The key piece of the puzzle: Change management

Jan 13, 2022 | Blog

In many customer experience research, expert interviews and case studies, we often see how important the concept of change management is for CX. There is no doubt that change management should be handled in a structured way for the customer experience program to succeed.

Although the importance of change management is undeniable, the concept itself is often underestimated. A typical reason for this is the theoretical CX approaches adopted in the strategies, playbooks created in war rooms and the workshops held in the head office. Getting a good understanding of what is really happening in the field and then to making sure that all functions are coordinating their efforts around the customer is a big challenge. Change management is a key piece of the puzzle and once it is done, the puzzle becomes a work of art!

Here, we provide you with 10 steps that can help you create masterpieces through your puzzle:

  1. Understand the current situation: Problem definition is half of the solution, so start listening to your customers as well as employees to understand the issues properly.
  2. Set a vision: Shared vision is a clear and common picture of a desired future state that members of an organization can identify with themselves.
  3. Build a strong “business case”: Facts and figures will help you in answering to why change is needed.
  4. Align top management: Top management support is critical but not enough to succeed, so get their alignment on your change management actions.
  5. Define success factors: It is better to start as early as possible to define the key success factors.
  6. Build a governance model: Customer experience is everyone’s job in the organization; the right governance model will help you to get there.
  7. Communicate, communicate and communicate: There is no over communication when it comes to change management.
  8. Empower your staff: Employees should be part of the change, so make sure that they feel themselves empowered starting with the lowest level possible.
  9. Be a role model: As Gandhi once said “be the change you want to see in the world”.
  10. Create change agents: Change agents are vital in transformation. They provide both the technical know-how and the social support needed by managers and front line teams alike as they learn and adopt new practices.

As a result; change management in customer experience is a long-term journey. There will definitely be ups and downs, which is very natural. When you bring together all the necessary elements for change in the right way, success will surely follow.


Podcast: Connecting the dots around the customer

In our expert opinion podcast, Melih Ozgul, Head of Customer Experience and Continuous Improvement at Metro C&C Turkey, had a conversation with our Co-Founder Poyraz Ozkan. As Melih shared his expertise on customer experience process improvements, the discussion also included Metro’s exceptional process improvement vision and their unique approach to improvement loop.

Here are some of our discussion topics:

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What change management can teach us about delivering successful CX programmes

You probably moved into customer experience (CX) because of a passion for customers. You chose this space because you know that if you can improve customers’ experiences with your company, they will be happier, they’ll stay with you longer, and both the business and your customers will prosper.

But actually improving the experience is hard.

If you’re like most of the 85 CX professionals we’ve interviewed so far this year, the reality has hit you that it’s incredibly difficult to move your silos enough to substantially improve the customer experience. That’s where change management comes in. It’s the missing element in most CX programmes.

First, create a sense of urgency

The best programmes tie customer experience to a business problem. Customer churn, low share of wallet, and high effort (and therefore costs) to serve are all customer problems that also hurt the business. These are compelling calls to action.

Unfortunately, most CX programmes fail to create a compelling need for the business to change. The typical call to action is, “Our survey scores are low – we need to improve the Net Promoter Score.” Effective programmes start with a business problem – and a low survey score ain’t it.

Build a guiding coalition

Effective programmes engage leadership, typically through a CX Council made up of organizational leaders.

Do you want to frustrate a CX practitioner? Then talk about governance – the practice of involving senior leadership to review the current state of the customer experience and guide its implementation. I’ve talked with multiple programmes that say, “We’re not ready for governance.” I connect with them two years later and hear “We’re just not making any progress!”

Huh. Who would have guessed?

You can’t sustain an improved customer experience without involving leadership. Active involvement. And that involves their time. If you can’t create a guiding coalition that includes your VPs, then you can’t create sustained change. It’s hard work – but the time you take to engage leadership in the beginning will save you time as you implement your changes.

Form a strategic vision

Create a vision to show employees where you are going. An effective vision allows employees to make decisions when you’re not in the room. Is your goal to be the simplest experience? If so, then a vision should show the way, encouraging your teams to cut out high-effort activities.

I remember interviewing one CX leader who said, “Our vision is to be the most flexible, but also the simplest experience, while maintaining our role as a low-cost provider.”

That’s not a vision. That’s a menu. The best programmes make trade-offs, and a vision helps employees to do this.

Creating initiatives

CX is great at forming initiatives. And initiatives are good. But only once you’ve created the case for change, formed the guiding coalition, and shared a vision. Because sustaining effective CX change is hard. If you don’t have executives backing you up and restating the case for change, your programmes will be deprioritized for sexier ones.

Real customer-focused change is possible, and we see a limited number of companies to inspire us. These programmes have taken the time to create a compelling case for change that shows why an improved CX will result in an improved business. They then engage the executives into a change coalition and build a vision of an improved future state.

Original article:


 With increasing competition across industries, it is more important to understand what customers are thinking about the products and/or services provided by companies.
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