*This blog has been written by Ian Golding and was published on https://ijgolding.com/2017/08/09/engaging-people-cx-introducing-customer-experience-game/*
A perennial problem for any Customer Experience Professional around the world is to find an effective way to engage people with the significance of the subject. Whilst many profess to ‘get’ Customer Experience (CX), they tend to do so instinctively, intuitively and accidentally. In other words, they ‘understand’ what CX is, but do not necessarily think that there is anything that they or their organisation need to do to continuously improve the way they manage CX and educate their people in INTENTIONALLY improving it.
CX is now a recognised profession – although there are still hundreds; if not thousands; if not millions of people working in business who do not have any comprehension of that fact. It is a recognised profession because finally, there is recognition that to enable an organisation to become sustainably customer centric, that organisation must contain professionals who have the required skills and competencies to make it a reality. One of the skills required by a CX Professional is the ability to drive the right level of adoption and accountability. Being able to influence and engage people at all levels of the business to understand the role they play in managing CX is a core competency of anyone working in the profession.
Communication. Collaboration. Influencing skills. Relationship skills. I could be writing a job description – these are just some of the attributes an individual must possess to drive engagement with CX. I personally have done many things over the last twenty-three years to develop my maturity at all of them. I am always looking for new ideas and ways to get better at all of them. So when I come across something that achieves just that, it is my duty to share it with as many people in the profession as possible.
One of the most commonly applied tools to engage people in CX is the humble PowerPoint presentation. Used in conjunction with the charisma (or not!) and knowledge of the presenter, business leaders and employees are constantly subjected to a barrage of images and words – as they often are for up to 50% or more of their working day!! I personally will often open a CX engagement session with a series of baby pictures – I completely understand that not everyone in the room will be enamoured at the thought of being peppered with CX stories and strategies – I have to make that clear before I even start, to lighten the mood!
Although this form of engagement can be a necessary and effective way of bringing CX to life, it is very useful to have a completely different method – an unexpected method – a fun method – to change the way people in a business perceive the importance of it. I am therefore absolutely delighted to introduce to you exactly that – a different, unexpected, fun and extremely effective way of engaging your people with CX – The Customer Experience Game!
Conceived and created in the Netherlands, the Customer Experience Game is the brain child of Nienke Bloem and Babs Asselbergs. It is an incredibly simple way of getting people to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’, as I like to say. The game is played on an A0 size playing ‘mat’. Foldable and flexible, it is a little like a large tablecloth. The game pits two to four teams of business people against each other.
Using playing pieces and a dice, much like any other board game, professionals move around the board aiming to win ‘happy customers’ and avoiding ‘unhappy ones’. Winning customers is dependent on each team’s ability to accurately answer questions related to 3 core elements of CX:
In addition to the categories of content, there are two other unpredictable factors at play, bad luck and chance cards:
These categories show what can happen in business life and could result in your losing happy customers.
Playing the game, participants gain an invaluable insight into CX (what is it, what experience you have, the more experienced customers the better business for your company), share experiences, learn from each other and have fun together. Participants are taken from their daily routine and work together in teams during the game to really understand and experience what CX is about.
I have used the game with several different organisations in different parts of the world – the feedback has been incredible. Powerful, fun and most importantly of all, engaging. If you are looking for a different way of getting your people hooked in to understanding the significance of CX, I cannot recommend it enough.
You can find out more about the game here. Alternatively, feel free to get in touch with me, or I can connect you to Nienke and Babs directly – you will NOT regret giving this a go – it is brilliant!