Focus on the "work to be done", not just the "wow" factor in CX - third round of international CX expert's recommendations


In our third and final post of CX recommendations (see part 1 and part 2), we once again present a very nice collection of recommendations from more insightful CX experts. As with the other posts, we asked them to provide us with an answer to the question:

What should CX managers focus on in 2023?

As James Dodkins and Silvana Buljan put it: "Wowing" is not the key mission for CX managers, but delivering on the "brand promise". To get this right we need to have a good understanding of what matters to our customers, measure and quantify our CX efforts and prioritise our resources to optimise and improve the right things in the future.

trueJames Dodkins, PEGA's CX evangelist & CX Rockstar

James Dodkins is one of UK's leading CX influencers, PEGA's CX evangelist, podcast host and a "rock star". He spent his career helping brands turn their employees into 'Rockstars' and their customers into 'Hyperfans'. In his quote he highlights the importance of the six core elements of a stunning customer experience.

I think that CX managers should focus on the basics in 2023. Wowing customers is all well and good but only if the fundamentals are there. Working to make experiences “Easy”, “Fast”, “Convenient”, “Trackable”, “Personalised” and “Predictive” is the key!

Very important notice: James Dodkins is opening up the Shift/CX 2023 conference week with an introduction note on March 13!

trueSilvana Buljan, Bond's Executive Director

With over 20 years' experience in management consulting, Silvana Buljan is an internationally recognised thought leader in the field of customer centricity & experience. She has worked with over 70 brands to improve the customer and employee experience, brought in her consultancy firm into the Bond Brand Loyalty network and is Bond's Executive Director for EMEA. 

In her recommendation, she points out that companies need to focus on the promise that the company's product/service must deliver:

1 - Focus on your customers' needs: what do they want to achieve with your product/service?

2 - Focus on delivering on your brand promise and building trust. Trust has become and will remain the new currency (more than data)

3 - Translate VoC data into improvement measures and clear actions that ensure value for your customers.

trueAdrian Swinscoe, Keynote Speaker, Punk CX

Adrian Swinscoe is a customer experience consultant, author, public speaker and aspiring punk at Punk CX. He has written several books on customer experience, including "Punk CX", which is packed with actionable concepts for improving both the customer experience and the employee experience. 

His advice to CX leaders for 2023 emphasises the two-sided pressures of meeting customer needs and delivering business value.

In uncertain and tightening economic conditions, customers become more discerning about where they spend their money. That means that continuing to invest in creating a stand-out CX is going to be vital. However, it is not only customer budgets that are under pressure, and CX leaders know that their investments must deliver tangible business benefits and fast, or they will be axed.

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trueJaakko Männistö, Founder & Delevoper, Feedbackly & EVI  

Jaakko Männistö is a customer experience expert, founder of Feedbackly and developer of the Emotional Value Index methodology. He has published several research papers and eBooks and has been a keynote speaker at various events.

For 2023, he recommends a focus on a holistic view of the customer journey, including the emotional experience of the customer.

As we look to 2023 and beyond in terms of customer buying behaviour, traditional beliefs such as "we need to optimise our NPS" to ensure that our customers promote us are becoming less relevant and less impactful. What differentiates great companies in CX are two things: Customer journey focus and emotional experience. That said, mapping and measuring your entire customer journey and using EVI® are the most important steps you can take!

trueStan Phelps, CSP

Stan Phelps is an author and keynote speaker, former Forbes Contributor and IBM Futurist, who advises organisations on how to build loyalty, increase sales and drive positive word-of-mouth by creating differentiated experiences.

Stan underlines the importance and value of customer referrals from good experience in securing business:

CX managers should work within the organisation to quantify the impact of growth through customer experience. Specifically, the ratio of customers that came through traditional acquisition versus referred customers.

trueJason Bradshaw, Bradshaw, Koh & Co 

Jason S Bradshaw is a global thought leader, author of It's All About CEX! and keynote speaker on experience management, customer experience and employee experience. Jason is an investor in a number of start-ups, an advisor to C-suite executives around the world, and has held senior leadership positions in some of the world's most recognisable brands.

To secure CX budgets, CX managers need to demonstrate "tangible commercial impact"- Jason says:

While many will say that in 2023 CX professionals need to focus on making things better for customers in some way (and yes, that is true) I believe the main challenge in 2023 will be to continually be funded to do the important CX work. 

So with that in mind, in 2023, CX Professionals need to demonstrate the tangible commercial impact of their work. Find meaningful ways to connect the impact of your work to increases in lead generation, repeat sales, increased revenue per guest and/or a reduction in the cost to serve customers. CX leaders who demonstrate sound commercial outcomes will continue to get the investments they need to grow the impact they make. 

trueMartin Hill-Wilson, Brainfood Consulting

Martin Hill-Wilson is a customer service, CX and AI engagement strategist and facilitator. He was CEO of one of the UK's first BPOs and CX consultancies and has a long track record in customer engagement and bringing new services to market.

In his recommendation, he outlines a recipe for getting the CX job done with a focus on “trust, authenticity, reliability, a purposeful presence and concern for those in need”:  

Effective experience management is built from deep, empathetic insight into how people's lives are being impacted and what matters to them as a result. 

Getting as close to a realtime window into that fast changing set of needs and expectations is the first job. 

The next is ensure it becomes a shared reality across the organisation to align energies. 

The third is to continuously adapt the customer value proposition at speed to remain relevant as needs change. 

All this presumes a culture of collaboration, innovation, motivation and support for the well-being of others. 

The most experienced and powerful CX managers will be directly involved in each of these ambitions. Others will play to their own strengths and rely on others to make the overall gameplan happen. 

Back to back crises in many parts of the world continue to disrupt everyday realities. The job for 2023 and beyond is to deliver experiences that really make a difference in terms of functional and emotive outcomes. Many would settle for the human stuff. Trust, authenticity, reliability, a purposeful presence and a concern for those in need. 

CX managers need to inspire their organisations like never before. By being infectiously optimistic and doggedly determined.

Once again we are very thankful for the participation the above listed expert in our statement initiative. From this round of quotes, we conclude that for 2023 we need to go beyond lip service and deliver tangible results with CX efforts.

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