Mastering the "Run" phase - Scaling AI in your CX process

In the exciting journey of integrating AI into your CX processes, the "run" phase is the pinnacle of your efforts. This is where the true magic of AI happens, but it's important to emphasize that you cannot skip ahead to this step. To increase the odds of your success, you must follow the crawl-walk-run methodology diligently, building a solid foundation before attempting to scale AI in your CX operations.

The executive mandate: A catalyst for transformation

Before delving into the details of the "run" phase, it's essential to understand the pivotal role of executive support. The "run" phase requires an executive mandate, a top-down commitment to drive AI integration across the organization. Here are two compelling reasons why this mandate is critical.

Transformational impact on your company

Executives play a pivotal role in setting the vision for AI transformation. Since they’re ultimately responsible for your company’s outcomes and results, they’re key allies to have in your project of implementing AI. However, remember that the AI world is evolving rapidly. If you’ve committed to learning about AI, it’s very possible that you’ll have a better understanding of the potential benefits of AI in CX than they will.

If this is the case, your goal needs to be to educate your executive team. The crawl-walk-run process will help significantly in this, due to its iterative approach. 

Ultimately, your executive team’s commitment ensures that the necessary resources, budget, and strategic alignment are in place to execute AI initiatives effectively.

Massive career acceleration

For CX leaders, embracing AI and guiding your organization through a successful AI transformation can lead to massive career acceleration. Those who reach the "run" phase in just a few years are poised for substantial career growth and recognition as industry pioneers.

Securing buy-in with cross-functional teams

Scaling AI in your CX process requires collaboration across cross-functional teams. Here are strategies to secure buy-in from these teams:

1. Establish clear communication channels

Ensure that communication channels are open, transparent, and accessible to all relevant teams. Regularly update them on AI progress, milestones, and results. Transparency builds trust and fosters a sense of ownership in AI initiatives.

2. Highlight cross-functional benefits

Emphasize how AI benefits each team and their specific objectives. Show how AI can streamline processes, improve efficiency, and enhance customer interactions. Align AI benefits with the unique goals and challenges faced by different departments.

3. Provide training and support

Offer training programs to equip cross-functional teams with the skills and knowledge they need to work effectively with AI tools. Support them in overcoming any initial resistance or apprehension by addressing their concerns and providing guidance.

4. Share success stories

Share success stories and case studies that illustrate the positive impact of AI on CX and business outcomes. Real-world examples can inspire and motivate cross-functional teams to embrace AI initiatives.

5. Foster a collaborative culture

Encourage a culture of collaboration where teams are encouraged to share insights and ideas related to AI implementation. Create cross-functional teams or committees dedicated to AI projects to facilitate cooperation.

"Crawl, Walk, Run" by teams and individuals

While the "crawl-walk-run" approach is a holistic strategy for AI adoption, it's important to recognize that different teams or individuals within your organization may progress through these phases at varying paces. Here's how you can support teams and individuals at each stage:

Crawl: For beginners

  • Training: Provide comprehensive training for teams or individuals who are new to AI. Offer workshops, courses, and resources to build their AI knowledge. Taking time to share what you have learned creates trust and demonstrates your emerging expertise.
  • Start Small: Encourage teams to initiate small-scale AI experiments to gain familiarity and confidence. Help teams descope initial AI projects so teams don’t bite off more than they can chew.

Walk: Progressing toward proficiency

  • Project Support: Offer guidance and resources to teams or individuals as they work on AI projects with defined objectives.
  • Peer Learning: Facilitate peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing among teams that have moved beyond the "crawl" phase.
  • Share Results: Share other teams results and highlight their success with executives and other teams across your organization

Run: Scaling AI mastery

  • Cross-Team Collaboration: Foster collaboration between teams that have reached the "run" phase to share best practices and insights.
  • Executive Recognition: Recognize and reward teams or individuals who have achieved significant AI milestones and contributed to the organization's success.

In the "run" phase, you'll witness the full potential of AI in revolutionizing CX. With the support of executive leadership and cross-functional collaboration, you can scale AI initiatives across your organization, achieving transformative impact and positioning yourself for rapid career advancement. The "run" phase represents the culmination of your AI journey, but it's important to remember that it's built upon the strong foundations established during the "crawl" and "walk" phases.