October 1st is Customer Experience (CX) Day!
Quite frankly, I think every day should be CX day – meaning that each day we should strive to deliver the best possible experience for our internal (team members) and our external (paying) customers.
CX day wasn’t on the radar when I first started my career in what was then called customer service. In 1998, I transitioned from being a clinical psychologist that provided direct clinical care to a role as a healthcare administrator. In those days, I was asked to help drive “consistent patient service” across the multi-hospital network. Words like customer experience or patient experience were not used. We didn’t talk about engagement, loyalty, or even patient choice. Instead, we searched for tools which were essentially scripts that practitioners could use to make transactions consistent over time and place.
By 1999, I read Gilmore and Pine’s book The Experience Economy. Personally, I credit that book with paving the way for the CX industry. The authors (economists) made a compelling case for economic value changing as society evolves. They suggest we moved from a time where value was derived from extracting raw materials from the earth to a time where value was achieved by making things from those materials. The authors went on to indicate that value shifted again from manufacturing to service delivery.
Using Starbucks as an example, Gilmore and Pine made a case for yet another shift from a service economy to an experience economy. They noted that the value of a Starbucks coffee (at the time approx. $1.79) was primarily the by-product of the “theater” of the Starbucks coffee house and not the result of the perceived value of raw materials or service delivery.
Gilmore and Pine’s insights played a transformational role as I took my consulting services outside of healthcare and began working with and writing about companies like The World-Famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, Washington (When Fish Fly) and the very brand Gilmore and Pine wrote about in The Experience Economy – Starbucks.
In the first of my two books about Starbucks (titled The Starbucks Experience), I expanded on Gilmore and Pine’s observations thanks to the generosity of spirit of Howard Schultz (the genius behind Starbucks). I later wrote about how Howard and his team adapted the Starbucks experience to re-establish brand strength after the global recession, in my book Leading the Starbucks Way.
For me, the journey to CX day requires a look back over 21 years and the nine books I’ve written about customer experience. (My new book The Airbnb Way will be released next month. If you would like a special pre-release offer, you have ONLY TWO WEEKS to purchase it here using the special offer code THANKS).
I am grateful the Customer Experience Professional Association was founded in 2011 as it set standards for this burgeoning industry and created a competency test for CX practitioners. It was a pleasure to take and pass that test and join the ranks of Certified Customer Experience Professionals some years ago and it’s an honor to celebrate the 7thannual CX Day on October 1st.
I hope you will take a moment on the 1st to say thank you to your customers. Moreover, I hope it will be a day of reflection on your efforts to drive an elevated experience for your people, your prospects, your vendors, and your customers.
CX Day can also be the day you double down on your commitment to leveraging your people, products, processes, and technologies in pursuit of a differentiated customer experience. I’d love to talk with you about how you can make EVERY DAY CX DAY – simply reach out to me here.