More Data On The HR-CX Disconnect

In the recent Temkin Group report CX Needs More HR Focus on Employee Engagement we analyzed a survey of 302 HR professionals from large companies. We decided to ask one of the same survey questions to customer experience (CX) professionals from the same size firms:

To what degree are HR professionals helping your organization become more customer-centric?

We just got the data back from our CX survey, As you can see in the figure below, 54% of HR professionals think that HR is doing a pretty good job, compared with only 20% of CX professionals. That’s more than a 2.5x difference. And when it comes to the other end of the spectrum, 20% of CX professionals think that their HR groups aren’t helping at all (5x HR).

The bottom line: HR needs to make customer experience a priority

About Bruce Temkin
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, marketing, interaction design, customer service, and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

6 Responses to More Data On The HR-CX Disconnect

  1. Sam Klaidman says:

    Your last sentence seems to me to imply that HR is at fault for not helping enough. However, to be fair I’d be surprised if many HR Pros know what they can and should do to help hire employees with an inherent customer-centric bias and also how to establish internal programs designed to engage employees as opposed to making them satisfied with the employer.

    In other words, someone has to educate HR about the things the CX folks live and breathe and then let the HR people do what they do very well! As a start since the CXPA now has a growing number of local interest groups maybe they can organize programs where the CXPA member brings an HR Pro to a meeting whose topic is “HR and CX Working Together.”

    • Bruce Temkin says:

      Hi Sam: Thanks, as always for your comments. I agree that HR can use some help, but a key component of the issue that is that HR, as a function and profession, needs to take on a more strategic role in employee engagement. This shows up consistently in all of our research, which you can see in the report CX Needs More HR Focus on Employee Engagement. Here are just a few factoids:

      > The gap between HR professionals that think employee engagement is important and those that think their company does a good job at it is the second widest out of 14 HR functions we examined.
      > HR professionals identified employee engagement as one of the top HR activities that requires the most improvement over the next three years.
      > Three times as many HR professionals point to issues like their bandwidth and senior executive priorities as the major obstacles; their lack of skills is very low on the list

      I don’t think this is an indictment of HR, it’s an opportunity for the function to become more strategic.

      • Sam Klaidman says:

        Sounds like CX and HR need to double team their Execs. and build a case for collaborating, with some additional resources. It’s really hard to move the needle (NPS) if the troops aren’t fully engaged.

      • Bruce Temkin says:

        Sam, I absolutely agree. Keep an eye out for our next report, Employee Engagement Best Practices…

  2. HR and CX people obviously have a different interpretation of “helping your organization become more customer-centric”. While I’m sure HR has the best of intentions to promote customer-centricity across the organization, they may not understand the full scope of that task and the many ways through which it is done, while CX people live and breathe related questions on an ongoing basis through discussion groups, seminars, etc. As Sam said, “someone has to educate HR”, and that would actually be CX people. CX people set the customer experience management strategy, while HR helps support it.

  3. Olga Budieri says:

    Hi Bruce, as usual, your post is very informative and confirms some issues a lot of organizations are facing in this regard. One of the major obstacles (as I see it) is that despite many efforts to enhance and set clear recruitment criteria for CX candidates, the fact remains that most requirements pertain to soft skills and are quite difficult to measure inexpensively without external evaluation for each and every candidate prior to hiring, which is not necessarily a practice organizations may invest in; especially since the ROI from this initiative is either not stressed or measured. Nonetheless, these skills (if measured) as most soft skills, can only give an indication rather than an affirmation to the caliber of each candidate. Regards, Olga

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