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CX Operations & CX Engagement

Bibi Sofowote, CCXP

A few weeks ago, a close friend commented to me about an industry leader who seemed to be very focused on CX Operations but not at all on CX Engagement. They wondered if I had any thoughts on the sustainability of this approach. I did.

Let’s talk about it.

When a college student named Steve Wozniak was introduced to high-schooler Steve Jobs in 1971, they very quickly realized they had more than their first names in common. Their mutual passion for pranks and perhaps more importantly, electronics and computing soon saw them working together and eventually creating Apple, which today is one of the world’s most recognizable enterprises. Now, while we currently don’t have access to a time machine and whatever multiverses might be out there, we could still imagine that these two individuals maybe could have found greatness without each other, but it is undeniable that at least in this timeline, the result of their collaboration has been nothing short of spectacular. At the very least, one can say with a high degree of certainty, that there would be no Apple without both Steves.

In that same vein, I’d like to submit that there could be no CX Excellence without care being give to both CX Operations, and CX Engagement.

CX Engagement is made up of the touch-points and strategies that create meaningful and inspiring interactions with customers, fostering loyalty and solidifying an emotional connection. Things like the customer ordering process, customer service interactions, website visits, social media engagement, et-cetera, fall into this category.

CX Operations, on the other hand, are the backend systems, processes and infrastructure that support and enable effective customer interactions and delivery. Think order fulfillment, product development, ticket management, process standardization, in this space.

The relationship between these two is symbiotic in its truest sense. Effective CX Operations enable smoother CX Engagement, while meaningful CX Engagement can inform and refine operational processes. An example that you’re probably familiar with would be Amazon's exceptional implementation. Their recommendation system (CX Engagement) is powered by robust data analytics and inventory management (CX Operations). This seamless integration ensures customers receive relevant product suggestions, enhancing their shopping experience and keeping Amazon’s revenue growing.

Insights gathered from CX Engagement can be used to refine and optimize CX Operations, leading to greater innovation and increasing a company’s ability to better target the core care-abouts of its customers in its decision-making and execution.

For example, a software company receiving feedback, that there are routinely interruptions and failures during the download of the software, might decide to prioritize more immediate budget on investing in better backend infrastructure, and implement a more efficient download delivery system to ensure a smoother experience.

Consistency is key. Consistent CX Operations ensure that the quality of CX Engagement remains high across all channels, all the time. I’m sure you’d have something to say if every time you went into a Starbucks, you felt like you were playing the roulette, because you never quite knew what sort of experience you’d have. And even though you’d always order the same thing, the cup they’d shove in your hand tasted wildly different, day to day. The reason your Vanilla Latte tastes the same, every day, and no matter what location you go into, is that Starbucks’ CX Operations are consistent, ensuring that you, the customer, have a familiar and positive experience every time you visit, AKA, CX Engagement.

CX Operations and CX Engagement are like… the Property Brothers, ya know? It’s not the Property Brothers unless there’s both of them, right? And because they each focus on a different aspect of the same project, they can make it happen. So, while CX Engagement focuses on creating memorable and meaningful interactions, CX Operations ensure that the infrastructure and processes are there to support these interactions effectively. Businesses that understand and invest in both aspects are more likely to deliver a superior end-to-end customer experience, leading to great outcomes for both company and customer.

To close, here’s a fun game: Of Jobs and Wozniak, who jumps to mind when I say, “CX Engagement”? And who do you picture when I yell, “CX Operations!”? I’d love to know what your answers were!

Thanks for reading this article. How will you use this information to make your customer experience better today? What have you observed in your environment Reach out. Connect. I’ll be reading and responding. And learning.

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