One of the frustrations that I often hear about is the limited impact CX, UX or digital professionals are having on driving improvements in service and customer experience, particularly in larger and/or older organisations. However, in many of these cases, when you speak to the leaders of these firms, it’s not uncommon to hear phrases like:
“We do CX”
“We do UX”
“We do digital…..etc etc”
But, when you scratch below the surface you find that ‘doing’ CX or UX or digital means that a project team may have been established, a customer journey mapping exercise may have been undertaken and they have a mobile app in development.
Now, it has to be tough being a CX, UX or digital professional in these type of environments. Many of them are very talented and enthusiastic individuals but they often feel marginalised. However, if a business does not have the right leadership, is not intrinsically digital or customer first then these professionals can face a struggle to gain attention, traction and have the sort of impact that they are capable of having on the organisation.
That, however, does not mean that they cannot have a greater impact on the business. They just have to be smarter about how they go about it.
Consider the case of one life insurance company, that I recently talked to, that had it’s own CX, UX and digital initiatives. Now, they were all working on interesting and cool stuff but they were struggling to have any impact or build any relevance within the core part of the business.
The reason being was that there was just no urgency for change within the core business, which was still generating 90+% of revenue and profits and was still growing year on year. This was all, despite the fact, that the core business was still largely being run on a combination of paper-based and legacy systems.
Therefore, they realised that to increase their relevance and impact within the organisation they had to do something different and resolved to focus their skills on solving existing problems within the business rather than only developing new projects.
Their approach was summarised very nicely by a participant at a recent Econsultancy roundtable on “Effective leadership in the Digital Age” when they said:
“I developed a strategy of digital by stealth. I looked for manageable projects that were other people’s problems and I helped deliver a digital answer. It’s amazing the goodwill you can build quickly when you make other people look good.”
As a result, one such project (or problem) that the CX, UX and digital teams at the life insurance company, in question, identified they could help with occurs when a life insurance policy holder passes away but has failed to put Power of Attorney arrangements in place.
When this happens it can cause lots of emotionally stressful and painful experiences for both relatives of the deceased, who have to deal with the ‘business of death’, and employees, who have to follow a strict and formal process when there is no power of attorney arrangement in place.
However, by applying their skills to help solve this problem, the CX, UX and digital professionals are helping accomplish a number of things:
Other CX, UX and digital professionals who find themselves in a similar position where they are struggling to gain attention, traction or have an impact in their own organisations would do well to consider developing their own ‘strategy by stealth’ or as Zig Ziglar put it in his book ‘See You At The Top’:
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
This post was originally published on Forbes.com here.
Thanks to Anthony Delanoix for the image.