Award-Winning CX...Literally

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

A Look at What Sets CX Award Winners Apart

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! We all like to think we run “world-class” or “award-winning” CX or CS programs. But not everyone has (or takes?) the time to prepare submission packages for the various award programs. In 2020 I served as a panelist, judge, or jury member on several industry award programs--most recently at the North American Customer Centricity Awards sponsored by ARCET Global. I jump at these opportunities because they enrich my awareness of industry-leading practices, practitioners, and case studies for CX and Customer Success. Looking back over the hundreds of 2020 submissions I reviewed something else is now very clear to me:

Even if you never submit for an award or recognition--behave like you will.

Validating and quantifying your value to your company and customers just might be the ultimate award! Award submitters engage in at least three behaviors that benefit any CX program and each should be a priority for professional CX leaders. These behaviors demonstrate a level of professionalism around CX that tends to signal truly excellent programs and leaders.

  1. Benchmark

  2. Define the “Why” and “How”

  3. Share the CX Impact

Benchmarking for CX and Success is difficult because each variable (customer, industry, product type, geography, business model, etc.) can yield vastly different standards. Even without flawless and broad benchmarking CX awardees still know what they’re aiming for. In the best cases they have solid data. When that doesn’t exist they’re out talking to industry colleagues, interviewing consultants about what we see among our clients, and using professional associations to help define their own targets for excellence. And sometimes you are your own benchmark. “Better than we were yesterday; but not as good as we’ll be tomorrow.” is a viable target.

Why and How are common questions on award applications. Why are you doing what you’re doing? How did you implement change? CX awardees clearly state their purpose and their path. I know you can answer your own Why and How. But are you ready to share that with the world or is it mostly shared with your team and maybe 1-2 executives? A clear and compelling Why statement about your CX efforts establishes your mission and purpose--and ideally aligns with corporate objectives and customer expectations. How is where the rubber meets the road. Explain your approach--both what worked and what didn’t--in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Effectiveness is whether you met or exceeded expectations. Efficiency is whether you selected an optimal path to meet those expectations. Both link to the bottom line--the third behavior I want to share.

CX Impact is measured by both the customer and the company. Great CX and great customer success feel good and might be inherently “right” approaches. CX awardees treat CX as the means to an end. The impact of excellence shows up in customer behaviors and company results. It’s not enough to only measure happiness or effortlessness or likelihood to recommend. How does your approach influence customer behavior? How does that behavior contribute to company goals? The value of your CX efforts is their impact.

The Envelope Please…

Once you’re doing these things--and many of you already are--I also strongly encourage you to get out there and seek the recognition you deserve! Sure, there’s a vanity element. But more importantly, preparing your story for 3rd party review helps you focus on your process and results. In addition, the events themselves expose you to a world of best practices and leading practitioners, jumpstarting your continuous improvement efforts toward ever better Customer Experience and the value it brings.

Preparing a case for award submission is one of those rare times when everyone truly is a winner--you, your CX program, your company, and your customers.

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