Earlier this week, more than 180 customer experience (CX) professionals came together in Boston for the first meeting of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org). It was a great event full of learning, sharing, networking, and planning for the future of the CXPA.
We started the event at the oldest hotel in America (Omini Parker House), had dinner at the oldest restaurant in America (Union Oyster House), and held our last session at the oldest ballpark in America (Fenway Park). It was a perfect setting for the CXPA to set the foundation for its future. Like those other landmarks, we expect the CXPA to be around for more than 100 years!
Here’s the slide that I used to open and close the event…
I believe that we are at a very special time in the evolution of customer experience management. There’s a large number of people doing great work in a very fragmented way. It’s time to share our learnings, set some standards, raise the bar on all of our performance, and establish CX as a legitimate profession. There’s so much that we can do together!
Here are seven quick observations from the event:
- CX requires the right brain and left brain. Parrish Arturi from Fidelity Investments talked about engaging “the hearts and minds” of leaders across the organization. This theme showed up in so many places. CX professionals need to deliver the hard core analysis to identify areas of improvement and ROI, but they also need to communicate the stories about how the experience emotionally affects their customers.
- Employee engagement is a critical competency. Joe Wheeler spoke on our final panel. He’s the executive director of the Service-Profit Chain Institute which created some of of the seminal research linking employee engagement to company profitability. But he was not the only one to emphasize employee engagement as a competency. We heard this theme within discussions about leadership, metrics, and VoC programs.
- CX professionals are very, very nice. One the most common things that I heard throughout the event was “everyone is so nice.” That’s one of the things that I really love about my work, the people are great. The CX profession seems to attract smart, nice, caring people.
- There are so many ways to help. We had many sessions where members identified things that could help them in their jobs. While the CXPA can’t deliver them all at once, there were certainly a bunch of things that we are working on and will add to our to-do list, including: local networking events, standardized job descriptions, libraries of ROI models/presentations, examples of useful scorecards, etc.
- The CXPA is time very well spent. Over the last year, I’ve spent 100s of hours with my co-founder Jeanne Bliss to establish and build the CXPA. It’s a non-profit organization, so we have donated our time on a totally voluntary basis. After seeing so many CX professionals engage with the CXPAs mission, I feel great about the time we spent and look forward to spending even more time on it in the future. I hope that all of the other people who volunteer their time feel the same way.
- The CXPA is on the fast track. Since our launch in April, the CXPA has skyrocketed to almost 1,000 members in the community. We’ve already reached a critical mass to sustain the networking and sharing required to create value for members. I’m confident that our growth will only accelerate from here. And why wouldn’t it? There’s no better model than having CX professionals sharing with each other in a safe, non-profit environment.
- I’m very thankful. A lot of people came together to make the event a huge success. While I can’t name them all, I want to thank our board of directors, committee leaders, speakers, and sponsors. I also need to give a shout out to Virtual, the association management company that handles all of the CXPA’s infrastructure, including event planning for this event.
The bottom line: I invite you to join us on the CXPA journey