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  • Writer's pictureJennifer van Lent

The Leadership Challenge for CX Professionals - or "How to Start a Movement"

What is a Customer Experience Ambassador? What is their role in driving customer-centric behavior and corporate culture change? And finally, what does this have to do with the Dancing Shirtless Guy in the video? Let's take a closer look at the role of a CX Ambassador and why they are key to your CX strategy.

In his humorous and insightful Ted Talk, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: it takes two.) The Leader exhibits a certain behavior, takes action, and (this is crucial), goes public with his or her initiative! The Leader draws attention in a compelling way - for example: fun, insightful, or ridiculously "over the top" - so others in the community or crowd are compelled or drawn to watch. What happens next is how movements get started: someone from the crowd joins the leader and mimics or emulates his or her behavior. This is the First Follower. The Leader and the First Follower are probably dancing alone for a while - or in the context of the business world, spreading the news about a new program, sharing and encouraging colleagues to adopt new ideas, or trying to change community behavior or corporate culture. However, pretty soon, someone else joins. Then another two people. Then more. And now you have a movement! As Sivers explains, the key role here is not necessarily that of the Leader but instead of the First Follower. This is the person who triggers others to watch and join.

Even if they don't know they are following the same principle as Dancing Shirtless Guy, CX ambassadors apply similar behaviors in their role as customer experience champions and change agents. Ambassadors are frequently called upon within an organization to help introduce a program, facilitate change, or provide structured feedback. You probably have ambassadors in your company who are already helping to drive the adoption of trial programs or new technology (also called super users). Or corporate culture champions who are spreading awareness about your company’s sustainability or corporate social responsibility initiatives. And ambassadors are key in helping you start a movement.

So how can you get started? Here are 6 proven tips to help you kick-start a program to create a team of CX Ambassadors:

  1. Create A Persona: Create a persona or ideal profile for your ambassador. Think of words or phrases to describe your persona like “passionate about customer excellence”, “customer-focused”, “extroverted and friendly with clients”.

  2. Build Your Team: Identify colleagues who fit this profile. What is their role in the organization? How can they help drive awareness of CX in their current role? Who are in their circles of concern, influence, and control? Consider formal and informal circles.

  3. Set Expectations: Set expectations and goals for your ambassadors. Let them know what is expected of them, as well as highlighting the importance of their roles within the organization.

  4. Engagement: Determine a communication and feedback loop with your ambassadors to identify areas of improvement, to timely surface issues, and to leverage successes and quick wins.

  5. Build Skills: Give your ambassadors training on their role and "talking points" to help address questions, combat skeptics, and make new converts. Host a workshop or training session to boost important skills.

  6. Motivation: How will you keep your ambassadors motivated and enthusiastic about their roles as CX champions? Your First (and Second, and Third) Followers are important to the success of your program. And you need to nurture them! Recognize their successes in newsletters, at company or team events, or special awards ceremonies.

Customer Experience is a cultural transformation. And successful cultural changes require engagement across all layers of the organization. To create the right environment and establish a customer-centric culture relies on the commitment and mindset of employees. You need to show successes, be visible to your community, and scale your efforts. This is where your CX Ambassador program will shine a bright light on the importance of customer experience and show BIG WINS for your CX strategy!

For more information or to share your experience with your CX Ambassador program, contact us and we'd love to hear from you!

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