CX Pilots: Here We Come

by Steven Keith

March 31st marked the end of our busy first chapter and the start of a new and exciting second chapter.  In March of 2016, CX Pilots set a clear mission. Spend the first year of this spin-off, start-up examining the industry, not selling services. And we did just that. We set out to create what we call a horizontal and vertical board of advisors. Horizontally, we wanted experts to share with us their knowledge of applied Customer Experience inside their companies. This includes, CX maturity assessments, journey mapping work, voice of customer, operations and teams, metrics and measurement, governance and internal communications. We also sought more depth in change management but were not able to find experts with that knowledge in this field. Full Disclosure: that is precisely what CX Pilots is focused on. So call that a let-down or a tremendous addressable market. We choose the latter.

Vertically, we sought out people in healthcare, insurance, banking/investments, engineering, accounting/consultancies, technology, consumer products, hospitality and manufacturing who could help us understand the diverse and unique needs of their sectors. This was perhaps the smartest thing we could have done. We learned a lot about how better CX is imagined within each sector and how companies fund it, sponsor it, plan it, execute it and get it measured.

In many cases, the assumptions we brought to these encounters were way off. What we thought was the right way to initiate and execute CX is far from the methods these companies are actually following to get it done. On one hand, we love to have our assumptions corrected, but on the other hand, we learned we had quite a gap to fill in terms of creating and delivering services companies actually want. On the other hand, we saw countless opportunities to do things far better than they were being done—in almost every sector.

A few examples from companies we talked to that surprised us most:

  • Internal communications at almost every company was under-planned or totally overlooked and non-existent
  • CX, in many companies, was planned and executed (as a discrete project) by an internal change management function with very little to no knowledge of CX
  • A majority of companies started and stopped with a voice-of-customer program, believing that was how CX was administered in totality
  • CX, in about 75% of our conversations was incubated within marketing and stalled out due to a lack of higher-level executive support
  • Nearly everyone we talked to was missing the economic story behind why CX made financial sense and subsequently stalled out due a lack of support and funding from finance. Cause: wasn’t tied to a strategic objective or to revenue

So where do we go from here? We see four clear routes to take.

  • We remain committed to writing what we’ve learned in continuation of our executive series on actionably executable CX.
  • We package our services to better fit the real and actual needs of companies that are struggling to make CX a path to better customer relationships and revenue.
  • We keep these conversations alive with our advisors and begin trading knowledge about how CX can be more strategic, and formulated for measurable execution.
  • We hone our change management skills as they can be applied directly to CX and fill a void that exists in the marketplace today.


If you are in a company and want to talk about how Customer Experience is being planned, executed and measured within your industry, we’d love to connect with you. We have quite a lot to share at this point and genuinely look forward to that exchange.

While we will remain committed to continuous learning across all aspects of CX, we are now taking on clients in careful balance with our growth plans and our ability to scale to help people with CX in their title to learn and succeed.

The best place to start is with a phone call or an email leading to a 20 or 30 minute conversation: steven@cxpilots.com or (919) 771-5219.

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