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CX = a people business

When reading or listening to CX colleagues speaking about CX … we often speak about data, metrics, methodologies, processes, technology, strategy, etc. Which for a non-CXer might frequently sounds pretty technical and CX-speech’ish. And between us, this might frequently happen to me, too.

But … things like emotional targets, behavioral drivers, empathy, creating trust/loyalty, etc. seem to accidentally play a secondary role. Where the whole CX methodology actually looks at the customers holistically, as humans, as people.

Sometimes we seem to accidentally give the wrong impression on what CX is. Also by being in endless discussions around the best metric, the best data, the best technology.

But very fundamentally …
CX is about humans, about people. About their emotions, desires and behaviours, about their human nature. CX is a ‘people business’.

1. Our customers are human beings = ‘people business’

For us, CX experts, methodologies like sentiment analysis and emotional targets should be no-brainers. This is where we are at the frontline with guiding our business colleagues to more and earlier consider the human behind sales figures and marketing campaigns.

In a nutshell. Customers are human beings with their own behavioral drivers, needs, desires, expectations, emotions, fears, perceptions and reactions. In many industries, working with customers is or should be primarily people business, thereby driving commercial success.

2. Our colleagues are human beings = ‘people business’

As part of that mission, we want our colleagues to accept, understand and adopt CX.

But how are we typically doing that?

Are you speaking about data, and technology, and insights, and design thinking, and service processes? Are you also speaking about the importance and relevance of your CX department, your CX team, your own CX role and your contributions?

OK, let’s pause for a moment. Can you re-read the paragraph before, please? And then tell me – based on information provided – how CX is different, what is unique with CX? And what is in for our colleagues, what do they get out of it? What is their benefit with investing time and efforts for change?

I would really like to invite you turning around your internal storytelling and stakeholder engagement . Don’t sell yourself, your department, your function, your project. But simply target and serve your colleagues needs if you want them to change. What are their behavioral drivers? What are their emotional targets? What is their emotional journey in a typical working week? What are their expectations, desires … fears?

A side note. In my own industry, pharma, the ‘human needs perspective’ seems to be a real heavy lift with organizationally activating CX. Most of us are imprinted on scientific advancements, scientific evidence, scientific data, medical guidelines, etc. pp. … facts, facts, facts. Most of our go-to-market strategies for new treatments (products) are based on scientific rationale, medical value, proven superiority, scientific language … facts, facts, facts. Now, introducing more “soft” factors in this particular ecosystem is a bit like trying to open a tin can with a match.

Also, colleagues are human beings with their own behavioral drivers, needs, desires, expectations, emotions, fears, perceptions and reactions. We have a CX toolbox at hand, why don’t we apply it to them?.

3. Our leaders are human beings = ‘people business’

Working in larger organizations, there is this fatal temptation for all of us to tell our story with focus on what we do and how we do it. This is typically driven by the aspiration to be acknowledged and to show proof of value provided.

I fully understand the underlying desire. On the other hand – to my personal opinion – this is born to fail.

Senior leaders are also humans, people. They might have a broad portfolio of activities, program, initiatives and projects to manage, which they cannot understand all in detail. Speaking about the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ is likely if not evidently not meeting their needs.

But leaders typically have a fair expectation & desire to better understand the ‘why’ of CX. For putting budget & resources into it. For taking the right decisions. And the ‘why’ with regard to CX helping business to grow and flourish.

Leaders also have personal emotional drivers. What is in for them? How does it make them look better? How does it make their job easier and/or helps them to achieve their goals?

Like all colleagues, leaders are human beings with their own behavioral drivers, needs, desires, expectations, emotions, fears, perceptions and reactions. We shouldn’t ignore their human features but be also clear about their emotional targets and needs.

My overall conclusion. Data, technology, processes are foundational. But the key & vital success factor for CX is to actively address the human nature. With external customers and business impact as well as with internal CX adoption.


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