Last updated: CX isn’t an area of a business – it IS business

CX isn’t an area of a business – it IS business


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Customer experience – CX – isn’t an area of a business, it IS business.

That’s both my opening and my summary for those who like sound bites and are short on time. 

If you’ve got a little more time, let’s explore what CX is and how to look at business problems through the customer lens.

Business is about buying things, selling things, and engaging with customers.

This is grossly oversimplifying things to make a point, but the point is very simple. 

The purpose of your business is to sell things or provide services to people who buy those things and get value from them. You want those people to either keep the product or service, buy it again, and/or refer other people like them to your product or service.

I hope the above statement reinforces my opening line – and I’d love you to directly challenge this point of view if you disagree. 

B2B, B2C, D2C, B2B2C: No matter the model, you’re in the business of selling things or providing a service to people

Your customer might be a purchaser within a large multinational company, or a buyer for a fashion retail brand, or a consumer buying for themselves inside a fashion brands own retail store – but they’re all people buying things. 

If you’re a brand who manufactures a product, but you rely on your partners to sell that product to the end consumer or customer, you still have the same objective – you want people to buy your product and get value from your product.

There are different steps in this chain, and it’s a different model than a similar brand who makes a similar product, but sells direct to the consumer via their owned and operated digital commerce offering. However, you have the same objectives  – you both want to sell more product and you both want people who are buying your product to buy more product.

Text stating SAP is named a leader in the 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce. You can click the image to access the report.

The search, the clicks, the ordering process, the delivery, the service: It’s ALL CX

Whether it’s someone looking at an Instagram ad for your product, then buying directly from you, or buying from a retail partner, they’re still initially engaging with your product and your brand.

When they buy the product, they’re engaging either with you directly or with your retail partners – and that impacts the experience with your brand and your product.

Whether they get the product from a store or someone delivers it to their door – directly or indirectly – that’s an engagement with you, your brand, and your product.

How often in your own business, with your own team are you looking at that experience  between your customers, your product, your brand across those different channels – both owned and partner owned – at where there are points of friction and where you’re not providing value or the experience your customer expects?   

Annual customer journey map? Quarterly Voice of Customer? Weekly team meeting? Is it in one department or across teams? Which teams? And what’s the output of this work? 

CX matters: 3 questions to gauge if your customer experience meets the mark

When it comes to genuinely evaluating your CX, there are three challenging questions required to facilitate an honest conversation: 

  1. Are you memorable? 
  2. Are you engaging?
  3. Are you trying to be?  

Your company isn’t a brand or a building – it’s your people that interact with customers and how customers engage with your people and your brand.

Customers don’t care about your org chart or corporate structure; they see the “whole” experience of interacting with your brand as CX.

Inside of your business, who is helping connect those dots between teams and functions, while challenging processes and operating models to reduce friction for customers to add value to the organization?

Technology is in service of people. Both your employees as well as your customers and consumers. It’s a tool – but it’s not a strategy.

Implementing solutions is about understanding the problem. 

When looking at technology, are you clear on how the implementation will improve the way that your customers see your business and business problems? Are you clear on how it will improve the way your teams engage with customers and customers engage with your teams? How will you measure the impact – not just through a business lens – but through the lens of your customers?

CX is about providing the experiences that make your customers want to engage with you, buy from you, get value, stay engaged, and buy again.

It’s about how you generate value for the business in terms of growth – in customers, sales, revenues, profits. Because – remember – CX – isn’t an area of a business, it IS business.

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