Customer Centric Culture Change

Driving Customer Centric Culture Change

Customer experience is about more than simply offering great service. It’s about ensuring your customers are happy throughout all stages of their experience with your business. If you put your customers and their experiences at the core of your business culture, you can create lasting customer value and loyalty.

By implementing customer centric culture change into your organizational structure, your business can reach its full potential. Jim Tincher, CX expert and founder of Heart of the Customer, shares his tips and experiences below to help you drive customer centricity in your business.

1 in 4 of you will loose your job this year

Why 1 in 4 of You Will Lose Your Job in 2020

1 in 4 of you will loose your job this yearYour CFO doesn’t care about your customer experience (CX) surveys. She cares about the health of your business, and it’s unlikely she sees a direct link between your survey scores and the measurements she follows.

Meanwhile, your CEO is focused on your customers, but that doesn’t mean he cares about your surveys, either. As one business leader confessed to me, “I keep seeing these survey scores saying we’re doing great. Then I meet with customers who they tell me how frustrated they are. So I don’t believe in the surveys.”

By extension, that means he doesn’t believe in his CX team.

So by focusing on customers scores, you’re at risk. Forrester predicts that one in four CX pros will lose their jobs in the year ahead, because they aren’t showing business impact.

Measurements Beat Metrics

Metrics are survey scores – that’s what CX focuses on. We’re really into them. They’re nice and neat, and easier to collect.

Measurements are what the business cares about. But they are trapped in operational systems, making them messy and hard to nail down. Lost customers, reorder rates, order size, service costs, repeat business – those are all measurements with financial impact.

That’s where you grab your CFO’s interest. You’re at risk if you don’t tie your program into these measurements.

The Evolution of CX’s Trouble

I see this story played out repeatedly. A customer-focused leader introduces the concept of CX to the organization and builds a CX team. She believes in the power of CX, and the team puts together a survey system and introduces the Net Promoter Score (NPS) system or the Customer Effort Score to the company. All is right in the world.

Until that leader moves on. That’s when things get dicey.

The new boss isn’t steeped in CX philosophy. So she asks a simple question: “How does this impact the business?” And CX struggles to respond in a compelling way.

This happened to a friend of mine. Her boss was terrific, sharing the CX story throughout the company. She loved working for him. Then his position was eliminated.

His replacement met with her still-new team and shared that he didn’t really understand what they did. Furthermore, he said, “So, you have insights – so what? What are you doing to drive the business?”

Suddenly, my friend and her team were at risk of being among that 1 in 4.

How do you ensure you’re one of the 3 in 4 who will keep their jobs?

Or, better yet, how can you become one of the 25% of companies that are able to quantify CX benefits or achieve a competitive edge?

One way that we’ve seen work well is loosely based on the research shared in our book, How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? Using Journey Mapping to Drive Customer-Focused Change. My co-author Nicole recently addressed this topic here, too. To do this:

  1. show CX impact to drive changeUnderstand what the business cares about. Look for the measurements that matter and find a meaty business problem you can attack.
  2. Identify a journey and customer that impacts that measurement. Start with a journey, because since it involves multiple silos, it likely involves handoffs, a common source of customer friction. It’s also easier to impact than the entire end-to-end experience, as I discussed here. One phrase that came up repeatedly when we interviewed successful CX leaders for our book was “boiling the ocean.” Avoid that pitfall by choosing a focused journey. Identify a clear business problem, then rally your leadership to conquer it.
  3. Form a team that can create CX impact, as we discussed here and here. Involve every silo that touches the journey, including back-end teams such as IT, Finance, and Legal.
  4. Involve customers to learn what’s really driving their experience, so you truly understand what’s causing the lost business or low reorder rates. And remember – you can’t create a customer journey map if you don’t involve customers in the process.
  5. Identify the measurements that matter in the journey. You may have started with a high-level measurement, but you’ll discover many more, such as wait time, number of interactions, and handoffs. Track these as you…
  6. Drive change. Identify what most needs to change and rally your teams around these problems.
  7. Don’t forget to record the CX impact you’re having on those business measurements!

It’s the last part that will keep you out of that 1 in 4 at risk – showing how you’re actually impacting the business. And then bring that back to your CFO, so she can validate that you’re truly driving value.

Customer experience has a tremendous ability to impact your business – there’s no shortage of data to demonstrate that on a macro scale. But that doesn’t give you a blank check. You need to show your CX impact if you want to continue to drive change.

No News is No Longer Good News

Domino’s went and spoiled it. And then Amazon made it worse.

It used to be that customers were patient and okay with waiting on your processes. Whether shipping a product, going through underwriting, or applying for a loan, we were okay with waiting in the dark. We didn’t like it. But we accepted that companies put their information into our black box and the results would eventually come out.

