Customer eXperience… the subtlest wild creature there is!

By Ashraf Helal

Customer eXperience… the subtlest wild creature there is!

During the past decades, I’ve repeatedly seen businesses that deteriorate, while management is enjoying a nice view on slides of their super satisfaction scores! Want an example?, I’m sure you’ll find one or two, in your memory; brands that you recently stopped doing business with, or decreased your spend at, even if you looked satisfied, before you suddenly disappear!

Customer satisfaction, at least in the way business measure it, isn’t highly correlated to business continuity, anymore.. The key missing piece of the puzzle here is what I invite you to reflect on; let’s call that “Customer eXperience business discipline”!

In the current era, Customer eXperience isn’t that decent/cute aspect of business. The impact of bad or good customer experience on business success and market landscape is becoming, increasingly, wild and powerful!

One of the most popular CX fatal practices, I’ve been witnessing for a while, in BIG businesses, is creating an artificial comfort zone of customer experience internal museum and inviting customers, and employees for tours. Those museums are usually jammed up with gems of every other business achievement, but real customer experience!.. If you’re as lucky as myself to have many thorough tours, you’ll easily identify a trend of exhibiting achievements of digital capabilities, loyalty programs, award-winning ads, brand equity, employer brand and PR-based announcements (AKA CSR campaigns).. all are important aspects of business.. all look beautiful on shelves and walls.. but they are NOT Customer eXperience. That phenomenon does not only create the challenges we deny, but also distorts internal culture and mindset.

If you have customers, then you’re not exempted from Customer eXperience.. The four ideas that I invite you (and me), to reflect on today are:

  1. If you can courageously assess your customer experience! What will you ind out? How do you find out? How accurate is that?   Leaning on irrelevant measures that make you feel in control.. might be an attractive gateway to a deadly path.
  2. If you can be humble and curious, like brave heroes! What is the weight does “your opinion” have in defining a good customer experience?  With all the years you have, your opinion will never outweigh your customers’ perception! the biggest part of the experience is emotional and unconscious.
  3. What kind of CX governance you have in place?  Rethink and redesign, until you build a robust and reliable Customer eXperience business discipline… One that is separate from marketing activities and reactive service models.. It will save you money and brings you more.
  4. What employee performance measures do you have, that’s directly linked to customer experience? On which functions/layers do you set CX objectives and KPIs? Do you apply that?  Unless it is owned by everyone, CX stays ill.

Stay mindful.. stay alive!


Ashraf  Helal, MCC is an international executive and leadership coach, leadership transformation facilitator and business consultant.