This CX Mini Masterclass includes actionable tips for influencing customer centric change from show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt. Customer experience strategy must be supported by the business in order to take hold. CX professionals must carefully navigate how to affect change within their organization, and in this episode Julia takes listeners through her top 3 recommendations for how to effectively influence change.
A CX leader and a diplomat
Customer experience leaders can have brilliant ideas, but they must also be able to foster buy-in and support to effectively influence change. As a professional community, we spend a lot of time discussing and debating the functional side of our profession, and this is great, but we must also support each other in the “softer” competencies of leadership that can be just as important. I view business diplomacy and influence as part of these softer leadership competencies. As I know that many are preparing for the year ahead, I thought it was an apt time to curate and share my top 3 recommendations for actionable interventions to foster support and influence real change.
1. Speak the language of your stakeholders
It’s important to understand how decision-makers in your organization frame their world and address priorities so that you can help make CX one of these priorities. In many cases, decision-makers speak the language of financial metrics, so think about how you can frame CX outcomes in these terms. Your ideas will be more likely to resonate with your audience and garner their support. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is one of many metrics that you can use to align to the case for CX to financial metrics. If you’d like to learn more about CLV, episode 22 covers this topic in detail.
2. Establish a stakeholder management plan
This may sound simple or obvious, but a proactive stakeholder management plan can go a long way to helping you effectively engage with others in your organization. Plus, once you document this as a formalized plan, you can share it with your team. If you are looking for ideas on templates for stakeholder management plans, here is a nice template and another example. Curious about what a stakeholder plan look like in action? In episode 21, I spoke with Marnitz Van Heerden from Hollard insurance about his journey influencing customer centric change. He explained how he leveraged the SCARF model and several other approaches to win over his colleagues and foster support for CX.
3. Communicate customer centric initiatives with empathy
We all know that communication is key, but for my final recommendation, I’m suggesting that you reflect on how you communicate your plan, and to introduce empathy into your communication. Take the time to acknowledge your audience’s hopes and fears, and how these might evolve during the change process. Also, be open with your organization about the possible impact of CX changes so that people can property prepare. This 3rd point was inspired by a Harvard Business Review article that I recently read. You can read the article here.
Want to keep learning about CX?
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.
And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.
Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including CX strategy, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email.