There was a piece of research from e-consulting that showed CX was perceived to be the most fun area of business to be involved in. Whether you are putting a smile on the customers face every day or helping the CEO understand the correlation between fulfilling experiences that matter and profitability, you can see how the argument stacks up. Positive outcomes create contentment all round.
I’ve been involved across all areas of Customer Experience for most of my working life. From helping improve clients CX endeavours when others have left things a little unravelled or working up from a blank sheet to create CX strategies which reposition a company’s focus from product to customer centric, right through to designing and building employee engagement board games!
Yes, you read that correctly. I didn’t expect it would be something I would need to do as a CX strategist, but now I’ve done it and clients have played it, it has become possibly my favourite part of customer experience. It has reaffirmed to me the significant difference in approach you find between a CX Consultant and a Management Consultant when it comes to CX effectiveness.
Why a CX board game?
Some years ago, I was providing CX consultancy to s leading hotel group. Each of their three hundred plus hotels received a continuous slice of Medallia customer feedback. But it wasn’t always easy to engage employees at each hotel to review and act on what they received. Especially when they had their own list of ‘asset’ issues to sort out.
So we devised a format to ensure the hotels received a more ‘digestible’ format of the insight. But they needed more to act upon it. The option was to visit each hotel to workshop the value of VoC and how to employ it to achieve better customers outcomes. However, this meant I’d be on the road forever and may never see my family again!
Let the CX games commence!
I needed a format for engagement that didn’t rely upon an individual leading, but kept players together throughout. I spoke to contacts in the gaming world and I soon realised a remote digital solution was a death knell when it came to interactive game play like this.
It then came to me; a board game. As a child and as a parent I found good board games always maintained mine and others attention. I sat down and devised a board game which was focused on providing customer solutions using clients customer feedback data. The idea being that colleagues from across the hotel could come together (during breaks or team meet times), review the big issues and use the game mechanic to arrive at better outcomes. For the hotel the concept was ‘checking guests in, being served with a problem and then devising solutions based on proven ideation techniques we provided’.
The solutions would then be approved by other players (representing the guests) and put in to practice at the hotel. The results would be shared with other hotels across EMEA using a micro-site we’d built. If those receiving hotels had the same issue, they got a prompt and could choose to save time and employ the idea too. And best of all it could be packaged up and sent to each hotel to run with instructions, but without me.
Lexden’s ‘Making a CX Difference’ board game was born. Over the years we’ve rebranded the game to whichever company is using it and the content and design play tweaked to suit their purpose. So it’s a unique concept format for each company.
We have also developed and delivered successfully a version for employees who are not connected to the customer. They bring their business challenges instead of customer challenges to the meeting and we use a similar set of techniques to create solutions which customers would approve of. It’s a great way of introducing colleagues from across the business to customer experience. It also serves as a great ‘problem solving’ format for any team away day.
Game playing time has become known as the ‘SPARK sessions’ following one participants comment that it had at last ignited the connection between their back office role and it’s impact on the end customer. We also run ‘trainer’ sessions with ‘Pass it on’ packs for those attending to take away and cascade the knowledge to their colleagues.
CX-DNA, our magic ingredient to success
The competitive gaming session intentionally only last 45 minutes to keep the energy levels up. This can be accompanied by a ‘What is CX-DNA?’ interactive workshop format we’ve developed. This introduces participants to the difference between the danger of customer experience parity and the advantage of branded customer experience distinction.
To get to this we apply an extra ingredient, which is very much to do with the end customer. As specialists in customer-led thinking, and using either our clients existing customer drivers sets or conducting our own CX behavioural change research as an input source, we identify what outcomes customers are looking to fulfil through the relationship with the brand and understand how to frame this as a set of Branded Customer Standards. These are unique to that company and their set of customers, so we call it CX-DNA.
These are validated with stakeholders and customers and then designed as an accessible set of Customer Standards to help colleagues’ prioritise and direct decision-making in favour of achieving the right customer outcomes. This engenders confidence from senior leaders that any decision (internal or external) will be seen as valued by customers, and differentiated to competitors. We have found this is the smartest way to get employees from all areas of the business on-board with branded customer experience.
What do clients say about playing Lexden’s Customer Experience Game?
The outcome is always the same: employees empathise with customers, understand the impact their actions have on customers, take ownership of improving the situation and drive the change through from their role profile.
Clients have expressed their satisfaction with the format and we find it delivers the value of branded CX more effectively than any town hall, video or presentation can. We’ve had some great feedback:
- “Really enjoyed the whole approach – especially important we got to be hands on”
PM Community Manager, Transformation & Change
- “Good interactive sessions had been created to stretch the mind and really think about what customer standards means in your own world”
Interim Head of Internal Communications
- “Very interactive and fun way of learning… quality of materials was very high. Reinforced our responsibility for all being advocates of customer thinking”
Head of Audit
- “I thought the approach was great. A breath of fresh air what with the level of engaging multimedia, inclusive group activity and fun focused on what I found to be a very useful framework. All transformation should aim to be like that.”
Solicitor, Treasury & Corporate Legal
- “I thoroughly enjoyed the session and would encourage the bank to hold more engaging sessions such as this on other topics in the future”
Financial Accountant, Financial Control
- “I really enjoyed the session and gained comfort from the fact that we could all see where we add value to the customer in the work we do”
Analysis & Build Lead, IT Relationship and Change
- “I really enjoyed the sessions …and I want to conduct it for my Teams”
Business Readiness Manager
If this has been of interest, why not find out more?
We can provide the ‘Making a CX Difference’ board game as a finished product for you to use with your colleagues, or we can facilitate groups from 8-200 in gaming sessions or training.
If the Customer Standards are of interest as well, we can share much more on the thinking and the difference applying Customer Standards in Customer Experience can have on the potential for sustained commitment by all to CX. As well as successful formats which have been applied.
For more please information, please contact Christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com
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Lexden helps deliver effective customer experience insight, strategy, content and creative activation clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience.