, professional sports, theme parks, and travel industries are keenly aware that they must differentiate their companies, brands, and products on customer experience. But for companies manufacturing machine tools, specialty chemicals, and capital equipment the competitive pressures are likely less acute when it comes to CX. Like yesteryear’s IT pros working in data processing ‘cost centers’, CX practitioners face the same challenge: they can crow all day about the good things they’re doing, but if senior management doesn’t consider CX central for strategic execution, their job status is tenuous, at best. In those situations, what “the numbers” say probably won’t save many jobs.

  16. Bob,

    “CX is a key differentiator” is a strong belief in the contemporary business world. For CX (customer interactions to be exact) to be a key differentiator, it means that you stand out from the competition by delivering superb customer interactions or service experiences.

    To achieve big things (RETURN) you’ve to pay a high price (INVESTMENT). Harley Manning stated in his post “Why customer experience is coming under fire”, “CX transformations are massive, take years, and cost millions.” It’s no exaggeration.

    CEOs expect CX initiatives would drive significant business results, i.e. acquisition (first-time purchase), retention (repeat purchase) and referral. However, for CX to generate huge business impacts means the product- or price-focused enterprises have to change their competition strategy and company DNA. It’s extremely difficult.

    Yes, you could always lower the ROI expectations by enhancing customer interactions at some unimportant touch-points or pure service environments, and improving the metrics like CSAT, NPS and CES. But these kind of initiatives won’t be able to enter the radar screen of CEOs.

    The initial CX initiatives which can attract CEOs’ attention would never be a small one. Even though it’s implemented by phases, but the initial set-up and the planned investment shouldn’t be tiny.

    I’m curious what kind of CX initiatives that can significantly improve ROI (business results NOT CX scores) in a relatively short period of time – say, in a year. Any examples?

  17. One of the best places to execute CX initiatives is at the point of revenue conversion ie when your customers need to pay, complete paperwork, submit documents- at Lightico we call it the last mile.

  18. Sampson,

    Yes, there are many examples of CX initiatives that can deliver significant ROI quickly. That’s probably a good topic for an entire post, so thanks for that! 🙂

    To give you a sense, we see strong (and quick) ROI from projects that fix broken internal processes to remove problems that cause customers to reach out to the contact center. This can range from something like what Vanguard did recently where they changed an internal process buried deep in back-end systems that was causing a particular type of funds transfer to fail and get “kicked out to paper.” Changing some business rules in the back-end systems meant a sharp decline in tense calls to their (excellent) contact center — that cost reduction is one of the easiest things there is to quantify, and I did write a post two weeks ago that describes how to quantify it.

    On the bigger, but still less-than-one-year category, Sprint discovered that a huge volume of their calls about incorrect bills stemmed not from incorrect bills but from customers who were confused about the plan they had purchased. The root cause was that Sprint had too many plans, and many of those plans were excessively complex. So, the solution was to reduce the number of plans they offered by a NET 75%, including the introduction of five new “Simply Everything” plans that were far less complex. This produced literally billions of dollars in savings from reduced customer care costs and was one of the featured case studies in Outside In.

  19. Harley’s point about granular CX initiatives creating attractive ROI, i.e. those programs that address deficiencies in processes such as services, is an excellent one Small bites of the CX apple, small commitment of resources, quick wins.

    Too often, CX practitioners begin ‘boil the ocean’ large initiatives, which tend to me more expensive, more complex, and take longer to complete. With these larger, more macro customer value issues, such as the example represented by Sprint (http://customerthink.com/theatre-of-the-cut-throat-wireless-price-war-commoditized-battles-of-the-bottom-feeders/), the inability to generate positive CX financial results often stems from a passive, commoditized, product-centric and sales-centric approach to value. In Sprint’s particular case, after abusing and confusing customers for years, the company simplified plans too late for the organization to fend off takeover by T-Mobile.

  20. Sampson, great point. Just getting “any” ROI is not enough. Some minor tweak to customer service could generate a positive term, but be worthless to CEOs.

    That said, grand and glorious CX or other transformation projects rarely work. Remember the bad old CRM days?

    In our study, I found many example of CX success doing what Harley advocates. Find a significant short-term win without “boiling the ocean” while also pursuing the longer-term goal of major CX improvement that the CEO will notice.

    To use an old quote: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

    One CX leader I interviewed (very large tech company) really discouraged the idea of “quick wins” because it distracted from working on the “hard stuff” that really makes a difference. Still, they are on a five year journey that delivered value in year 1, year 2, etc. while working towards their CX vision.

    And, you’ll be happy to know it wasn’t all about process improvement. One key CX initiative was make a major update to a product they were selling. This, however, was a rarity in our study.

    Personally, I don’t like using the term ROI, because it suggests that all value can be represented in a spreadsheet calculation. The key is delivering value that sponsors care about. Hard numbers are essential, but it’s the complete “business case” that CX pros need to learn how to develop and sell.

  21. Jim, thank you for sharing this and I’m looking forward to reading your book! Coming from customer service and contact center, I find that it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that CX is just the “right thing to do” from an altruistic perspective. But your post is a reminder that, while it’s nice to be able to take care of the customer, and is often good business, we need to be able to prove that it makes good business sense to the rest of the business and is driving the right results.

  22. Bob, I agree with you that “All roads lead to Rome” – the success path to achieve the ultimate goal of CX could be having some easy wins first to avoid to take grand and glorious projects at the beginning to “boil the ocean”, or focusing on the “hard stuff” that really makes a difference and not being distracted by the “quick wins” like the example you quoted.

    Harley, thanks for your two examples; they remind me of what Amazon had done in around year 2000.
    Amazon launched an internal campaign “The Best Service is No (Need for) Service”, and at that time, Bill Price – one of the advisers of CustomerThink – was their Customer Service Director. The basic idea of this campaign is to minimize or eliminate the needs of customers to contact Amazon.

    To achieve the goal, CS dept. dug out the root cause why customers contact Amazon and took the lead to coordinate and work out with other dept. to minimize these unneeded and unwanted contacts. Results? Customers are very happy and Amazon had significantly reduced the cost-to-serve.

    No doubt this campaign was a huge success. But since CS can handle this kind of things nicely – improve customer experience and prove the ROI – why we need CX?

    My THREE suggestions for improving the ROI and achieving the ultimate goal of CX – through a CX transformation – to create values for both the customer and enterprise, i.e. delivering superb customer interactions and service experiences for the customer, and turning the enterprise into customer-centric and making CX as their key differentiator so that they can achieve significant business results. And of course, to help CX pros to demonstrate their value and avoid having their jobs eliminated.

    1. CX isn’t for all companies. State clear that CX is for companies who are ready – i.e. well aware all the costs involved for a CX transformation – so that these companies understand what kind of risk and ROI they should expect. It will increase the success rate of CX.

    2. CX isn’t for SMEs, price- and product-focused companies. SMEs don’t have the resources to take the CX transformation. Price- and product-focused companies will weaken their original competitive edge by diluting their limited resources on building a new competitive edge which is so difficult to achieve. It will reduce the failure rate of CX.

    3. CX is a key differentiator for a minority of companies. Stop promoting that CX is suitable for all companies. It’s only good for those are well aware all the costs involved for the CX transformation and the service-focused/related companies. It builds realistic expectations of the ROI of CX.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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