And the award goes to…

Outwith has been invited to judge again at the annual Customer Experience Awards (CXA) – it was the UK CXA a few weeks ago, and the International CXA’s being held in early November 2021.

One thing that’s struck us is how passionate people are when competing for the awards. We believe this is because, for some, it is the chance to tell their story – it’s the culmination of a tough change journey of which they’re immensely proud. The results stand for themselves and they will leverage them as they move onto the next opportunity. For others, it’s still early days with their initiative – they are excited but cautious, they anticipate pitfalls ahead but they’ve seen enough to give them hope and continued investment.

In either scenario (and whether people get to win an Award or not!), they’ve brought a genuine sense of care and innovation – of wanting to place the customer at the core of their business, of needing to develop and embed essential capabilities that create longer-term customer relationships.

But what has also struck us is how hard that change still is for most organisations. Their challenge that Outwith is very familiar with is one of technology disruption, empowered and increasingly complex customers, shifting markets and new competitors. The common incumbent response to this challenge? Proclaim to ‘put the customer at the heart of everything we do’ or to become ‘omnichannel’. Create a transformation programme that runs parallel to business-as-usual. Or throw money at ‘wow’ moments and respond to customer feedback at face value.

We’ve learnt that customer-centric businesses do not grow profitably by following the common response. Instead, they unlock growth by genuinely going Outwith – it means ‘outside’ and ‘beyond’. They discover the promises and experiences their most valuable customers really demand, and then inspire and purposefully organise their business to excel at delivering them.  They believe that growing customer lifetime value is the ultimate driver of sustained success. Valued customers lead to a more valued business – by investors, regulators and other stakeholders alike.

Our clients describe us as builders, engineers, coaches, mentors – we don’t really mind, whatever fits best! What we do care about is helping them develop and embed the essential capabilities that create long-term growth. So we wish everyone at the 2021 CX Awards ‘good luck’ – but in the knowledge that it’ll be less about chance, and more about how well they’ve channeled all that passion and good intent into real change.