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What Emily in Paris taught me about CX

What Emily in Paris taught me about CX
by OmniTouch International

Here’s what Emily in Paris taught me about CX

In the show, Emily in Paris, there’s a funny scene between Emily and her roommate Mindy.

Emily plans to write a letter in French and Mindy, who speaks French well, offers to help. But Emily declines the offer, saying something like, ‘No I can do this, my French is ok.’

To which Mindy replies, ‘Ok good.  Then maybe you’ll want to stop washing your hair with dog shampoo.’

It turns out that Emily’s level of French wasn’t quite there yet.  She clearly couldn’t read the label on the shampoo that she was using.

I laughed long and loud at that one.

Because that scene mirrored my own life experience.

Six years ago, when I first moved to Germany, I stood in a grocery store aisle trying to figure out which bottle of shampoo to buy.

And I couldn’t guess at the words on the label with any level of confidence.

It’s a humbling experience to reboot your life in a new language.

Put aside cultural assimilation for the moment.

It was tough just doing daily life stuff.  Like figuring out what buttons to press on the ATM machine or how to correctly fill in the mailing label to return a shirt that didn’t quite fit.



There are parallels between rebooting life in a new language and implementing a CX strategy

To successfully reboot my life in German, I went through a number of steps.

And I think there are some direct parallels to my steps and how I see Clients implement CX in  their organizations.


1.  My world had changed and if I was going to succeed in it going forward, I was going to need to change too (and speak German!)

The CX parallel:

At the heart of the launch of so many successful CX strategies is (drum roll)…dissatisfaction.  A gnawing sense that the world has changed and that our organization hasn’t changed with it – or hasn’t changed enough to meet new realities.


2.  I set a vision for my future – I imagined myself speaking fluent German everywhere I went

The CX parallel:

What kind of experience do we intend to deliver? The CX Vision is where it all starts.  And crafting a great vision for the future requires us to artfully blend who we are as an organization with what our Customers want and need from us.


3.  I evaluated the gap between my current state (of German fluency) and my desired future state (of German fluency) – how big was it?

The CX parallel:

Before launching into the CX ‘doing’, it’s important to evaluate where you are now.  A strategic gap analysis across all the vital CX competencies including VOC, Metrics & Culture.  By knowing where you are now, you can determine what you’ll need to move forward.


4.  I set my strategy – my plan of action to achieve my vision

The CX parallel:

Equipped with my CX Vision and my readiness analysis, I can now set out the short, mid & long term activities needed to move forward.  Avoid complexity here – remember that short term wins build and provide credibility for longer term wins.


5.  I considered how undertaking this initiative would improve my life overall – otherwise I might not carry through.

The CX parallel:

It’s not really about CX per se – it’s about making the business better.  So I have to understand and articulate, how the proposed CX work is going to make help my organization do better and be better.


6.  I allocated resources into my plan – including time and money

The CX parallel:

Describing and quantifying the specific resources you’ll need is necessary to win budget approval.  It’s overly simplistic to just say ‘CX is everyone’s job’ and hope your CX dreams come true. And it’s not about having a huge CX Team (those are rare).

You’ll be asking others to allocate their time and resources too.


7.  I set appropriate metrics to track my progress along the way (such as passing the language certification exams)

The CX parallel:

Metrics inform me of my progress – and keep our CX efforts headed in the right direction,  Choosing and then measuring the right things is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.


8.  I shared my vision and progress with my family & friends – to help build a culture of support & accountability

The CX parallel:

It’s amazing how much easier things ‘go’ when everyone is rooting for success – and pulling in the same direction to get there.


In closing

These days I can visit the dentist, buy new eyeglasses and make a dinner reservation in German. I’m not where I want to be with my vision yet – but I’m closer than I was when I started.


It will be the same for your CX work too.  Your successes will begin to accumulate.  And people in your organization will come to you for advice – perhaps one of the best signals ever that you’re on the right track.

So thanks Emily in Paris for that resonant moment with the shampoo bottle – and for helping me consider lessons around Customer Experience.


Thank you for reading!

I appreciate the time you took to read this.  And if you’d like to follow along with our articles and other information just leave your email address in our contact form!

Daniel Ord

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