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February 13, 2020 | By

CXNext Live: How to Change When Change is Hard

If we’re being honest, everyone has a difficult time adapting to change. Many companies struggle to transform their customer experience approach without running into issues associated with these big changes.

Today we sat down with Gary Magenta, Chief Change Architect at Root Inc., to discuss the biggest challenges organizations face when implementing a new initiative.

WHY ARE COMPANIES AFRAID OF CHANGE?

Two words: organizational arrogance.

Companies are resistant to change because they consider themselves “a special snowflake” in the industry. “If my product method is working, why change it?”

The problem with this approach is that there’s not a single unique product in today’s world that’s going to develop overnight. What’s unique, and is constantly evolving, is customer experience. Your customer experience strategy is what’s going to push you over the edge. This is your big differentiator from other companies, not your product.

WHY DO ORGANIZATIONS FAIL WHEN THEY WORK ON A NEW CX INITIATIVE?

1. They hire someone to do the heavy loading.

It’s easy to say, “Let’s hire someone to handle all of our customer experience initiatives, so we can do our jobs more efficiently.” However, once that person is introduced to the team, they’re relegated to a corner and not utilized properly.

One single person can’t change the face of customer experience. It’s an organizational effort as a whole. CX is something that needs to be a part of the company strategy and culture, not something you hire someone to do. From sales to support to everything in between, customer experience needs to be ingrained in the business DNA.

2. CX is thought of as a destination.

CX is constantly evolving. Rather than thinking of customer experience as a destination, consider it a journey. We have to be agile enough to change at the speed of the marketplace, or better yet, one step ahead.

Think about the last time you visited a grocery store. What did you notice about your surroundings? Was there someone greeting you as you walked in, or helping you bag your groceries? Did anyone offer to take your bags to the car? This is not a customer experience initiative. This is customer service.

But when you got in your car to go home, and you looked in the rearview mirror, did you think about your time and experience there? You probably said to yourself one of two things: “I’ll be returning next time I need groceries” or “That customer service was awful, I’ll never come back here.”

Those small recognizable actions along your journey — the polite bagger, the kind woman who helped you in the deli — are considered transactional touchpoints. But experience is your rear view mirror view.

Experience is the emotional connection that we make with our customers. And emotion is what creates loyalty. Without loyalty, you’re out of business.

3. People are the issue.

Did you know 70% of all CX strategies fail due to people issues? The technology works fine. Organizations are paying upwards of $100 million in research just building out new strategies. But the execution and sustainability is what’s broken, and people are responsible for that.

ROOT CHANGE PROCESS

So you want to make a change in your organization. Great step, but how do you do it?

1. Define your future.

Too many organizations get caught up in training and completely dismiss the “why” factor. Sure, a fun culture is cool, but your culture requires a why. Skip the cool ping pong table in the office, the fancy coffee maker and the free donuts. Focus instead on why customer experience is important. It needs to be front and center.

From there, you move into the what and how. What is our customer experience and how are we changing both technology and human-based skills to deliver that experience through tech, people and operations?

Define a reality. Develop a compelling future state, based on what current customers are already telling you, define and align on critical strategic priorities, then ensure behaviors and culture support the vision.

2. Build an organizational movement.

In order to capture the hearts and minds of your people, you have to create a movement within your organization. It’s not enough to have an intellectual change, you have to have an emotional connection. You can do this by involving your entire team, and creating a broader leadership team.

3. Creating lasting change.

So you’ve rolled out a great new customer experience, that’s killer. But don’t expect it to stick right away. You have to sustain the momentum with organizational hardwiring, otherwise, people will just go back to their old ways. Build strategic skills in order to create a competitive advantage.

For much more on CX and organizational change, be sure to watch our full conversation between Chief Change Architect at Root Inc., Gary Magenta, and Chris Savio from our product marketing team on How to Change When Change is Hard: Getting CX Buy-In From Leadership to the Frontline.

About CXNext Live

Tune in weekly as we dig into topics focused around building better customer experiences. In these episodes, LogMeIn’s Ryan Lester, Senior Director of Customer Engagement Technologies, and guests from various roles and backgrounds discuss CX strategy, technology and market trends, recent events, and real-world examples. Find details on the next episode and past recordings at LinkedIn #CXNextLive.


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