We are in the middle of an evolution. It started with digital transformation, came to customer experience and now it’s heading to the time after empathy. Let’s have a look at the evolution and see what’s next.
Simplified we see 3 steps at the moment. For sure there are more before, but let’s focus on the last 3 for now. Understanding what the different steps means and the why they came up helps to see the future direction.
One of the mostly contrary topics discussed. My definition is out of sales and marketing. Both have corporate goals. We often see companies talking about CX (Customer Experience) while they have finally their revenue goals or other own goals in mind. For sure, companies needs to do revenue. But if they place customer goals at number 1 and 2 and then starting with their own goals, they will reach the own goals much more easy and higher… best example here i Amazon.
So CX is about listening and understanding. In conversations we see that people just listen to answer instead of listen to understand. We truly need to understand our customer with his interests, needs and / or pains.
“Trust is the foundation for everything we do.” 1)Frances Frei, How to build (and rebuild) trust Without trust every marketing and/or sales activity will fail. Reaching trust isn’t easy and a long process. Loosing trust is easy and rebuilding trust is much more difficult than reaching trust.
I can really recommend the TED Talk form Frances Frei about How to build (and rebuild) trust. After watching here I have written an entire series about trust. The Series: Trust as the foundation for interaction
The elements of trust are empathy, logic and authenticity. While no one is talking about logic and authenticity these days, many are talking about empathy which is going to replace trust in discussions and articles.
Why do I highlight empathy now while it is part of trust? Empathy is right now going through a huge hype and focus and for me it is the most important element of trust.
“Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.” 2)Wikipedia: Empathy
For the right customer relationship we need the understand him. To work with our colleagues hand in hand we need to understand them. We do not need to like everyone but we should empathize with everyone. Sometimes we have the same opinion, the same thinking… the other time not. It is important to be different to grow and learn from each other. Empathize means just to see the other view and leave our blinkers away.
If empathy is only a means for the purpose it will fail. We often do things with our own things / interests in mind and more for ourself than for the other. We just do it for the other because we hope that it will help us. With this approach / attitude we didn’t really care about the other, about our customer.
That’s why I thing we need to bring care in our discussion and our acting to do things with the right focus. As I see, 2020 has changed much. One of the most impressive things for me is the focus on people (employees) and (intrinsic) values. Be there for each other was raising in 2020 because everyone has issues and everyone understand the issues of the others because they are often similar (social distancing etc.)
This focus on human values is the winner of 2020 and this is what was missing in the discussions and in the acting of CX in 2019. Let’s have a look to bring care and CX together in 2021 to do CX now in the right direction.
Having all this in mind, the question is coming up what’s next? Nobody can predict the future, but maybe there is an idea of the direction. Care I think is a bit of the “what’s next?”.
Salary is often payed with a fixed part and variable one. This was pushing people leader into the direction to lead on goals instead of values. At the end it results in a more short term thinking and lone fighters instead of teams. This is why companies like Google have cut this and pay everything as a fix salary.
What I think is, that we see a cultural shift, in private live as well as in business. Short term goals will be replaced by more long term goals and hard numbers will step behind values and the cooperation. Difficult times are setting our focus on what’s important and as we all know… “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” 3)J.K. Rowling
That’s a final word… but I like to use this and step into day to day example. CX shows us, that we need to understand the customer. At the same time we have many data silos within each department and through the entire company. Everyone is having a different view on the customer. Gaining (not building) the right CX is only possible if we bring this data silos together…. We are strong together!