m4comm Treat Every Day as CX Day

Why We All Should Treat Every Day as CX Day

The 7th annual CX Day is on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.

It’s always an exciting time for me because it’s when we celebrate customers, the customer experience (CX) profession, and each other. Last week, I was a guest on a twitter chat and I said just that, and we should treat every day as CX Day.

I’m very proud of my own organization, the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) for starting this wonderful celebration. In fact, you will find a webpage created specifically for CX Day that has many resources listed.

CX Day is about celebrating CX and those employees and companies that deliver CX. However, it’s so much more. It’s about celebrating corporate values, employees, customers, suppliers, and companies. All of these components work together – think of spokes in a bicycle wheel – coming together at the center – to deliver quality experiences to the customer that fuel growth.

There are three components here – culture, CX, and employee experience (EX). When these components align, growth is achieved.

I refer to culture, CX, and EX as the holy trinity of growth.

At the top, is culture.

Everything stems from culture. By definition it’s those values, beliefs, and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and conduct business. Culture starts at the top as the CEO and other C-suite members drive the culture. The hope is that they lead the organization in such a way that it survives and thrives.

Next is employee experience.

Management must drive and foster the employee experience.

It’s important to differentiate between employee experience and engaged employees.

Employee Experience is the sum of the interactions and perceptions of those interactions employees have about the organization in which they work. When you improve the employee experience, you get more engaged employees.

An engaged employee is enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. They take positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests. In addition, they advocate the organization to others.

In the US, we’re still hovering in the 33-34 percent range of engaged employees. It’s been a tough nut to crack.

But through research we know that engaged employees drive CX. CX leaders get this truth. They have a clear focus and understanding of the importance of engaged employees. So, CX leaders ensure engaged employees.

The third component is customer experience.

When employees are engaged and understand how they fit in the organization, it’s easier for the CEO and other senior leaders to get them to buy into the CX vision, why it’s important and their role in it. This enables them to take ownership for their piece of the CX effort.

When these three components are aligned, corporate growth results.

But is it just one day? To be honest, we should treat every day as CX Day.

CX Day and Every Day

Let’s start with CX Day.

It’s important to celebrate CX Day for a few reasons. First, the company is unifying around a very important topic. Your company understands that the customer is at the center of your operation, and every person and department of the company must ensure that the customer is getting what they expect from you – to be successful with your products and services, and have an enjoyable and effortless experience while engaging with you and your products and services. Second, it’s also a time to bond with each other and celebrate your customers and successes over the past year.

How about every day?

It’s great to show each other and customers your gratitude and love, but how about every day?

Consistency is what counts?

Consistency builds trust. Trust drives employee and customer love. And this love drives corporate success and love.

So what can you do?

Try out these ideas to treat every day as CX Day.

Practice empathy

Empathy is a muscle to be strengthened every day.  Empathy is all about putting yourself in another’s shoes. This is a key soft skill for CX professionals. Be an active listener. Speak from your heart. Be grateful every day and show gratitude by thanking people. Be present with people. Practice a growth mindset.

Be curious.

Not so long ago, Fast Company published 8 Habits of Curious People.  In it, some of the habits such as listening without judgment, being fully present, and asking a lot of questions stood out for me. 

In business, curious people tend to learn everything they can about their industry, business and customers. They never stop looking for ideas that could improve their businesses. They always ask questions. And, being able to tackle challenges through problem-solving becomes so much more important than merely knowing the right answer. 

In fact, Albert Einstein famously said,

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.  

It’s difficult to be curious without being empathic first. In fact, empathy leads us to want to be curious about each other, internal customers, external prospects and customers, and the business.

Be inclusive and embrace differences

We all have biases. If you’re not sure what your unconscious biases are, consider taking the online hidden bias quiz. Being aware of what your biases are will help you determine what actions you can take to manage them and curb behavioral tendencies you might have.

It’s common to want to gravitate to those who are “like you”. But different ideas and approaches actually add value. Inclusive teams make better decisions in less time, and deliver better results. Acknowledge and support different ideas. In fact, seek out differing viewpoints. Make sure everyone is heard during team meetings. Seek out people who are different from you. Start diversity lunches that you get different employees together for lunch.

Call a customer every day

Pick up the phone and call a customer. Thank them. Ask them how they’re doing. Find out if they have any questions you can assist with. Celebrate their wins. This is a great time to practice your empathy and listening skills. Listen for clues on how your customer feels about you. Remember these calls are good times to nurture relationships. This isn’t a one-and-done exercise. Determine with your customer a good frequency and length of these “check-in” calls.

Take part in some form of social listening

Social listening is the process of monitoring social media and the rest of the Internet for your brand mentions so you can understand customer sentiment. It still is an under-tapped activity as only about a quarter of organizations do some type of social listening. Some great social listening tools include TalkwalkerSproutSocial, and Conversocial. Social listening can help you identify at-risk customers, competitors’ at-risk customers in which to engage with, prospects who are looking for you, customer advocates, content that you can create that would be helpful to prospects and customers, new product features or products you should consider, ideas for marketing campaigns, brand health, and how to improve your CX.

Always be learning

Always be learning about EX, CX, customers, and each other. There are many resources that are my go-to resources. If you’re into podcasts, check out Worthix’ Voices of CX, Crack The Customer Code, and Helping Sells Radio. Besides M4 Communications’ Blog here, check out Annette Franz’s blog, Heart of the Customer blog, MyCustomer, Forrester’s blogs and its top-notch research and other resources, and CustomerThink. There are a plethora of books including all of Jeanne Bliss’ books, Matthew Dixon’s The Effortless Experience, and Mapping Experiences, to name just a very few. If communities are what you’re after, check out CXPA and CX Accelerator, a tool for CX professionals just starting out in their career. And I end with my own great resource, #CXChat, a twitter chat about CX and EX, that occurs every Wednesday at 11am PT/2pm ET/7pm BST. We’ve just entered our third season and you can even go through a list of recaps from the prior two seasons.

Check out our promo for Season 3:

This is a good start to get you going.

What activities have you implemented or are you implementing to treat every day like CX Day? Let us know in the comments.

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