Seeing CX through different eyes: Part 1

19th May 2020

What does CX mean to you?

This is the first debate in a series by Michelle Spaul, CX and change specialist, and Leigh Hopwood, a marketer and business leader. Since meeting on LinkedIn conversing about CX, we have pulled together our viewpoints in a three-part series for MyCustomer.

Read on to hear us deliberate what CX means to us. Where do you stand in this debate? 

Michelle kicks us off: “Customer experience is putting the customer first when we design our products, services and touchpoints. It could be streamlining processes in a warehouse to deliver the right products to the right person on time. Or designing a service to make life easier. Or creating a product that makes the customer smile every time they use it. Whichever it is, we need genuine customer input, not something twisted through a marketing lens.”

“This an unfair view of marketing,” interrupts Leigh. “Marketers use the data and insights available to them from across the business, talking to sales, listening on social media to properly understand the view of the customer. The contact centre is a great source of insight due to the nature of the interactions and the use of customer feedback tools.

“To me,” continues Leigh, “CX is the experience anyone buying from a business has with you. Whether that’s the experience on a website or social media, interacting with employees or the contact centre, visiting a retail outlet or engaging with field engineers, using the product or service or liaising with back office functions such as finance. 

Give everyone the opportunity to use their skills to delight customers

“For the customer, all these touchpoints should feel the same. The customer will associate the experience they have with each of these touchpoints with the brand. A poor experience may result in the customer being unhappy with the brand or organisation and take their business elsewhere. 

“So designing and delivering an appropriate customer experience across an organisation can support customer retention – and we all know that keeping customers is a lot cheaper than having to attract new ones.” 

“Of course, it is all those things,” says Michelle, “but isn’t all things to all people. I agree about call centres and would like to see their customer insights reach operational teams without translation or assumed solutions, but most of all we need to break down the walls that form between functions and give everyone the opportunity to use their skills to delight customers.”

“Being able to listen to the customer, watch them interact with your business, ask them questions and build that understanding into our work, gives us a sense of meaning beyond putting bread on the table. Solving a customer need or surprising them with innovation gives us pride in our work.

“Done well customer experience is an opportunity for staff from all parts of the business to work together to deliver value, learn from each other and broaden our horizons. We can move out of the realm of platitudes and define how we will make our customers’ experience awesome.”

Leigh: “I do agree with this. If a business does not deliver value to its customers, then what is it doing? If driven by money, then delivering poor a customer experience at any point simply drives down the revenues sooner or later and will massively impact on profitability and survivability.

“Informed and opinionated customers that have access to what others think about an organisation can be business transforming – growing revenues exponentially or killing the business.”

If a business does not deliver value to its customers, then what is it doing?

Michelle adds: “You are right, a focus on money drives the wrong behaviours. But the only way to compete for funds is to show that the investment has a business benefit. Until shareholders and banks lend money for the pleasure of delivering a great customer experience, that benefit will have a financial dimension.

“The right approach to CX also means that your business is robust and a little more protected against the vagaries of modern markets. We can innovate and continuously improve; our teams are engaged; our customers act as advocates. We take pride in our business and feel safer in our jobs.”

In conclusion, the CX and change specialist and the marketer and business leader both recognise the value of listening to customers and designing an experience for them that delivers value that will encourage them to continue to buy from a business.

Articles in this series:


About the authors: 

Leigh and Michelle met on LinkedIn over a conversation about the ownership of customer experience. This series explores different viewpoints about the most pressing questions in CX today. Although there is broad agreement that CX is a good thing to implement, there is much debate about how it should be implemented. You may even recognise some of the arguments in this series.

Michelle Spaul is a customer experience and change consultant, guiding leaders who want to use CX as a lever to enhance business performance. She believes successful CX management engages people, culture and governance before data and IT. Read more or get in touch at or

Leigh Hopwood is a business and marketing leader who works with organisations of all sizes to transform their approach to business through improved marketing by putting the customer first. Find out more or get in touch at or

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