You stride confidently into the conference room.
Stop. Scratch that. Let’s try again.
You connect confidently to the Zoom call.
Nested in your daughter’s bedroom, you carefully angle the laptop so the webcam shows a blank wall behind you and not her memory board—a scrappy mess of drawings and photos she hasn’t updated since “in-person school” returned after the pandemic was “over.”
For the next 8 hours, you’ll stare at little Brady Bunch boxes as each department leader gives an update about their team’s performance—a business ritual called the Monthly Business Review. In the dreaded after-lunch time slot, when everyone is sleepy and bored, you’ll give your CX program updates. But you’re never boring.
You’re dressed in a business shirt and sweatpants. Your most boss sweatpants. The ones you paid $68 for at Nordstrom Rack in a no-regrets pandemic splurge because they are trendy and tapered, yet baggy in all the right places—and the fabric is the softest blend of kitten fur and baby hair you’ve ever wrapped around your skin. These sweatpants mean business.
The Monthly Business Review is 50% status update, 50% strategy adjustment, and 100% justifying the further existence in your CX program. Nobody questions the ROI of Human Resources or Sales—they’re accepted as necessary parts of the business. But CX is not so pedestrian. You’re always battling ignorance and skepticism about the value of customer experience management.
You know the MBR is different from an all-hands meeting or town hall, where you rally employees with a memorable CX presentation. This executive leadership team doesn’t want to be inspired and motivated. They want to know if the business is on track to meet its goals.
But you’ve got this. You’ve prepared tasty little CX snacks for everyone.
You know how each executive thinks. Their goals and motivations.
How they like to consume data.
Sandy gets a sweet snack—a short story about how the CX program improved a customer’s outcomes. She’s the VP of Customer Success, looking sharp and professional in her little Zoom box. Sandy is relationship-focused—her personality makes her a great CS leader—but she goes into anaphylactic shock at the mere mention of statistics. So this customer success story—what you call qualitative data—will keep her engaged.
You’ve got a salty snack for Stan, VP of Support. He inhabits another Zoom box. His background says he’s in the office today instead of working from home. Stan is the opposite of Sandy—he quickly dismisses customer stories as “one-off anecdotes that don’t indicate a trend.” He wants the hard numbers.
Stan’s salty snack is quantitative data. Numbers, metrics, and graphs. Performance trending over time. Customer sentiment and behavior data correlated with the KPI he really cares about: issue resolution time. You know Stan won’t have any objections, because you used the Meeting Before the Meeting tactic to make sure the two of you were aligned.
Katherine, VP of Professional Services, joins the Zoom a few minutes late. You send her a private message to say “good morning” and make sure she’s ready. She doesn’t just get a snack—today you’ve baked her a cake.
You’re going to share some negative customer feedback about Katherine’s department in front of the entire executive team. But you never give a bad surprise in public—first, you shared it privately with Katherine. She’s already developed an action plan, which she will present today like a boss. It’s going to be an epic moment showcasing the cross-functional collaboration between CX and another team. You’re not the complaints department—you’re the action department.
Your CEO kicks off the meeting and you smile. Time to demonstrate how focusing on customers keeps the business on track. And your tasty little CX snacks will train the other executives to crave your monthly CX program updates.
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