7 Observations From The CXPA Event

Earlier this week, more than 180 customer experience (CX) professionals came together in Boston for the first meeting of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org). It was a great event full of learning, sharing, networking, and planning for the future of the CXPA.

We started the event at the oldest hotel in America (Omini Parker House), had dinner at the oldest restaurant in America (Union Oyster House), and held our last session at the oldest ballpark in America (Fenway Park). It was a perfect setting for the CXPA to set the foundation for its future. Like those other landmarks, we expect the CXPA to be around for more than 100 years!

Here’s the slide that I used to open and close the event…

I believe that we are at a very special time in the evolution of customer experience management. There’s a large number of people doing great work in a very fragmented way. It’s time to share our learnings, set some standards, raise the bar on all of our performance, and establish CX as a legitimate profession. There’s so much that we can do together!

Here are seven quick observations from the event:

  1. CX requires the right brain and left brain. Parrish Arturi from Fidelity Investments talked about engaging “the hearts and minds” of leaders across the organization. This theme showed up in so many places. CX professionals need to deliver the hard core analysis to identify areas of improvement and ROI, but they also need to communicate the stories about how the experience emotionally affects their customers.
  2. Employee engagement is a critical competency. Joe Wheeler spoke on our final panel. He’s the executive director of the Service-Profit Chain Institute which created some of of the seminal research linking employee engagement to company profitability. But he was not the only one to emphasize employee engagement as a competency. We heard this theme within discussions about leadership, metrics, and VoC programs.
  3. CX professionals are very, very nice. One the most common things that I heard throughout the event was “everyone is so nice.” That’s one of the things that I really love about my work, the people are great. The CX profession seems to attract smart, nice, caring people.
  4. There are so many ways to help. We had many sessions where members identified things that could help them in their jobs. While the CXPA can’t deliver them all at once, there were certainly a bunch of things that we are working on and will add to our to-do list, including: local networking events, standardized job descriptions, libraries of ROI models/presentations, examples of useful scorecards, etc.
  5. The CXPA is time very well spent. Over the last year, I’ve spent 100s of hours with my co-founder Jeanne Bliss to establish and build the CXPA. It’s a non-profit organization, so we have donated our time on a totally voluntary basis. After seeing so many CX professionals engage with the CXPAs mission, I feel great about the time we spent and look forward to spending even more time on it in the future. I hope that all of the other people who volunteer their time feel the same way.
  6. The CXPA is on the fast track. Since our launch in April, the CXPA has skyrocketed to almost 1,000 members in the community. We’ve already reached a critical mass to sustain the networking and sharing required to create value for members. I’m confident that our growth will only accelerate from here. And why wouldn’t it? There’s no better model than having CX professionals sharing with each other in a safe, non-profit environment.
  7. I’m very thankful. A lot of people came together to make the event a huge success. While I can’t name them all, I want to thank our board of directors, committee leaders, speakers, and sponsors. I also need to give a shout out to Virtual, the association management company that handles all of the CXPA’s infrastructure, including event planning for this event.

The bottom line: I invite you to join us on the CXPA journey

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

6 Responses to 7 Observations From The CXPA Event

  1. What a great event!! Thanks so much to you and Jeanne for pulling this group together.. It was one of the better events I’ve ever been to – and it was phenomenal to be in a room with so many passionate people. Looking forward to the next one!

  2. Bruce (and other Association members):
    Congrats on what sounds like an exciting and successful first gathering! I am so sorry I couldn’t attend this one, but will keep all future activities on my calendar well in advance. Thanks again to you and Jeanne for putting the Association together!

    Alan Bergstrom
    Nunwood, Inc.

  3. jwheeler02 says:

    Bruce congratulations to you and Jeanne for a landmark event. I think it was pretty unanimous that the conference was enormously valuable. All of the presentations were pure gold in terms of insight and quality and the mix of case studies with interactive discussion was masterful.

    The only thing ahead for the CXPA is greater membership and even more success.

    Thanks for stepping with Jeanne to make this happen. That is what leaders do.


  4. It was a great event, and what made it even better was all the people involved.
    So a great many thanks for all the organisers who made it possible, and all the attendees
    for making it such a warm and welcoming gathering of frontline Customer Experience Experts!

    Keep up the good work, remember us Europeans, and don’t be a stranger if you ever make it over to Finland!

    Sirte Pihlaja
    CEO, Customer Experience Optimiser

  5. Arti says:

    Hello Bruce

    Many congratulations to you and others who worked hard to make it a success. Missed joining you all. Do hope to make it for the next such event.

    You are so right. When organizations design their product, they focus so much on the value addition the product brings in and forget about the emotional connect.

    Good luck to you and all other CE professionals. I hope we are able to create more customer-centric organizations and make customers happy!

    Arti Gupta
    Managing Partner, Lead On Consultants

  6. Great write-up Bruce. The event was fantastic. One of my biggest takeaways was on how the governance structure inside orgs is evolving to accommodate CX.

    I am also interested in how CX and Digital intersect, as digital experiences present the biggest opportunities in many cases to differentiate and delight.

    Look forward to being part of the CXPA moving forward.

    Jeff Cram

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