For the last year I’ve been reading and taking trainings on Service Design (later SD) and Customer Experience (later CXP). As I have gained more scientific knowledge, I also have learnt how emotional intelligence has a huge role in this.
What is the difference between SD and CXP? And why do we fail (yes, we do fail in CXP pretty often) in delivering what is really needed? These are the two questions I am going to discuss in this blog test. There are some people, who I have had long discussion with about these subjects. I want to thank Laura Elo, Risto Heiskanen and Mika Nurmesmi for the discussions. When we talk about SD and CXP I now have realized, that I have been lucky to have worked in organizations, where these have been part of normal operations, even without having the “logo” of SD or CXP on them.
The difference between SD and CXP is not so easy to describe, but there is a difference. SD is a process for creating some service, often using customer input as a tool. CXP is actually an approach to business. For proper CXP the organization needs to think what kind of emotions they want to customer to feel at each touch point. CXP has an impact not only on how things are done, but also why and what the organization is doing. Once the organization has got all that thought over, then SD is a tool to make things more tangible.
Why we fail in delivering what is needed in CXP? There are some very simple reasons. The first reason is, that many times customer centricity and customer experience are confused. Many organization start to work on customer centricity, but do not go through the customer journey evaluation process with the customer as the starting point. To be more precise they don’t really study what kind of emotions the customer will face during his/her journey. As CXP is a fundamental change, when done properly, to the organizational setting, many leaders settle for the second best solutions. Then they will focus on some parts of the customer journey, but some elements of CXP are often neglected. In a very simple way this can be said that many organizations focus on customer, but they forget that there is a human being behind the customer.
What can you do about to be more successful? The first thing to do is to make a strong decision and commitment, that CXP will be the core of operations (Note, every business can make this decision). Then the organization needs to look at CXP from 4 different viewpoints; cognitive, emotional, social and sense. On all these areas there a touch points, where there can be 3 different owners; the organization, business partner and the customer. Then, and only then, it is time to look at the financial side, what level of CXP delivers the best possible business results. This is not a project for some department, this is the upper management, even board level decision. The leaders much understand and commit to the process, in order to get people to deliver it.
Why emotional intelligence is so important here? There are two aspects related to emotional intelligence. The first one is related to the customer; organization needs to understand and lead customers emotions all the way, on every touch point. There needs to be solutions even for those situations, where something goes wrong. The second emotional intelligence factor is even more important. The leaders need to understand how they get the entire personnel to understand and commit to delivering the planned CXP all the way. It is about leadership, which means that leaders need to lead employees emotions in the right way.
Finnish old school leaders are strong in product orientation, for the most. If your organization has product orientation as the norm, then the best way to convert to proper CXP is through finding some external support (or employ someone) for the change process. During the change process proper use of emotional intelligence can cut the time needed even by 60 %.
CXP based operations seem to deliver much better business results and they are more resilient to changes. One of the reasons behind resilience is the fact, that real CXP based operations have learnt to be more adapting and listening. In B2C businesses the financial results seem to exceed those of “normal” businesses by tens of %. As a leader I have witnessed that the implementation of CXP as an organizational philosophy has deliver growth and profit increase up to 50 % in two years.
If you would like to discuss what the opportunities are and how the get the results, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Your partner in making success happen, Kari I. Mattila, emotional intelligence advisor