The Zone CX Summit — 5 key takeouts

4 min readOct 3, 2018


As the dust settles on our compelling CX Summit, Mark Sylvester shares five of the key takeouts from the lively debate between speakers and guests, sparked by our report ‘Bridging the Customer Experience Gap’, produced in partnership with Econsultancy.

1. Everybody should have CX appeal

The simple fact is that within any business CX knows no boundaries. Serving up a beautifully crafted, seamless customer experience has to be a shared understanding and responsibility. Of course one person within an organisation needs take the lead, but the idea that it should permeate the business was taken up by both’s COO Ottokar Rosenberger and Margaret Jobling, group CMO of Centrica, both named as CX leaders in our definitive CX50 list. Our report showed a third of respondents put the CMO at the CX helm. But Ottokar’s response was telling: ‘A third said CMOs should lead CX. But what is ownership? Everybody who works in the marketing team should be an expert in what the customer wants!’

2. Know your left from your right

As Geraldine Calpin pointed out at the CX summit, the important thing is to find the friction points in your customer’s journey, and then find the tools — including tech — to fix them. She calls it right-to-left thinking because you’re starting with the problem and working backwards. She made the simple but illuminating point that big ideas are great, but lots of small ones that actually address pain points are better. Obviously, we’d all like to be an Amazon, but maybe keep that on the back burner until we’ve sorted the UX copy on our new app!

3. You need a cultural revolution

When it comes to CX, the culture of your business is key. Ironically, as Cognizant CMO Malcolm Frank points out, it’s a tricky problem to crack. We can implement a CX strategy, design it into our products and find tech to serve it up, but where’s the algorithm for culture? Like it or not, every discipline within an organisation has its own specific problem to overcome, with its own specific solution. Achieving a common concept of CX that is bought into across the whole business is tricky. The answer lies in every brand having a clear sight of what its customers want and employing some of Geraldine Calpin’s right-to-left thinking that feeds into every discipline. It’s only when we start thinking how we can make our customers’ lives better, simpler, easier or more rewarding, can we claim we’ve got a culture of CX.

4. The butterfly effect

While Geraldine Calpin touched on the need to think small, Ottokar Rosenberger took up the baton and ran with it. We can all get carried away with sweeping changes and wow-inducing innovations, because they’re what excite us in workshops, brainstorms and idle moments at our desks. But what are those going to do for our customers? Ottokar’s point was that it’s often the small things that can have the biggest impact on the customer’s experience. Small tweaks can have massive ripples, and those little changes only need to deliver some lovely, smooth experiences for your customers to become advocates.

5. Don’t underestimate the Albanian army

We all know that the disruptors are here, throwing their increasing weight around the big kids’ playgrounds, and there are endless references and quotes about their impact. The Netflix/Blockbuster saga probably gets the most air. But its reality is best summed up by the quote above from Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes back in 2010, which was referenced by Cognizant’s Malcolm Frank at the CX Summit.

‘Size really doesn’t matter. What the “small guys” have on their side is a blank piece of paper, on which they can draw up their CX-led plans to take over the world. What the incumbents have is years of infrastructure and process and “it’s the way it’s done” to overcome. And once the new players have won in their sector, what’s to stop them moving into yours?’ This isn’t a doom-laden warning. But it is a warning. The Netflixes and Ubers and Airbnbs of this world are here because they put CX front and centre. And the only way to beat them, or compete with them, is to learn from them and serve it back.

Download the full report here.




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