Nathalie Schooling

CEO at nlighten.
An experienced strategist, trainer and customer experience improvement specialist, Nathalie has more than 25 years of experience in the customer service industry.
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Latest posts by Nathalie Schooling (see all)

No Pain, No CX Gain_nlighten article_April_2019

I become dismayed when I realise that a potential client is just paying lip service to this newish buzzword, customer experience, and doesn’t realise that you get out what you put in. On occasion, I have had to walk away because I know that we can’t help. Commitment to customer experience is so much more than sending staff on CX training  or developing a  customer journey map, sending your customer a web survey to complete – it’s a total commitment to change.

There are times that we are invited to pitch to a potential client, and there is a room full of execs sitting around the boardroom table and it becomes clear that though they claim that the customer experience agenda has become a sudden critical business objective, but it soon becomes pretty clear they do not really understand what CX success really means or what the value is and often the CX “portfolio” becomes the task of one member of the Exco – where real change is everybody’s business and responsibility.

CX leaders make fundamental changes to the way their business thinks.

In order to deliver consistently great service experiences  means  a shift in thinking and transforming business objectives and priorities.

An analogy I use is comparing  when a company who has been in existence for a while , wants to differentiate and add value through improved service to their clients/customer to that of a middle aged person trying to shed weight . Mid-sized to large companies who have been around for a while really battle to make the shift. CX is the business equivalent of achieving the body beautiful. When you wake up one morning and realise that you really need to shed some timber, that you’re 10kg overweight and feeling tired and sluggish, but not only does it affect how you feel it impacts all areas of your life.

This neglect to your health and wellness might mean not only are you not feeling or looking your best, but a lack of confidence means you could miss out on opportunities.

There are two approaches when it comes to addressing this:

Option A – The Quick Fix

This person goes on the latest fad diet with a snazzy name and big promises and celebrity endorsements. They deprive themselves, feel the strain, become demoralised by lack of results and don’t stick to it. They end up rebounding and it just isn’t successful because it isn’t sustainable. In reality, nothing changed, they just made some drastic temporary adjustments for short term goals. They were not strategic, they were merely reactive.

Option B – The Holistic Approach

Now, this person is on the road to success. The go for the total lifestyle overhaul. They change the way they think, not just the way they eat. They make a commitment, change what, how much, and when they eat. They hit the gym, but they don’t just do that, they walk instead of taking a taxi, they take the stairs instead of the lift. Fitness and wellness permeate their lives because it becomes a way of life. They make decisions that benefit them and support their lifestyle, perhaps even limiting contact with people who don’t align with their goals and who can attempt to derail their successes. This person loses the weight and keeps it off, because they have made sustainable changes to the way they think and approached the issue holistically, not just temporarily changed a behaviour.

Becoming a customer-centric business is exactly the same. To achieve it, you can’t simply crash diet your way to true customer experience excellence. It takes a real commitment to change, and in many cases revolutionising the way your business thinks and operates.

Getting customer experience right means putting the customer at the centre of your business – your whole business. This is where I see many companies sign up for being customer-centric but who ultimately fail to make meaningful change, and this is usually because of a lack of commitment or disparate views from members of the leadership team. Not everyone understands that the entire business must change its focus, or realises the part they play individually and how they contribute to the bigger picture. Without motivation there will be no results – whether we are talking about the body or business beautiful.

nlighten are South African customer experience experts, committed to helping your organisation understand your business from your customer’s perspective, and optimise how you cultivate your greatest assets – the people who buy from you. Contact Us to see how we can work together.


View the previous nlighten article by Nathalie Schooling: Conflict Management: When a Customer Sees Red

nlighten. enhancing customer experience: www.nlighten.co.za


Customer Experience Masterclass: Get results by thinking like a customer experience pro – Invest a day in our value-packed interactive CX coaching. The quality of your customers’ experiences defines your success. | JHB – 9 May 2019 & CPT – 15 August 2019 view more