In the best of times and the hardest of times, gratitude is your key to rising above norms. In this holiday season, we’re reminded to ponder the good, express and celebrate thankfulness, and give gifts to convey appreciation for our relationships. On other holidays (Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, CX Day, Customer Service Week, etc.), we’re reminded again. Embedding gratitude in your business strategies for customer, employee, and partner experience (CX, EX, PX), and beyond, will benefit your organization on every level, every day.

Gratitude generates gratitude. And that’s great for experience leadership! When you express an attitude of gratitude, privately or publicly, studies show 5 levels of benefits:

  • Emotional: self-esteem, coping, resilience, cheerfulness
  • Social: trustworthy, likeability, social support, strength of friendships and romances and family
  • Personality: optimistic, spiritual grounding, generous, less materialistic
  • Career: patience, mentor and guide to employees and colleagues, purpose in work, valued and embedded in your work organization, less stress/turnover
  • Health: better sleep, lower blood pressure, likely to exercise, better recovery and overall physical and psychological health

Customer experience gains from gratitude in interactions are inclinations to reciprocate behavior, spread positive word of mouth, and do more with your brand. Gains from gratitude in your CX strategy are even greater:

  • Lifetime value mindset in getting and keeping customers:
    1. Start out by expressing CX ratings and behaviors in terms of the costs or revenue represented. Even if you have only one piece of the data, tell your audience this is the tip of the iceberg, and let them fill-in the missing pieces in their imaginations.
    2. This is a powerful and effective motivator. It stimulates gratitude for relationship value. It encourages balance of energy and investment in proactively retaining and acquiring customers. It disciplines customer acquisition efforts in alignment with your “ideal customer profile”.
    3. When you proactively acquire the right type of customer, their expectations are more likely to be more homogeneous, and this makes it easier to (a) market and sell with realistic customer expectations, (b) deliver efficiently and effectively to those expectations, and (c) minimize remedial retention and extra expenses that are historical norms for recovering from churn.
    4. When you proactively retain customers, your non-customer-facing groups collaborate to prevent recurrence of prevalent issues that cause customer pain. Your Marketing team supports customer retention in balance with customer acquisition. Your non-customer-facing groups and partners learn how to prevent issue occurrence. Your resources are freed-up from value-rescuing to value-creating.
  • Motivate prevention of issue recurrence and occurrence:
    1. Start out by conducting key driver analysis (correlation), followed by Pareto analysis, and then 5-why’s analysis. Then create an action plan that addresses the root issues revealed by the 5th why. Make the 5-why’s and action planning an annual workshop for every work group. Include cross-functional representatives in each workshop.
    2. Make your action plan highly visible by reviewing it in every staff meeting, ops review, etc. This allows management to remove roadblocks, applaud progress, and keep in-tune with what customers will experience.
    3. Communicate to customers what you plan to do, and at a promised time, what you have achieved. This stimulates internal follow-through on action plans.
    4. This expresses gratitude for customers’ generous time and effort in giving you feedback. In turn, response rates increase for surveys and other engagement offers. Most importantly, the massive improvements from your root-cause-based action plans demonstrate gratitude to customers in ways that mean the most to them. In other words, it generates gratitude that customers will continually reward.
  • Customer-inspired growth plans of all kinds:
    1. Start out by sharing customer experience insights with every work group before they start their strategic planning.
    2. Require proof of customer inspiration for every growth plan: new or expanding product, service, market, segment, business model, policy, partnership, capital expenditure, and personnel and purchase requisitions.
    3. Require proof of agile management: getting customer feedback early and often, and learning from it to assure success.
    4. This nurtures gratitude for customer insights that set every growth effort on a success trajectory. It perpetuates gratitude as a two-way street of mutual value creation with strategic advantages for all.

Employee experience gains from gratitude in interactions are smiles, responsiveness, and doing the whole job. Gains from gratitude in your EX strategy are even greater: aligned motivations to get everyone on the same page, respect for interdependencies to minimize silos and dysfunction, and consistent follow-through on commitments. See Gratitude Grows Gains from Employee Experience Strategy.

Partner experience gains from gratitude in interactions are bonding, productivity, and allegiance. Gains from gratitude in your PX strategy are even greater: co-innovation, growing new markets, and creating competitive advantages. Watch this blog for the follow-on article that explains gains from partner experience strategy this week.

These CX and PX strategy elements shape Ease of Doing Business.
The EX strategy elements shape Ease of Work.

How can you inject these gratitude benefits into your customer experience strategy?

Aim for almost-automatic CX excellence. This is possible through resources at

  • You can monitor your baseline performance and progress with our new CX Skills Maturity Assessment. It’s a free spreadsheet with 3 sections for organization-short evaluation, organization-deep evaluation, and individual evaluation. You can boost your skills maturity through ClearAction’s courses for executives, leaders, CX managers, and more.Assessment for Almost-Automatic CX Excellence
  • You can enrich your whole team’s skills in the areas listed above — and much more — by subscribing to the Experience Value Exchange. It’s a daily mentor for Marketing, CS, CS, EX, and PX teams to tap into 5-minute to 40-minute advice.Customer Experience Strategy Gratitude


Reference: Benefits of Gratitude: 28+ Surprising Research Findings,