Thursday, July 27, 2017

Question Everything

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But we've always done it that way!

Is that one of the favorite sayings within your company? from your leaders?

Or maybe it's, "That's just the way we do things around here."

Regardless, you never want to hear either of those phrases uttered within the four walls of your organization.

In my webinar last week with CallidusCloud|CX, I talked about nine behaviors of CX Losers. (There are more than nine, without a doubt!) One of the behaviors was the failure to question everything, the failure to question the status quo, to be OK with the way things have always been done.

"We've always done it this way" is a culture killer, an innovation killer, and employee experience killer, and a customer experience killer.

You know the old saying: What got you here won't get you there.

It's true.

Companies change. Employees change. Customers change. Customer needs change. Companies develop new products and services. New competitors enter the market. As a result, companies need to regularly revisit rules, policies, processes, and approaches in order to ensure that the way things are done today is still relevant to changing/changed market conditions and that we are still able to deliver a great experience for both employees and customers.

So, question everything.

If employees and leaders are constantly asking questions, they...
  1. Learn more about their customers and employees
  2. Are better able to understand customer and employee needs
  3. Learn about partners, the market, emerging trends, etc.
  4. Are prompted to, and will, ideate and innovate
  5. Create new/better products, features, and services
  6. Design better experiences
  7. Eliminate rules, processes, and policies that are harmful to the experience
  8. Change the way they do business (for the better)
Don't keep things status quo for the sake of comfort, convenience, or keeping things status quo. If you keep doing the same thing, you're going to keep getting the same results, right?

Is there a better way to do something? Does this still make sense for us? For our customers? Is there a stupid rule or policy in place whose origin cannot be recalled by anyone? Are there rules that make it painful for customers to do what it is that they're trying to do? Are bad policies making it painful for employees to do their jobs well or to deliver the desired customer experience? Never let "that's just how it's always been done" get in the way of doing things more efficiently and with less effort.

With some of the statistics about customer experience as bad as they continue to be, I think companies are continuing to do the same thing. It's time to start asking some serious questions. And time to stop being afraid of the answers - or the consequences and changes as a result. Things can only get better!

You can’t afford to stand still when it comes to customer experience. The best companies innovate and disrupt their market. Challenge the status quo in order to improve. By continually questioning your processes, your company can keep improving and refining what it's doing to help it stay ahead of the competition and become a leader in your industry.

But, how you ask the questions can be an art form, too, as I wrote last year in The Power of Questions. Ask the right questions. As Drucker said: Nothing is more dangerous than the right answer to the wrong question.

I'll leave you with this awesome talk by Seth Godin called, This Is Broken! In it, he shares some funny, yet sad, examples of broken experiences. He categorizes them as "7 Kinds of Broken:" not my job, selfish jerks, the world changed, I didn't know, I'm not a fish, contradictions, and broken on purpose. Watch the video, and you'll understand his classifications. Well worth the 20 minutes!


You're welcome!

We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered, we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell. –James Stephens


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