In an earlier post I wrote about the need to define customer experience goals. This second of four articles assumes you’ve done that and examines how customer experience initiatives fail when resources are misaligned.


Day 1 – Your company announces a new customer experience program.  The program is an absolutely GREAT idea, destined to revolutionize the industry and propel your company forward.

Day 2 – Employee organization begins. (Note: this activity occurs regardless of whether or not you plan or do anything!)  It is a critical stage because one of three scenarios occurs (see below) and two are bad for business.  Two effectively abdicate responsibility.  If you see one or both of these scenarios you can rightly conclude that this CX initiative is headed for failure.  Some analogies from Isaac Newton’s laws of motion help illustrate.

  • Organizational apathy and lethargy (a body at rest stays at rest) – In this example people have either a weak understanding of or a weak commitment to the goal.  Sometimes they are worn down by hearing the same buzzwords with little follow-through and no results.  They do nothing.
  • High activity, low results (a body in motion, stays in motion) – This scenario is common in high-performing organizations.   Good-intentioned and motivated people get busy trying to do the right thing.  If your organization hasn’t done a good job of stating the goals, those same people will head off (unknowingly) in the wrong direction.

To adjust the trajectory of the program to achieve success look back to Newton again.

  • Steady strain (F=ma) – This third scenario represents directional alignment (people pulling in the same direction).  When two people pull in the same direction the combined force increases, but if they pull in opposite directions the resulting impact is diminished.  As leaders we must help people understand how what they do impacts goal attainment (a purpose).  We want specific people, playing specific roles to contribute in the way they are best able.  This means: salespeople sell, support teams solve problems, human resources groups help hire the best talent, etc.

Finally let me state that the customer experience is NOT everyone’s job.  I hate this oft-quoted mantra.  If everyone is responsible for the customer experience, then no one is.  (Read why here.)  If you see this happening, refer to “high activity, low results” above.

The pivot point is that only a steady strain scenario enables success.  The first two virtually guarantee failure.  Only the third scenario requires any skill.  The first two occur organically, of their own accord, regardless of your intent.  Unless you act to achieve the steady strain scenario your initiative is headed toward failure.

How have the laws of motion impacted the success or failure of your CX initiatives?  

Failing to Align CX Resources
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