The Experience Oriented Enterprise™ Blueprint
CXM Symposium Sketchnotes
CX Day 2020 Employee Experience Workshop Video Replay
CX Day Webinar: Shift from Evolution to Revolution
Upgrade your skills with BrandLove's Learning Programs!
Webinar Wednesday 9 September 16:00 -17:00
Re-Imagine your business to deliver great experiences for employees and customers!
What lurks beneath the surface will grow or ground your business - The relationship between Employee Experience and Customer Experience.
Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) Coaching Program
12 Week programme to prepare you for writing the CCXP exam.
Intake starts 10 September 2020 - 12-week program on Zoom
Each year on the first Tuesday in October, the CX community celebrates the professionals and companies that make great customer experiences happen - a celebration known as CX Day.
To celebrate CX day this year, we will bring you the following events.
5 October - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - CX Trailblazers Panel Discussion on how to upgrade to CX 2.0
A collaboration event with, Lou Carbone, and other prominent pioneers in the field of CX. More to be revealed soon.
6 October - Employee Journey Mapping Workshop
Join us for an interactive workshop on how to map the journey for employees in the new disrupted world of work. Whether you are a leader or an HR professional, this session can equip you with strategies on how to engage people during challenging times.
The Certified Customer Journey Architect Program™
5-day in-person program presented on Zoom
19 to 23 October 2020
unLEARNing’s since the Pandemic
Connection. Being Real. Caring. These are deep-seated qualities that are important to me at home and work. It has been amplified even more with the current COVID19-pandemic that forced the world as we know it to change. People talk about the new normal. I like to describe it as being sent to our rooms by the universe to re-evaluate our priorities. This got me thinking.
The way we worked before the pandemic
In my line of work, we assist businesses to create amazing customer journeys and empower employees to find their own purpose and passion that ultimately leads to higher performing teams. The catch is that it is a facilitated process….very much a face-to-face process!
Let’s do a quick experiment. I would like to invite you to your very own virtual reality imagination scene. Are you ready?
Picture it…. You receive a printed invitation to attend one of our workshops. The actual invitation is followed up with a calendar invite with more details around the venue, time, and catering details. On the day of the workshop, you enter a room that is set-up with some natural light coming through the windows. You see about 18-30 other attendees. One of the 3 facilitators on the day meets you at the door and make you feel right at home. On the table, you see a workbook with worksheets printed on good quality paper. You see a lot of sharpies and post-it notes, and you are curious about the tubs of LEGO and base plates that you see in the middle of the table. The background music is upbeat and the coffee and muffins smell delicious. The training starts and is not death by PowerPoint as you thought it would be, but are extremely creative, immersive, and collaborative. At the end of the session you walk away with practical skills because of the amazing dialogue you had and work you did with your team members – you feel connected and inspired.
Could you imagine the scene? Could you connect with what was described?
The way we work now
It’s been 4 months since the lock-down in my country and it seems as if we may stay in lockdown for a while still. No live workshops will take place again in the foreseeable future.
All our efforts have gone into finding solutions to translate this real-live experience I just described, online. No more LEGO. No more post-it notes, flipcharts, printed worksheets, Meerkat awards, or hugs…
In order to do this, we had to unlearn how we used to do things to make space to adapt to a different environment. To translate the learning content online is not the issue. The thing I struggled with most was how to translate realness and connection into the virtual space.
We had to find a way to not only connect with our audience but to stay connected as a facilitation team. It has pushed us to our limits in terms of creativity, innovation, courage, and agility.
I would like to share with you some of the limiting ideas that I had to let go of in order to create a new way of being real, virtually.
1. It has to be perfect
Rather try something new even if it fails or does not work out exactly as you planned. If it is positive it is good enough. Trial and error are the best way and failing fast and being able to adapt fast is key. Don’t get stuck in the idea of a perfect solution – positive is the new perfect.
2. I have full control
In the online realm, things will go wrong. Eskom and load shedding are a real thing in South Africa. Internet connections drop. People are not all on the same level in terms of tech-savviness. Not everyone will be on their computers, some people will use their mobile phones and won’t be able to access all the tools. What you do have control over is how you prepare people upfront on what to expect and the ground rules of what your expectations are of them.
