Take These Three Actions to Prevent Customer Explosion

Published: Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Make no mistake about it, customer experience implementation within an organization is a major undertaking. It often involves multiple departments, the organization’s leaders, and the C-suite. I stress to my clients that CX work must be performed in bite-sized pieces, so it can become part and parcel of the company’s longterm strategy. You can’t try to tackle everything at once. The guests on my podcast, The Chief Customer Officer Human Duct Tape Show can certainly attest to this sentiment. Do you know what happens in CX implementation when you try to take on more than you can handle? I call it “boiling the ocean.” You take on too much, too fast. When you “boil the ocean,” you end up creating a bigger mess because eventually, multiple parts of the organization end up translating and acting independently (then you’ve got siloed work). To avoid this dilemma, my suggestion is to internalize the five competencies. These establish an engine for accelerating customer growth and drive clarity for the customer experience transformation.


  1. Honor and manage your customers as assets. This allows you to focus on measuring if you did or did not earn the right to customer growth.

  2. Align around experience. This changes accountability and the story of the business from silo performance to customer life improvement.

  3. Build a customer listening path. This unites multiple sources of customer feedback to tell the story of customers’ lives by stage, as they experience you/your organization.

  4. Proactive experience reliability and innovation. This lets you know before the customers tell you if the experience you delivered was reliable and valuable to them.

  5. One-company accountability leadership and culture. This unites leaders to guide the company to improve its customers’ and employees’ lives.


Keeping the five competencies in mind, follow the methods outlined below. These steps will help you establish a realistic strategy for implementing customer experience while keeping you from creating an overwhelming plan that attempts to “boil the ocean.”

  1. Break the five competencies into crawl-walk-run action steps. For example, in competency one, honoring and managing customers as assets, don’t wait until you have all of the data perfectly aligned and automated to roll it out. Start with the data you have, even if it means manually building spreadsheets.

  2. Improve priority experiences while developing the five competencies.** Unite leaders on the identification of the priority CX touchpoints. Learn how to work as one company to solve and improve these touchpoints.

  3. Prove out the process before expanding. One client wanted to embed the five competencies in three countries simultaneously.* I recommended rolling out version one in one country first, then working out the kinks and gaining experience and relevant examples. Unfortunately, they yielded to pressure to go broad and fast—and you can predict how that ended. They attempted to “boil the ocean” and drowned in a sea of excess.

Now that you have a proper framework of how to approach your CX implementation, take the time to learn where your organization stands in terms of work that needs to be done and where. At the beginning of each coaching engagement with clients, I conduct a Five Competencies Audit to determine how much work has already been done in each competency.

Take this Reality Check Audit to understand how and where you need to embed the competencies into your business operations. Good luck!


Jeanne Bliss is the Founder and President of CustomerBliss and the Co-Founder of The Customer Experience Professionals Association.

You can follow Jeanne on Twitter: @JeanneBliss

This article originally appeared in our e-book Build a Better Customer ExperienceRead the full book here which contains advice from 10 CX industry experts.

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