In the movie "For love of the game" Kevin Costner is a senior baseball pitcher who is faced with the prospect of pitching in possibly his last Major League game. He is also not a crowd favourite given that he is 40+ and considered too old for the game. The noise in the packed stadium is deafening and his injured pitching shoulder is preventing him from pitching. He however has a special ability to shut off all the noise in the stadium by saying "clear the mechanism". That allows him to focus on pitching, which he does with a “perfect pitch”.
The correlation of this moment of struggle with noise from all sides in the movie to a CXO’s dilemma in taking decisions at the workplace are so identical.
Given the high decibel noise around technology and its adoption not just from internal team members, but from the industry one works in and also the peer group, one wishes all CXO’s to be blessed with the Extra Sensory Protocol (ESP sic) to blockout the noise and focus on what makes the most logical, economical and sustainable decision for the organization as a whole and CX organization in particular.
Here are some thoughts from my last 3 decades of experience across diverse industries like Hospitality, Technology and Realty in the specific area of leveraging technology to deliver high quality CX to customers.
Set the foundation right (0-3 months)
A former CEO & MD, and a terrific mentor, who I had the pleasure of working with on multiple assignments, once told me that in order to make informed strategic decisions, we must follow the principle of building construction. For 10-12 months nothing is visible above the ground, and while people may assume nothing is happening, it is the most important activity – laying the foundation. Once that is done, the rest of the structure sitting on the foundation is constructed at a rapid pace. His takeaway, "invest a disproportionate amount of time in laying a strong foundation". That has stuck with Me.
My advice is those embarking on either a new CX setup or revitalizing an existing CX setup is to
Upgrade and measure, measure, measure (03-12 months)
"What can't be measured, cant be improved". It is imperative to set about correcting organization structures, processes and systems to deliver the Quality of Service you desire for the organization keeping the sponsor (CFO/CEO) informed at all times.
Continuous Improvement (12 months onwards)
This is the time when your processes, systems are stabilized and starts giving you insights into trends and patterns for Service Quality improvements.
It is my firm belief that Process rigor, consistent and continuous improvement, building and nurturing a team that aligns with that vision , leveraging technology to enhance experience and reduce friction for the customers, keeping customer upfront and center for all strategic, policy, process decisions is bound to give you success more often than not as a service organization.