Boardroom and IT Need to Speak the Same CX Language

By Greg Tavarez February 14, 2024

“Customer experience is how brands differentiate, but CX means different things to different people.”

That quote is what Alan Masarek, president and CEO of Avaya, included within his opening remarks during a keynote presentation at ITEXPO 2024. That was not the first time I heard it at this year’s show as a few panel discussions have mentioned something similar.

“The challenge with CX is we speak about it differently, We need to first get the board and IT leaders speaking the same language.”

With that, Masarek took us through four observations that need to be considered: resetting the language, focusing on metrics that matter, innovation without disruption and changing the view of AI.

Starting with resetting the language, Masarek mentioned that language is very jargon-filled from an IT perspective while the board is about revenue growth, market share, etc.

“It is important to conform the language around business performance,” said Masarek. “We get all wrapped up in the how and not the what, which is business performance.”

So, how does business performance get defined?

“It distills down to the customer experience and employee experience. My advice? If you do not provide a better EX, you cannot provide a better CX. This is what drives that business performance.”

Shifting to focusing on metrics that matter, CX metrics and financial results are connected.

“What gets measured gets managed,” said Masarek. “In the context of our industry, we use efficiency metrics. We need to think more from a business performance point of view.”

Innovation without disruption was a big talking point in Masarek’s presentation.

He started off by asking, “Innovation is disruptive, but does it have to be?”

In IT, the rate of change is breathless.

“In this rate of change, we are changing innovation, but what happens is there are elements of change to the team,” said Masarek.

The more disruptive innovation is, the more fatigue there is. So what should be done?

“You have to chase innovation and drive business performance,” said Masarek. “Innovation without disruption is how I build on existing investments.”

And for the last point, changing the view of AI. The excitement of AI will shift to the ROI of AI.

“GenAI has the opportunity to be a massive change to our industry,” said Masarek. “Remember the old expression ‘the juice is definitely worth the squeeze.’ Make sure you think about use cases where you get demonstrable ROI because those are the things that will get funded as you move forward.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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