What started as a response to the uncertainty of 2020, the Customer Experience World Games is set to continue its third year because of the value it brings to organizations in need. Created by CX Specialist, Christopher Brooks, this event brings CXers together from all industries and experience levels to make a difference in the global community. In its first two years, the CX World Games had a meaningful impact on charities, social causes, and independent retailers. In an interview with Brooks, he revealed that the 2022 games will have a similar focus, mostly including charities.
To provide some background, in the original games over 140 players competed on 6 teams to solve real customer experience dilemmas that organizations are facing. Brooks said the idea started as a hypothetical, but they quickly realized the impact they could have if real organizations shared their actual challenges for this large group of CX professionals to lend their expertise. The first challenge was presented by the Superhero Foundation, who needed a new, social distant charity idea when their walkathon was canceled in May of 2020. The teams competed over a period of 7 days, each lead by their perspective captains, and submitted a 2-3 page response which sketched out a strategy and delivery plan for each idea. Judges reviewed and ranked the submissions based on a scorecard, and in this case picked a winner who suggested a new event around Pokémon Go. This idea was not only practical for the safety of the pandemic, but also meaningful for their “customer”, who was a little boy suffering from cancer.
There are 3-5 challenges per game, and each challenge supports a different charity. As another example, last years’ games helped Resonate, a Rwandan organization that uses storytelling for women’s empowerment in leadership. Resonate had a plethora of testimonials but were unsure how to use them to best promote the women they were working with.
The team submissions themselves have proven to have been sincerely impactful to these organizations in need, but to go a step further the CX World Games put together a group of ambassadors that volunteer their time when the games are over to go back and assist in the implementation of the winning submission.
The games are built on the spirit of learning and doing some good in the world. There is no cost to join, no sponsors to appease, and players are asked to leave their business cards and prospecting at the door. This non-commercial mentality makes it a safe place to really interact with your teammates all in good fun, with a shared goal of making a difference. All that’s asked of players is their time and effort, but they’re able to get involved as much or as little as they want. “It shows the strength and the love within the CX community. These people are coming together on their own time, doing it because they feel it’s important to make a difference.” – Brooks said on his CX Superheros podcast regarding the 2020 games.
Perhaps the most unique element of the games is the backgrounds of the participates, who come from 30 different countries around the world. There is no filter on who can join each team, so you’ll find C-level executives brainstorming with supervisors, and marketing strategists putting their heads together with UX designers. Callzilla President, Neal Topf, and a Supervisor from our Contact Center, Alejandro De La Hoz, joined the games in 2021. Everyone is truly on a level playing field in the games, and everyone brings something to the table.
Team captains are often CX community leaders, but not necessarily managers within their respective companies. While team members are encouraged to participate as much or as little as they want, captains require a certain level of commitment and leadership skills, as they are responsible for organizing their teams within that 7-day period. There is also a level of selflessness required of all participates, as this is an unpaid volunteer event. However, there are no preset expectations for how a captain manages their team. Brooks says that they’ve seen success with a sprint mentality, brainstorming over time, and even communication through slack group chats.
This year’s games will take place virtually starting Monday, June 6th, with a more detailed schedule coming soon. Brooks mentioned that the Ukrainian crisis brought some much-needed attention to the state of the refugee experience across the board. He hopes to include a challenge this year that focuses on a blueprint that charities and government agencies can use to improve the refugee experience by “giving them dignity out of a time of desperation.” Brooks is hoping to put together 3-4 teams to compete in at least 3 challenges, which shouldn’t be difficult considering interest they’ve had in years past.
If you’re interested in participating in the games or would like more information, you can submit a request on their LinkedIn page or email Christopher Brooks directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to submit an idea for a charity as well if you know of an organization that could benefit from collaboration from a group of CX professionals. We look forward to this year’s games, and hope to see some ICMI readers lending their time and expertise!