Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Amplify Your Transformation with CX Champions - Part 2

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This is the second part of my two-part series on how to stand up a team of CX Champions to activate your customer experience transformation efforts.

If you missed Part 1, see it here.

I'll dive right in with more details about your CX Champions team.

How often does the CX Champions team meet?
In the early days, the team should meet monthly, but this can be adjusted over time to meet more frequently or less frequently, as needed.

Who attends the meetings?
Attendees include CX Champions and members of the core CX team.

What should be on the meeting agenda?
Typically, the team will meet to discuss and showcase initiatives in order to get them prioritized and approved by the steering committee, if they haven’t already been; they’ll also provide updates on improvement efforts, issues, barriers to success, and more. The core CX team can also take this opportunity to share any feedback or learnings that they’ve received since the last meeting. And they can conduct ongoing CX training (pick a topic each time) during these meetings. Of course, the agenda should always include time for the CX Champions team to ask questions and to get their concerns addressed.

How do team members communicate between meetings?
There’s always email for communication, but it’s probably best to set up a shared directory where the team can find and share meeting notes, action plans, updates, journey maps, customer and employee feedback, and more.

Are CX Champions empowered to make changes?
Yes, they can be empowered to make changes, though they are often not the ones to actually implement change – unless it’s within their scope of work or skillset. (While I believe they should be empowered to make changes, your executive sponsor and steering committee will be the ultimate decision makers on this.) Regardless, they must be provided with the guide rails – based on the overall CX vision and strategy – within which they can design and implement changes.

Keep in mind that they will need ongoing guidance and direction. It’s not a “set and forget” program. Champions need to be trained, informed, and part of the team. They need to be supported, and they need to be able to discuss challenges, barriers, and successes with the other committees of the governance structure.

For how long do they serve as CX Champions?
Some organizations engage their CX Champions for two-year terms. I suggest keeping the first CX Champions on the team at least long enough to gain a foothold in the transformation, which tends to be about two years. The key is, after they rotate out, that they really continue on with the new way of doing things, not going back to how things were two years ago. It’s a learn and live role! In addition, consider setting up staggered tenures in order to keep continuity over time.

CX Champions need to be trained upon accepting this role. On what do I need to train them?
First and foremost, your CX Champions need to be trained on the basics: your CX vision and strategy. What is it? What are you doing? Why are you doing it? How are you doing it? What’s in it for me? What is the intended customer experience? How do you deliver it? And more.

Give the team details specific to what’s happening within the organization, how it’s going to happen, what the desired outcomes are, and how success will be defined. And don’t forget to talk about the culture and the employee experience. If you don’t make improvements there first, the CX work will all be for naught.

They should also be trained on the core customer experience competencies or principles. I would start with the six competencies put forth by the CXPA, which include:
  1. Customer-Centric Culture
  2. CX Strategy
  3. Experience Design Improvement & Innovation
  4. Metrics & Measurement and ROI
  5. Organizational Adoption & Accountability
  6. VOC Customer Insight & Understanding
Once your CX Champions are solidly grounded in these principles, you will want to go one layer deeper and teach them how to use the tools within the principles, including but not limited to:
  • What to do with customer feedback
  • What to do with employee feedback
  • How to analyze and operationalize feedback
  • How to map customer journeys
  • How to facilitate brainstorming sessions
  • How to tell stories with data or to sell the change initiatives
  • How to conduct root cause analysis
  • What change management is and what it entails
These are simply ideas and recommendations. You will determine the scope of what you want your CX Champions to do and how deeply you want them involved in each of the listed items and the six competencies. Remember that they are an extension of the core CX team; they are your eyes and ears on the ground. They can be hugely helpful in a lot of these areas.

Equip the CX Champions with the change story. And storyboard the intended experience in order to illustrate it for them; this also makes it easier for them to take it back and explain it to their departments. At the same time, guide them on how to best model the customer-centric behavior you expect from the company and provide those guard rails and guidelines for how to diagnose, design, and implement changes.

You will be communicating with – and training – the CX Champions on an ongoing basis. While they are an extension of the team, treat them as part of the team; when you do, they will embrace their roles and kick off that organization-wide groundswell that is necessary for any customer experience transformation journey to succeed.

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This two-part series provides general guidelines on how you’ll set up your CX Champions team. While your approach may vary, just be sure to provide the knowledge, the guidelines, and the support to ensure that your Champions can rally their colleagues and be change agents on your CX journey.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. -Helen Keller

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