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Customer experience management: It takes a village


It is estimated that at least 70% of CX programmes fail. Simply put, CX programmes fail because they are not supported by the entire organisation.

20th Sep 2022

We have all heard the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child.” It means that an entire community of people must provide for and interact positively with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.

The same holds true for customer experience programmes - it takes an entire organisation to nourish and support a CX vision and strategy to truly become customer-centric.

It is estimated that at least 70% of CX programmes fail. Simply put, CX programmes fail because they are not supported by the entire organisation. Great CX vision and strategies have been created to only to wither and die on the vine due to lack of nourishment and care.

There are numerous obstacles that sidetrack the success of a CX programme. In our experience, these are some of the most common.  

Lack of ownership, support and resources

There must be a single owner - a person responsible for success or failure. Recent research found that 53% organisations don’t have a dedicated CX leader.  Further, only 23% have a leader that reports to the CEO, a necessary requirement to drive organisational change. CX programs require a strategic vision and leadership from c-level executives. Executive support is critical to providing organisation-wide perspective to align department leaders and break down silos.
Multi-million-dollar budgets aren’t required, but a dedicated CX budget and dedicated CX team are required - CX cannot be a part-time responsibility.

Organisational siloes

Customers interact with companies horizontally, that is across the entire organization either directly or indirectly, making CX the leader of cross-functional collaboration.

Simply telling cross-functional teams to work together does not work. Breaking down silos often requires a fundamental change to culture and employees’ mind-sets and behaviours.

Several key activities to align teams, break down silos, and foster collaboration are:

  • Common CX vision.
  • Have cross-functional teams work together on specific customer interactions with a customer focus.
  • CX governance teams.

CX isn't seen as transformational

In order for an organisation to become truly customer-centric requires a transformation. It entails rethinking all aspects of a business. Too often, CX is seen as a programme to improve OSAT, NPS or other soft measures. These types of programmes are simply looking to improve the experience by removing dissatisfaction. A tactical focus is a foundational component to CX programs, but it only gets you to consistently meeting customers’ expectations, not creating differentiated experiences. These activities tend to provide a faster ROI and increase in KPIs; however, they are quickly completed and turn into measurement and maintenance programs.

To become customer-centric and deliver financial value requires a fundamental shift in the employee mindset and behaviours along with operational and IT improvements - only with organisational change can a business provide a differentiated experience that adds bottom line value.

Any transformation effort requires leadership, focus, investment, and commitment.

Adopting a one-size-fits-all approach

CX transformation cannot be achieved using a one-size-fits all approach (See the previous article: How do you design differentiated experiences for high-value customers?). An understanding of customer value is necessary to create targeted experiences based on their needs and profitability to the business. 

  • While all customers have bottom-line value, 80% of revenue is generated by 20% of the customer base. Additionally, there are customers that have strategic value beyond their own profitability – their social impact and the ability to influence others.
  • These high impact customers expect to be treated differently from mass customers. They require an experience that creates a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship that maximizes their value. 

No link to business outcomes

If a CX programme is not tied to measurable business objectives it will suffer the same fate as other “bright shiny object” initiatives – started with great focus and enthusiasm, eventually abandoned when the ROI cannot be proven. 

In order to demonstrate the value of a CX programme, a balanced scorecard should be created, with employee engagement, early performance indicators, and business outcomes (i.e. increased revenue, decreased churn). 

The five obstacles to CX success

  • Lack of ownership, support and resources
  • Organisational siloes
  • Not seen as transformational
  • A one-size-fits-all approach
  • No link to business outcomes

CX programmes are transformational, and transformations are not easy. Change is a personal choice for every employee; if it’s going to stick, your programme needs to understand the employee mindset and the behaviours they need to exhibit to deliver your future state experience. Your efforts need to be focused on making it personal for each employee.

Successful transformations require the entire organisation. Ensure you have an accountable leader and the dedicated resources required. Develop a plan that aligns the organisation to ensure they remain focused not only on the activities but also on the business outcome.



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