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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 (the American) 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 want to stop washing your hair with dog shampoo.’

It turns out that Emily’s level of French wasn’t quite there yet – as evidenced by her misinterpreting the picture on the shampoo bottle of a pretty girl and a dog.

I laughed out loud – because that scene mirrored my own experience.

Three years ago, when I first moved to Germany, I stood in a grocery store aisle trying to figure out which shampoo to buy. And unable to interpret the words (with confidence) on the label.

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

Put aside cultural assimilation for the moment – just figuring out what buttons to press on the ATM machine or trying to make out the return instructions to send back 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 see some direct parallels to those steps – and how I see Clients implement CX into their organizations.

1.  I saw that the (my) world had changed – and if I was going to succeed in it, 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 – usually at the leadership level – that the world has changed and that our organization hasn’t changed with it – or changed enough to meet new realities.

2.  I set a vision for the future – if all my dreams came true what would the future look like

The CX Parallel:

The CX Vision is where it all starts – what kind of experience do we intend to deliver?  Because if all our dreams come true – that’s what will happen.  So crafting that great CX Vision is a vital first step.

3.  I evaluated my current state – how far away was I from my desired future state (with German fluency – pretty far)

The CX Parallel:

Before launching into the CX ‘doing’, it’s important to evaluate where you are now – across all the necessary competencies & domains – and how far away you are from where you need to be.

CX isn’t just Customer Service on steroids.  Your approach will need to be multi-pronged to be successful.

4.  I set the strategy & tactics – what I need to specifically do to close the gaps (so that I can speak fluent German)

The CX Parallel:

Equipped with my CX Vision and my ‘readiness’ benchmark results, I can now set out the short & long term activities needed to move forward.  Avoid complexity here – remember that short term wins build to longer term wins.

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

The CX Parallel:

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

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

The CX Parallel:

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

8.  I shared 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.

What Emily in Paris taught me about CX – in closing

These days I can visit the dentist, buy new eyeglasses and make a dinner reservation in German. I’m not there yet but I’m closer than I was when I started.


It will be the same for your CX work too.  You should never not have enough to do moving forward.

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

And thank you for reading!


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