The panels at this year’s CX Midwest were rich with thought provoking insights. For the day’s first session, Bold Orange CEO Margaret Murphy had the chance to moderate a discussion with marketing and CX leaders from some of the world’s top organizations:
- Linh Peters, CMO at Walgreens
- Reggie Menon, CMO, Care Solutions at Optum Health
- Luc Bondar, President, MileagePlus at United Airlines
- Amber Holm, CMO at Winnebago Industries
The conversation revealed how these innovative practitioners approach customer experience to make it a genuine differentiator for their organizations — and we’ve captured the lessons they shared. Read on for some foundational tips you can bring to your team.
#1. Have a guiding philosophy.
“We’re laser-focused on understanding what customers need, when they need it, before they realize it.”
“Our mission is to treat every customer like a guest at the dinner table.”
These are seemingly simple statements — but they function as the principles that shape the holistic experience strategies for some beloved brands. As you’re probably aware, in the world of CX it’s easy to get lost in a sea of details and individual initiatives. Updating journeys, revising content strategies, revamping ecommerce platforms… These are all important things that can help deliver a better experience for your customers. But how do you make sure the smaller projects all ladder up to a cohesive CX strategy? Well, by having a guiding philosophy. What’s yours?
Take action: Articulate the philosophy guiding your brand’s CX. If it doesn’t exist yet, draft it. If it does, try to improve it. Ignite the north star that will help your team envision the true purpose of their work and prioritize tasks accordingly.
#2. Collaborate across teams.
Top leaders know CX isn’t the job of a single team — or at least it shouldn’t be. In an ideal world, constant and robust collaboration would be the norm. In reality, it isn’t always easy to foster such a silo-free environment. To start heading in the right direction, choose a few key moments in your customer’s buying journey, bring together a cross-functional team (marketing, product, technology, operations, etc.) and strategize with your colleagues about how you can collectively improve your chosen touchpoints. What changes would you make as a group? How will you bring your ideas to life? Choose a framework for bringing CX opportunities to market and use it to guide your approach.
Take action: Invite several coworkers from different teams to participate in the exercise outlined above. Pick a date to meet and put it on the calendar.
#3. Evolve as the world changes.
It’s no secret that the best marketers and CX professionals can roll with the punches. Take COVID, for example: surely each of us has a story or two about how — almost overnight — the pandemic changed the ways customers interacted with our businesses. One panelist mentioned their organization saw a sudden influx of younger buyers, forcing quick-turn product updates. Others had to respond to evolving expectations around medical care and advice. The details differed, but the message was the same: if these leaders hadn’t been able meet new needs, their organizations would have suffered. The question, then, is how do you prepare for the unexpected? Well, you can’t — not really. What you can do, however, is develop and encourage nimble ways of working. If your team has the right mindset to meet disruption with action, you’ll be far more successful in keeping the customer right where they belong — at the center of all you do.
Take action: Gather your team, present a (mock) world-changing event, and discuss how you’d collectively respond. What processes would you need to put in place to react swiftly?
#4. Focus on the employee experience, too.
If you want to create a holistically great experience for your customers, you need employees who can deliver it — we all know this. But it was a point of emphasis the panelists, who said they focus on their employee experience, or EX, just as much as their CX — even to the point of doing research and forecasting exercises. Because without the right talent, it won’t be possible to enable the CX of tomorrow. Now’s the time to start learning what graduates in five years will be looking for in an organization like yours.
Take action: Conduct a focus group with participants gearing up to enter the workforce. Explore which aspects of your organization appeal to them — and where you have opportunities to evolve.
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