CX is a Team Sport CX DayCX is a Team Sport was the CX Day1 theme in 2021, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Customer Experience Professionals Association.

We all learn from each other in CX is one way CX is a team sport.

Camaraderie within the Customer Service (or Success) department is another way CX is a Team Sport.

While these popular definitions are important, they’re vastly incomplete.

Two very different CX is a Team Sport analogies may be surprising to you.
Controlling Touchpoints Model.
Influencing Companywide Model.
Both models urgently recommend significant shifts from business-as-usual.

Controlling Touchpoints Model for ‘CX is a Team Sport’

CX is a Team Sport surfaced as the theme from the 2024 Customer Experience West Conference in British Columbia, Canada. This was summarized in Stephen Diori’s Forbes article: “Delivering Superior Customer Experience is a Team Sport”.2

(All the quotations below are from Diori’s article. Non-quotation phrases are from Lynn Hunsaker.)

“Commercial operations are increasingly out of sync with the customer journey they support.”
Why? “Fragmented functional leadership, customer data, engagement channels, systems, operations, and revenue teams.” (silos!)

In the 2024 CX West Conference: “The key message from every panel was this:
The revenue team that connects the most dots wins the customer.”

CX is a Team Sport Customer Success

WHY we need to make CX a team sport was clearly stated by Diorio:

The articulated goal of customer-centricity is far out in front of the operational practice of Customer Success.

Far out in front means current Customer Success practices are nowhere near what it takes!

Culture and strategy complement and nurture each other and should be created simultaneously, making sure they are perfectly aligned. And nowhere is that more evident than in executing on the commitment to becoming customer-centric and making it more than just words.” — Talar Ozcanian, conference speaker.

Influencing Companywide Model for ‘CX is a Team Sport’

Anyone in your company can cause a mis-step with vast consequences to CX and growth.
United Airlines passenger dragged off a flight: PR nightmare, customer churn, stock plunge.
Southwest Airlines outdated IT caused 16,900 canceled flights for 2 million passengers: PR nightmare, customer churn, stock plunge, massive fines.
Wells Fargo and US Bank biz dev teams made phony customer accounts to meet their year-end bonus goal for number of accounts per customer higher than the industry average: PR nightmare, customer churn, higher customer acquisition cost, stock plunge, massive fines.

CX and CS rely on every single player across your company’s ecosystem.
No matter how big — nor how much touchpoint control in — your CX or CS department,
you can never guarantee excellent customer experience, nor maximum financial performance.

Imagine every department in your firm as a vital player on your futbol/soccer team.
— It’s not a matter of “pick me!”. It’s not about control or heroics or individual glory.
— It’s about everyone keeping their eye on the ball: customers’ well-being.

When you rally around customers’ well-being, mis-steps are avoided, costs are lower, budgets expand, employee experience is richer, silos are smoothed, magnetic attraction increases, and growth is higher.

CX is a Team Sport Futbol

How do you influence companywide?
— Maximize your insights usage rate to align motivations.
— Drive ease of work and ease of business: “ease” means absence of negative surprises.

Ease of Work: Customer value growth through efficiency

Ease of Business: Customer value growth through effectiveness


(All ClearAction masterminds and masterclasses show you how to do this.)

5 Comparisons of the 2 Models

(Coaching, Scorecard, Field of Play, Roles & Rules, Systems & Data)

A) Better Coaching

Problems discussed in the 2024 CX conference:
— “No single ‘throat to choke’ accountable for the many points of failure, friction, leakage.”
— “No executive with authority to align teams, operations and processes along the entire revenue cycle.”

Influencing Companywide model for ‘CX is a Team Sport’:
— Identify the top 2-4 themes: what are core-growth customers pursuing through your brand?
— Help your CEO use these themes to rally the whole C-Suite’s attention and standards.
— See the necessary contribution of each C-Suite member in CX Leaders Can Learn from Baseball.

