5 Principles of Cross-Functional CX

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  • No single team or department can pull off holistic change
  • Continuous improvement is a multidisciplinary effort


Embrace dynamic change

  • Change is dynamic – embrace it!
  • Being wrong is like an oil change
  • TRUST (benefit of the doubt)
  • Action Items
    • Assemble your squad
    • Cultivate trust & collaboration
    • Build a plan together
  • Key Questions
    • What are your perceived and real blockers for change?
    • Are you holding onto anything for what USED to be a good reason?

“A flow of new ideas is not a negative judgment of the previous ideas and decisions – no hard feeling upon changes.”


Speak the same language

  • Save yourself unnecessary hassle – speak the same language!
  • Internally across functions + externally
  • Resist overengineering
  • Action Items
    • Collect your taxonomies
    • Build a customer-facing words list
    • Align bit by bit
  • Key Questions
    • What internal jargon are you imposing on customers?
    • What classifications are for hypothetical insights?


Acknowledge complex environments

  • Acknowledge how complex it is!
  • Outside-in is insufficient
  • Context is make-or-break
  • Action Items
    • Ensure feedback is bidirectional
    • Prioritize meaningful and actionable insights
    • Talk to customers (about them)
  • Key Questions
    • What does your customer’s ecosystem look like?
    • Who and what else is involved?
    • What are their constraints and dependencies?

Reality check: Your product/service is a tiny dot in your customer’s ecosystem


Make effort intentional

  • Effort isn’t inherently negative – just be intentional!
  • Less is usually more, except when it’s not
  • “Positive friction” exists (not the best name IMO)
  • Action Items
    • Lower cognitive load for low value activities
    • Keep only value add for customer
    • Stop saying seamless or frictionless and aim for “smoother”
  • Key Questions
    • If you HAD to remove or simplify something, what would it be?
    • Where are you asking for customer effort that is not DIRECTLY valuable to them?


Mitigate issues

  • Cannot eliminate – so mitigate!
  • Reduce discomfort (see previous image)
  • Customer Support interactions = opportunity
  • Action Items
    • Meet customers where they are
    • ID triggers and pick a review cadence
    • Coordinate with onboarding or cross- training
  • Key Questions
    • WHEN (not if) your customers experience issues, what will they be?
    • What will be the best resolution for them?

Aim to be the brand that stands out as most helpful when things go wrong.


  • Cuz why not
  • Cuz jokes can lead to good ideas!
  • How can we seek a new perspective or encourage creative thinking?