when you feel like you require a cx strategy
When you feel you require a Customer Experience or CX strategy, it is time to revisit your business strategy. The need for a CX strategy means you dropped the ball somewhere else. Why? Because CX is not a strategy but an actualization of your business strategy (Hart, 2018), in my opinion, the only one you must have.
Hart (2018) disagrees with the latter since he describes a CX strategy’s role within a business one. I beg to differ. By the way, when in need of a CX strategy, the ball you dropped is the exclusion of the primary customer* in your master plan (a.k.a. business strategy) to meet the aspired business ends. I don’t call it even a business strategy, but a Marketing & Innovation Strategy, since those are the only value-creating business functions (Drucker, 2003).
* Primary customer: the select group of customers that unlock the most value for the business (Simons, 2014).
Force, Pseudo-Marketing & Sales, and Systems
Overused and too often misunderstood is how I describe the word strategy. The word’s definition points to three stirring categories:
- The deployment of force to support adopted policies;
- clever stratagems or tricks to achieve one’s goals, and;
- adaptation to serve a function in achieving evolutionary success
In short: force, pseudo-marketing and sales, and systems.
When You Feel The Need for a CX Strategy, then Why Is That?
When you feel you need a CX strategy, do you require it to:
Since I argue that CX is not a strategy, the question above refers to your business strategy. And, it is quite a serious question. So is your answer. Regardless of your answer, your customers always have an experience.
The thing is, you cannot prevent them from having one. Likewise, you cannot avert your employees from having an employee experience or your supplier from having a supplier experience.
Why Is CX not a Strategy, and Why Shouldn’t It Be?
First, as established earlier, it is an actualization of a master plan, and second, it would perpetuate silos. Silos stand in the way of good customer experiences, and, therefore, silo strategies are never the brightest idea. Most silo heads find this point of view hard to swallow; it is fun to strategize and feeds egos well.
However, they have more critical challenges: cross-functional collaboration, excellent project planning, outstanding people and management skills, and tactical agility to meet your Northstar objective (your master plan) jointly. Here is the harsh reality: the only ones who can decide whether your Northstar objective is valuable are customers. They do so at their leisure, not at yours, not at your investors’, not at your employees’. Of course, you can always have a cunning plan. CX alone, no matter how vital it is in today’s world, is not going to cut it.
The bottom line is that when you feel you require a CX strategy, it’s the last thing you need. What you do need at that point is a thorough revision of your master plan and make sure to include your primary customer. Plus, all the other things you may not ignore according to your paradigm.
Blackadder Quotes, 2021. I Have A Cunning Plan – A History Of Cunning Plans In Blackadder. [online] Blackadder Quotes. Available at: <https://blackadderquotes.com/i-have-a-cunning-plan> [Accessed 24 January 2021].
Drucker, P.F., 2001. The Essential Drucker. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Hart, R., 2018. So What Is CX Strategy Anyway?. [online] Forrester. Available at: <https://go.forrester.com/blogs/so-what-is-cx-strategy-anyway/> [Accessed 24 January 2021].
Merriam-Webster, 2021. Definition Of STRATAGEM. [online] Merriam-webster.com. Available at: <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stratagem> [Accessed 24 January 2021].
Merriam-Webster, 2021. Definition Of STRATEGY. [online] Merriam-webster.com. Available at: <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/strategy> [Accessed 24 January 2021].
Simons, R., 2014. Choosing The Right Customer. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: <https://hbr.org/2014/03/choosing-the-right-customer> [Accessed 24 January 2021].