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How can you add fun to change?

Customer centric change is a matter of having a long breath: changing behavior and engaging colleagues won't happen in just a month. It is a demanding process, both from you as the initiator, facilitator or leader, as well as from the people you want to engage in the change. Adding FUN to your CHANGE program is a brilliant idea, since it will boost morale and will be distinctive from other programs.

Here are my five tips on how to add more fun to your CX change program and achieve your goals at the same time:

  1. Create an overarching appealing storyline
    Too many CX strategies are linear, corporate schmorporate (sorry for my language). They don't give any excitement and fun and don't create any arousal while you share it. So, what about adding an appealing story line? Using sports, movie scripts, heroes, best practices and all kind of other stories. I still love Project #99 that Clint Payne CCXP started in 2016. He wanted to improve the current customer experience of Multichoice, a South African Telecom and Television provider and created an overarching storyline where he challenged the organization to fix 99 current customer and employee issues. Project #99 is a great tagline that gives context to the change.
  2. Set an appealing BHAG
    How about aiming for the moon when it comes to your CX or change program? How about truly going for an ambitious quantitative and qualitative goal. The example of Project #99, is already a perfect one - fixing 99 issues in one year. But I have more examples for you. What do you think of this one? In three years, you and your company are best in class in Customer Experience, your NPS is at a certain number (the quantitative part). And that the CEO of your company will share the story of how the organization changed in the last three years to a true customer centric company in the Financial Times or HBR? These kind of moonshots a.k.a. BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) work. They add fun and excitement to change.
  3. Celebrate and celebrate milestones
    Too often we just keep going after we delivered a success. But how about turning your BHAG into a couple of milestones that can be celebrated? Or put the spotlight on those that did a fabulous job? Who showed customer centric leadership or is there a team that fixed a big customer issue? My suggestion is that you make sure you have a collection of fun gifts. How about branded t-shirts, water bottles, pens or tailored virtual backgrounds and give those recognition? Have those that did well have lunch with a senior leader. Take them on an inspiration trip, to another customer centric organization or to an amusement park.
  4. Create challenges and visualize them
    What happened in project #99 is that the CX team created challenges and that employees and leaders adopted those challenges. Working on short term projects (don't try to implement a CRM system with this one ????) that have high energy and are supported by senior leadership, they work magic. By making sure the change is pleasant (rather than painful, although it may feel painful at first), it creates a feeling of hope (rather than fear) and it creates a feeling of identity with others who are doing the same. Make sure you visualize the journey of the challenge, so others also understand what they are doing. Have those fun and vibrant visuals (like a logo of your team or project) all around the organization. Both offline and online. Yes, this might require some guerilla marketing actions and you might bump into some conflicts with the communication and facility departments of your organization. But remember: no guts, no glory!
  5. Use fun in your interventions
    Too many workshops are just functional: learning the new behavior by the customer manifesto and delivering on the new brand values. Workshops are important and it is up to you to add fun to them. Some examples.
    1. Create a CX quiz, where you quiz around NPS topics, add some fun CX facts (like from what date was the first complaint) and of course you have a winner.
    2. Play the CX game, this is a fun CX workshop (dressed up as a board game), where the questions and assignments are tailored to your organizations context. The feedback we always hear is: "this was FUN!"
    3. Add persona re-enactment to your customer journey workshop. Bring artifacts like scarves, sports gear, glasses, hats and whatever. Transform your participants of the workshop into customers. My experience is that participants will be a bit hesitant upon starting, but once they get going, everybody will have the most of fun!

You see, there's a lot of things you can do and organize in order to add FUN to CHANGE. And I strongly recommend you do so! Create big or small fun and know it will give you and your colleagues the energy you need to keep the change going. I am curious how you feel about these suggestions. And if you have any other suggestions, please let me know in the comments!

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