There we were . . . a round table of CX leaders from across Southeast Asia, senior executives with years of experience running large, successful teams and chipping away at the journey to turn our organizations into customer-obsessed enterprises. We shared our recent wins and successes and learned from each other how to go faster, stronger, more courageously . . . as we do every time we get together.

Then the question from one of our fold: “Will I still have a job in 2025?” The question was met with a stunned pause in conversation (quite a feat for a group of CX professionals!). As facilitator, I jumped in to explore: “Do you mean you predict that your organization will get tired of the CX transformation and give up?” I thought this a valid assumption, given I’d seen this happen so often.

The executive explained, “No, not that at all. In fact, quite the opposite. We are getting real momentum, and teams and leaders across the organization are taking up the skills of things like design thinking and journey mapping and integrating them into their ways of working. We’ve been pushing out dashboards and insights that everyone can access . . . but what does this leave for me and my team to be working on?”

The rest of the group understood: Her success was great, as well as what she’d been working toward, but what role do our teams have when “customer centricity” becomes the way everyone is working?

There was a consensus that there will very definitely be a role, and a critical one at that, for CX leaders and their teams into the future. What that role is will, of course, depend on the CX maturity of the organization and the ongoing commitment of the executive team. In broad terms, however, CX leaders who I speak with overwhelmingly believe that CX will continue to be the bridge across the organization — or the dot connector, depending on which metaphor you prefer. They will need to ramp up their role as storytellers, bringing to life not only customer experiences but success stories that infuse a different spin on business cases. More and more CX teams will recruit skills in behavioral economics to help understand how and why customers and employees behave. CX analytics roles will promote the patterns and opportunities they find in customer research and data, continually challenging the organization to deliver results based on customer understanding. Finally, CX will ramp up teacher/training expertise, continually enabling and expanding the skills of the organization to deliver customer-obsessed strategies.

At least one of our CX Council members in Australia has been shifting the role and function of her team over the past 18 months, employing a behavioral scientist and beefing up the storytelling skills of her insights team. The most critical shift for this senior executive in a disrupted financial services industry has been to strategically position her team as enablers and teachers rather than the “doers” and to be more comfortable with “letting go” of responsibility when other teams pick up CX ways of working. These shifts have meant that the CX team has been able to develop game-changing strategies for its organization that are grounded in customer understanding.

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