BTOES Insights Official
September 08, 2016

REVIEW: CX as a Priority in Operational Excellence

With the release of our 6-part report series, ‘Operational Excellence: Snapshots’, we wanted to hear some thoughts from our resident experts. Our first part of the series, ‘CX as a priority in Operational Excellence’, asked 150+ OpEx professionals what they considered to be their #1 ‘priority’ in Operational Excellence, and why.

Against areas such as Culture, Leadership, Agility & Digital Transformation, CX came out on top, with almost 38% of respondents listing it as their absolute priority. With this in mind, we asked our CX expert Balakarthik Venkataramanan (Director, Customer Care, Intuit) to share his thoughts.

Screenshot_2016-09-08_10.55.06.pngA very interesting and insightful analysis by BTOES. My biggest surprise – and, to some extent, concern - was that only 38% of the professionals who responded to this survey rated customer experience as the no.1 priority for their organizations.

Although it was the majority, I am thinking about the remaining 62% of respondents who did not call out customer experience as their organization’s no.1 priority. Above all, 13% of the respondents called out customer experience as the lowest priority for their organizations. I wonder what that means to their customers!

This analysis opens up some interesting questions for me. 

  • Why didn’t all the respondents call out customer experience as the No.1 priority?
  • Does this call for a larger calibration among operational excellence leaders?
  • Why would customer experience not be the no.1 priority for any organization?

Being a customer experience enthusiast my personal perspective is, customer experience should be the ultimate objective for any organization, irrespective of the industry. The other areas mentioned, i.e. operational excellence, automation, culture, leadership, strategy execution and change management are all different levers to pull in order to achieve the desired customer experience.


Best in class organizations clearly link the internal efforts across different areas to customer experience. The core focus of any operational excellence methodology is to make the customer experience superior and eliminate all the pain points for the customer.

A simple but powerful technique that I apply is asking my teams to articulate how the work they do impacts customers or employees. I approve any new initiatives / projects based on the customer and employee impact. If we are not able to describe the customer / employee impact, then we don’t do those initiatives. This drives home the message that customer experience is the no.1 priority, and over time it builds a customer centric culture where everyone is focused on delivering what’s best for the customers!

You can access part 1 of our report here, or view the full 6-part report series here.

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