3. Online content is boring and one dimensional
Online actually allows for such diversity! Make sure that you create content that is not all the same. Use the functionality of the tools i.e. Zoom for presentations and guest speakers, smaller group breakaways for discussions, and collaborative work on a virtual platform, content platforms to showcase videos or resources. Structure your content in such a way that people stay curious and engaged. You can offer such a rich variety of content and deliver it in interesting ways!
4. There is one silver bullet
We searched long and hard to find a one size fits all online solution, but in the end after trying many different apps, platforms, and software we decided on 2 or 3 tools that suit our needs best. Find solutions that will help you deliver your content and experience in the best possible way for your client. Make it easy. Do not overcomplicate the tools. And do training on the tools with your clients before the sessions to ensure that they are comfortable once they join your sessions.
5. Virtual realness is impossible
I thought it was. What I came to realize is that whether we are face to face or in a virtual world, people are still just human. We have the same needs of certainty variety, significance, connection and love, growth, and contribution beyond yourself. If you have the courage to show a piece of your heart and your own realness, you will extract the realness of others. The platforms may be virtual. The people are not!
My wish for you is that you will continue to stay connected. To yourself. To the people that matter to you. To your team. To your colleagues. To life. To being real. This will make the world a better place for all!
Let me leave you with the wise words of Dr. Seuss: “Life’s too short to wake up with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t, and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get the chance, take it. If it changes your life let it. Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it”.
Interview: Everyday Entrepreneurs Everywhere!
EX and CX is like Ebony and Ivory in imperfect harmony at the moment!
What lurks beneath the surface can grow or ground your business
Many people reshared my drawing below on LinkedIn and I decided to host a webinar to talk about the interconnectedness between Employee Experience and Customer Experience.
When: Aug 31, 2020
Time: 04:00 PM Johannesburg
What your toilets tell me about your culture...
This started as a bit of a joke and then it got serious.
Whenever I go and see a new client, I go to the washroom before the meeting starts. I would usually study the instructions and signage on the walls of the washroom and look at the design, tone of voice and calls to action. Eventually, I started seeing patterns. What I found in the washroom would be identical to what I found in the boardroom. The culture oozed out in the passive-aggressive instructions. The passive voice that shouted threats at me. The calls to action that were vague and instructions that at the time felt that you were micromanaging my washroom activities and were going to include that in my key performance indicators. Let’s just say the washrooms in certain companies scared me and really did not make me feel safe.
One washroom had signs above the toilets that said: “If at first, you don’t succeed, flush, flush and flush again”. It was meant to inspire ownership through humour but in a drought-stricken part of the country. This told me about the ignorance and disconnection of what was said and what was lived. It also spoke about the what instead of the why. Throughout this company, I found teams that were not aligned. Teams were competing in the most unhealthy manner, almost cannibalising each other’s clients. Leaders were in their ivory towers looking down at the workers.
I would also look at the state of the washroom, is it maintained, cared for? Are the basics taken care of? This is a great indicator of accountability, ownership and general care of people. If a company is not taking pride in the state of their washrooms, they are not nurturing pride in their people. And the aggressive, scare posters that aim to command and control bathroom activities, does not succeed in fixing this.
Then we get to the legislated protective gear in the toilets that have a role in preventing HIV. They play an important role, but the choice of flavours and presentation make me wonder. The lubricant in small sachets that are made available in large quantities, confused me. I am not sure why lubricant is provided rather than condoms. When I asked employees about this, I received verbal and visual answers that I cannot repeat in this article. I would need an age restriction. The lubricant on its own sends a message of office promiscuity but in combination with condoms, it has a stronger health and safety message. I assume the week that I spent there, the condoms were out.
I use this story in jest but I really do believe the clues of language, manners, disciplines and patterns provide us with evidence of an otherwise intangible cultural DNA that impacts people in the workplace.
The Customer and Employee Experience Iceberg