What can Scottish spiders teach us about CX?

Published date: 09 Mar 2020

We’ve all heard the story of Robert the Bruce, haven’t we? The one where in 1306, he sat in a cave watching a spider “try, try and try again” to spin their web. The story goes on to say this tenacity inspired Bruce to re-engage the English troops and charge to an amazing victory.

This story came to mind when I was with a major global B2B company last week. They were conducting a ‘report back’ with their CX team and sponsors on sprints designed to drive to “proof points”. I was reminded of the story as this was the third time this company had embarked on a CX transformation agenda, on each occasion with Senior Exec sponsorship. However, the two previous occasions had failed to deliver the CX transformation that senior leaders said they aspired to.

Robert the Bruce (1306) watches a persistent spider spin its web, thus inspiring a re-engaged victory by English troops

When I asked the senior sponsor why they had experienced the two previous failures and what was going to be different this time, she said “CX isn’t rocket science, but it’s really not easy … what is different this time is our focus is on driving proof points in important cross business areas to help build confidence and momentum.”

Ultimately, this now feels right.

When we started TribeCX 3 years ago, we asked CX leaders in 17 countries what had worked (and what hadn’t) in terms of driving CX transformation. The one thing ALL the senior CX practitioners who had successfully driven CX transformation had in common was that they’d secured “proof points” as an early priority.

Probing the reasons why, practitioners said they had used “proof points” to identify CX practices recognized to work in their organization that could then be shared on a wider scale. Plus “proof points” had also provided the hard evidence that CX can drive improved business performance in their organization, which in turn enabled them to build an “evidence based” roadmap for CX.

But, as was illustrated at this ‘report back’ last week, securing proof points can often take two or three attempts to be truly successful. To be clear, we’re NOT talking about the tactical “break-fix” activities that organizations tend to embark on after deploying VOC capabilities (see above). Initially these tend to be functionally focused and “tactical”. They rarely address the tough cross-business issues that drive substantial improved performance and can convince an organization to consider getting behind the CX transformation agenda.

So, just like Robert the Bruce’s spider, if your CX program fails to “stick” first time around then “try, try and try again”. Plus, listen to your CX peers and be sure to include development of proof points as an early priority.