What Jerry Maguire Can Teach You About CX

Football Stadium

Happy National CX Day!

As CX Day winds down, I am reminded of a recent conversation with our CEO during a “coffee talk” – our version of informal town hall/all hands meetings.  Since the CX function is fairly new, I was invited to explain some basics about CX, as well as the work we’re doing here to serve our customers.

Our discussion focused on two pillars of CX: Empathy and Design.

  • Empathy: deeply understanding the customer, the job they want us to do, and the drivers that created that need.  Walking a mile in their shoes, watching them in their native environment, and really understanding what makes them tick.
  • Design: using that understanding of customers to design a product or service from the customer’s perspective – aka “outside-in” – that is so much better they can’t imagine going back to the old way.

And I like to have fun with meetings like this, so I went a little off script.  I think our CEO was a little surprised when I asked the crowd to guess which of their favorite lines from the movie Jerry Maguire might pertain to the discipline of customer experience… : )

  • First answer from the crowd was (of course) “show me the money.”  (not exactly)
  • Next answer: “you had me at hello.” (ok you’re in the right ballpark)
  • Next answer “you complete me.” (that’s actually not bad!)

I paused and looked at the CEO, asking him “Why are we talking about Jerry Maguire?”

CEO: “I can’t wait to find out” (he’s very quick on his feet).

There’s a moment early on in the movie where Jerry (a sports agent) is desperately calling his current clients (pro athletes) to convince them to stay with him.  He has a notable NFL star, Rod Tidwell, on the line when he says something like:

I will not rest until I have you holding a Coke, wearing your own shoe, playing a video game *featuring you*, while singing your own song in a new commercial, *starring you*, broadcast during the Superbowl, in a game that you are winning, and I will not *sleep* until that happens. 

I see great examples of both a) empathy and b) outside-in design:

Empathy: Jerry has understood his customer’s emotional drivers (a massive ego, a desire to build his fame & notoriety… and the need to provide for family under his roof).   And he has understood the important need he’s being asked to solve: “optimize the monetization of my athletic skill!”.   (ok, yes, I actually mean “show me the money.”)

Outside-In Design: The customer couldn’t be more at the center of Jerry’s proposed design.  It’s all about Rod Tidwell.  In ~50 words Jerry clearly visualizes the future state of his customer’s experience – from the Rod’s perspective.   Because it’s all about Rod Tidwell.

There you have it folks: Empathy and Design, courtesy of Jerry Maguire.

CX leaders: What are some fun ways you use illustrations, analogy, or metaphor to help explain CX to team members and employees in your organizations?


Leaders: Change Your Mindset

Leaders: you have to have the right mindset.  If you don’t, then it’s unlikely that you will be able to effectively lead for the long term.

This applies equally to your personal life & your professional life!  

  • Start by getting clear on what mindset you want to have.  Think about it.  Write it down.  Borrow the points from my last post on mindset if you want somewhere to start (like everything else in life, if you don’t have a target for this, then you can’t know how you’re progressing).
  • Self-assess.  How does your mindset today align to your aspired mindset?  What would other people say about your mindset based on your words & behaviors when they are around you?  Are you role-modeling the mindset that you want your team members to have?
  • Change your mind(set).   In the end, the only person who can change your mindset is… you.   And the way you change it is simple: you make a decision that you want to be different.  If you’re feeling brave, share your goals with someone important to you that you trust: a team member, a boss, a close personal friend, a spouse?

There are no pre-requisites for growth… meaning: you can start doing this right now.

Mindset for Leaders

(Warning: I will camp on this topic because of its importance!)

I want to suggest that the most critical input leaders have is our own mindset.  Recently I asked a group of emerging leaders what they thought mindset was.  Their answers: “attitude, beliefs, values, viewpoints, inclination, disposition, habits.” That’s a pretty good definition.

I will suggest that your mindset will pre-determine your response to & interpretation of every situation.  Only you can decide what mindset you should have… But I’ll share with you the mindset aspirations that I’ve developed over time based on observation of other successful leaders:

> Believe you have significant impact on your success… don’t be a victim
> Go for “gold” results… don’t settle for bronze or silver
> Help the bigger team win… not just your own area
> Have confidence… get comfortable being vulnerable to the unknown
> Relish learning, don’t fear it… that’s how we get better
> Never get set in your ways or “hard-wired”… must remain open to growth
> Have courage to make qualitative judgment calls – you’re never going to have perfect info!

More to come on mindset…

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