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CX Design: How to Move an Elephant

Posted On  October 28, 2014

You’re tasked with leading the process for redesigning your company’s customer experience. so what?  You’re excited! You’re honored! You’re terrified! Getting a large organization to stomp on the status quo, think differently, undo old habits, and instill new ones is a bit like moving an elephant.

Here are a few ideas to help you move your elephant:

Motivate the leaders of the herds.

An executive-level evangelist is critical to champion and lead important change initiatives. But the executive is not the elephant. In many ways, s/he sits atop the elephant, trying to coax it to move. After all, that executive is actually leading a CX migration composed of many herds, including the systems herd, the call-center herd, and the store-design herd. All the various herds must join the parade.

To achieve buy-in, invite the leaders of each herd to join you. Remember emotion and behavior can be contagious. Once you reach a critical mass of consensus, even the snootiest old cow will quit her, “tusk, tusk, tusking” and start moving.

Create a customer journey map

You don’t want the elephant roaming around or spinning in circles. To know where you are going you must start with where you are today.  Customer journey maps can help everyone connect to exactly how the status quo is experienced and interpreted by your customers. Identify what’s working, and learn from those successes.

For less than ideal moments in the journey, get leaders to focus on specific behavior changes that can lead both customers and your brand to fertile new land and a new map.

Put the customer journey map on the wall

Don’t just map the journey and put it in a desk drawer. Make your new destination clear and visible, and help people understand why the destination is worth pursuing.  When feeling under threat, elephants get in defensive postures and will circle around old ideas, so communicate and invite people to help you mark new paths.  As your organization seeks to employ new initiatives, let the map prioritize actions and inform processes and technologies. Ask how the actions and ideas will impact the customers at each stage.

Great changes can be made even in the largest of organizations. When consumers experience your brand in new relevant ways, like your elephant, they’ll never forget it.


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