The Elephant in the Room: What’s Stopping Employees from Putting Customers First?

“Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company.” – Tony Hsieh (former CEO, Zappos)

To be customer-centric, it is not enough to invest in VOC programs, journey mapping, and a brilliant team of UX designers. CX is a team sport that requires all employees—not just executives, department leaders, and CX teams—to be bought in and fully participate.

Here are a few common reasons why employees in your oganization might still be sitting on the sidelines and reluctant to tag in:

  1. Lack of understanding: Employees may not fully understand what “customer centricity” means, why it is important, and how it affects their job.
  2. Resistance to change: They may be resistant to changing their habits or routines, especially if they have been doing things a certain way for a long time.
  3. Lack of motivation: Employees may not see the point of putting in extra effort to change their behaviors, especially if they do not feel that their contributions are recognized or rewarded.
  4. Inadequate training: Employees may not have received adequate training on how to deliver a customer-centric experience, or they may not have the skills or tools needed to do so.
  5. Conflicting priorities: Employees may have conflicting priorities, such as meeting sales targets or productivity goals, that take precedence over delivering a better customer experience.
  6. Inconsistent message: Leaders may not be effectively communicating the importance of customer centricity, modeling customer-centric behavior themselves, or providing the necessary support and resources to enable employees to deliver a better customer experience.
  7. Limited empowerment: Employees may not feel empowered to make decisions or take actions that are in the best interest of the customer, either due to lack of authority or fear of repercussions.
  8. Ineffective measurement: Organizations may not be measuring the right customer experience metrics or providing feedback to employees in a timely and actionable manner.
  9. Siloed mindset: Employees may be focused on their own department or function rather than the broader customer journey, leading to a fragmented customer experience.
  10. Lack of customer feedback: Employees may not be receiving enough direct feedback from customers about their experience, making it difficult to understand where improvements are needed.

Coaching Employees to Get in the CX Game

How might CX-minded organizations begin to overcome these hurdles?

First and foremost, ensure teams regularly review customer feedback and share success stories with each other. This will help reinforce the importance of customer satisfaction and encourage employees to embrace a customer-centric mindset—especially if they see themselves (and their peers) being recognized for exhibiting best-in-class CX behaviors.

Recent Posts

Author: Kristine Remer

Kristine Remer is a CX insights leader, UX researcher, and strategist in Minneapolis. She helps organizations drive significant business outcomes by finding and solving customer problems. She never misses the Minnesota State Fair and loves dark chocolate mochas, kayaking, escape rooms, and planning elaborate treasure hunts for her children.