CX is a Team Sport Baseball

B) Better Scorecard

Problems discussed in the 2024 CX conference:
— “Every function that touches the customer has a different idea of what it means to ‘score a goal’.”
— Nearly everyone is struggling to connect tactical metrics with high-level metrics.
. . . Some firms experiment with new metrics such as Net Trust Score, without solving this gap.

Influencing Companywide model for ‘CX is a Team Sport’:
— Focus on CX-inspired growth, performance, efficiencies, and strategies.
— These 4 fundamentals have a huge domino-effect on all growth metrics.

CX Inspired Performance Metrics Gold

C) Defining the Field of Play

Problems discussed in the 2024 CX conference:
— “Accountability for managing the journey of specific customer segments — but little authority over the revenue teams that support those journeys.”
— “No common incentives, objectives, and KPI with these cross-functional teams.”

Back-half of the field: Customer Success and Service “teams have different incentives, processes and managers — and consequently don’t work well with the front office to expand and grow accounts”.
Front-half of the field: Business Development, Marketing and Sales “teams prioritize new account acquisition and sales — but don’t really have an incentive to get bogged down into post-transaction activities important to protecting and growing customer lifetime value and enhancing the customer experience”.

Influencing Companywide model for ‘CX is a Team Sport’:
— Emphasize brand integrity: proactively manage realistic expectations in front-half and back-half of the field.
— Reward every function for what they’re doing to permanently stop their respective CX gaps.
— Bonuses and recognition should require teamwork, preventive action, and root cause resolution of prevalent issues.
Recognize every functional area for both external and internal customer experience improvements they make.

D) Specifying Roles and Rules

Solutions discussed in the 2024 CX conference:
— “The right way to play the game is to have players in the right roles and positions who can operate across the entire field (or the front half and back half of the customer journey).
— “Every member of the team, regardless of position, can adapt their role to do what is needed in the moment to score (or grow customer lifetime value). This is “the Dutch concept of ‘total soccer’, or ‘positionless soccer’ (popularized by the TV show Ted Lasso).”

Influencing Companywide model for ‘CX is a Team Sport’:
— Establish the business context for every employee’s purpose.
— Instill a lifetime value mindset regarding employees, internal customers, and external customers.
— Apply your expertise in employee and customer listening posts and analytics.
— Establish a council that drives accountability, smooths silos, and balances interests across stakeholders.

E) Aligning Systems and Data

Problems discussed in the 2024 CX conference:
— “All of the executives I spoke with were actively reconfiguring the many systems that support the customer journey with the goal of simplifying the seller experience (in the contact center) and simplifying user experience (in digital channels) which both translate directly to a better customer experience.”
— “A comprehensive analysis of over 100 academic research studies by the Marketing Science Institute (MSI) found that a 10% improvement in organizational competence will drive an increase in firm value of over 5%. Organizational competence is defined as the generation of, dissemination of, and responsiveness to marketing intelligence across the company.”

Influencing Companywide model for ‘CX is a Team Sport’:
— Prevent system silos.
— Prevent data silos.
— Maximize insights usage rates.

Embed crystal clear customer expectations in how you run your entire business.

CX is a Team Sport Management

Customer-centricity is viewing customers’ prosperity as your path to prosperity.
— Culture is a group’s ways of thinking and doing.
— To be customer-centric, customers’ prosperity must be central to your group’s decisions and actions.

CX is a necessary umbrella over CS.
— 80% of CX Leaders’ focus is driving companywide outside-in mindsets and actions.
— 80% of CS Leaders’ focus is touchpoints.
— The Chief Customer Officer must drive customer-centricity companywide via influence.

Position the Chief Customer Officer as an ally for every Chief role: a catalyst for their success.
— Continually enlighten their efficiency and effectiveness via intriguing CX insights patterns.
— This is the key to making the Chief Customer Officer role the Most Valuable Player to your investors.


12021 CX Day: CX is a Team Sport.
2Delivering a Superior Customer Experience is a Team Sport.