Customer Experience Pros Need a Beginner’s Mind

fotolia kids in front of ferris wheel

There are three significant shifts that are happening simultaneously creating the perfect storm for customer experience professionals (among many other professions). These are:

  • Cloud
  • Social
  • Mobile

It is an understatement to say that the customer experience industry is in a state of change. It’s more like a rebirth because with this perfect storm we can no longer rely on the past to inform the future.

Instead, we need Shoshin, or a beginner’s mind. The beginner’s mind is an attitude: a willingness to look at a situation without any filters or preconceptions. It considers the world as it is today and what’s possible today, independent of what happened in the past.

How many times have you heard someone say, “we tried that before and it didn’t work?” And what typically happens afterwards? The idea is squashed, halted, killed, and never considered again.

But, when operating in this perfect storm, customer experience professionals need to practice a beginner’s mind. Why? Because we have never been in this situation before. No one really knows what will work and thus the opportunities are limitless.

Having a beginner’s mind reminds me of the time my daughter, pictured here, put on her first pair of glasses. That day she saw the world through a completely different perspective.

customer experiences need a beginners mind child

Leslie Pagel is vice president of customer experience at Walker, which provides customer intelligence for B-to-B companies  She is responsible for incorporating the voice of Walker’s customers into the solutions development process.


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