And then Domino’s created their pizza tracker. Suddenly, we all had a view of the behind-the-scenes processes that we never knew we wanted. We could see when the sauce went on, when the ingredients were added, and when it came out of the oven. Who cares if the pizza’s mediocre? We just loved the experience! Read more

The Bots are Coming!

Actually, they’re already here. But are you aware of them?

Today, I’m flying back from the CCW’s Executive Exchange. I not only enjoyed speaking at the event, but also the opportunity to attend its presentations. The audience was primarily made up of contact center leaders, each having a lot to say– and do –about the overall customer experience. Based on the silence at the CX conferences I attended, I’m not sure CX has a seat at the bot design table–and this is something you should be thinking about. Read more

Creepy Google Maps Email

Google is Creepy

Creepy Google Maps EmailMy wife forwarded me an email from Google. It showed her everywhere she had visited in the last month, which creeped her out. So she removed all the tracking she could from her phone. It didn’t work – she received a similar email the following month.

I received a similar email (see a part of mine above, where they show two restaurants I visited). I agree it’s creepy. Why does Google go out of their way to remind customers they’re tracking their movements? It comes down to a core CX principle of understanding customer needs. Employees focus on what they think is cool, rather than what customers want. Read more

Stop Playing CX Whack-A-Mole

“All happy customers are alike; each unhappy customer is unhappy in its own way.”

Okay, that wasn’t really my quote – I’m paraphrasing Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, where he wrote “all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” But it does fit at least some companies’ experiences.

This is especially true with a client we’re working with right now. The happy customers sound so similar that it’s almost boring. Almost. They like the people; the product does what it’s supposed to do, and customer expectations are set appropriately. Unfortunately, that description only applies to half their customers. Read more

How Hard is it to Be Your Customer Book Cover

Develop a Killer Metric to Drive CX Action

How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer Journey Mapping BookAs our book gains traction, readers tell us they appreciate our focus on starting journey mapping by targeting an identified business problem and using this to drive customer-focused change.

We interviewed dozens of CX leaders on how they did this, including Mark Smith, formerly of Element Fleet Management Corporation. Mark spoke on multiple topics, but my favorite was the need to develop a Killer Metric.

The Killer Metric isn’t NPS, Trust, or Customer Satisfaction. It’s one business KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that you use to rally the team to focus on meaningful change. He discussed how Amazon uses contacts per order – the more people call or chat, the worse the experience (in Amazon’s world – notice that Zappos, owned by Amazon, has a very different philosophy). Delta uses canceled flights, which has the biggest impacts on their customers. Read more

What Wells Fargo (and the Rest of Us) Can Learn from Samsung

  • “Who knows what happened to us two years ago?” Wells Fargo’s Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Moldafsky (I originally wrote about this here)
  • “Who’s heard of our product, the Note 7? [pause] Yes, pretty much everybody, in every plane trip, for about a year.” Michael Lawder, SVP, Customer Care, Samsung Electronics America

Both these speakers began their speech with a similar attempt at humor to grab the audience’s attention, referencing an event that happened in late 2016, but a small difference speaks volumes to their contrasting attitudes. This small difference shows why Samsung has fully recovered while Wells Fargo continues to falter.

Problems can happen in even the best-run company. Pixar, Amazon, GE – all have experienced problems. This post isn’t about preventing problems (although many of these – particularly Wells Fargo’s problems – should have been avoidable). Instead, it’s about what to do once it happens. Read more

Nicole Newton and Ben London-Customer Journey Mappers

Two Days to Journey Mapping Mastery


Nicole and Ben

The Heart of the Customer blog is a place where we share our insights on journey mapping, offer best practices based on our experiences, and share CX practitioner interviews – and we don’t normally place promotional items here. We are making an exception this week; aJim Tincher and I prepare to release our journey mapping book this monthwe want to get the word out about a new Heart of the Customer offering: a two-day, hands-on journey mapping workshop that will provide all you need to map journeys that drive action in your own organization. 
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How to Recruit and Interview B2B Customers for your Customer Journey Mapping Project

This post, written by Heart of the Customer Project Manager Corey Pawlak, is the first in a week-long series about some of the ways journey mapping differs from traditional market research. Guest authors Corey Pawlak, Cathy McLane and Nicole Newton will share their expertise in recruiting and interviewing B2B customers, why 10-page reports are better than 50-page reports, and using video to bring the customer experience to life.

In journey mapping, customer interviews are used to validate, refine and revise internal beliefs about customer perception and experience with your firm. It’s essential for understanding and reflecting the voices of actual customers. Therefore, recruiting customers to interview for the customer journey mapping process is a crucial—yet potentially time-consuming—step.

The first step is to define the targeted interview pool criteria.

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How Journey Mapping Differs from Traditional Market Research

We find a lot of confusion in the marketplace around journey mapping. Some think that journey mapping is just a workshop where you take all the people who created your broken, siloed experience, give them Post-It Notes, and Bam! You have a journey map. Others go the opposite direction, considering journey mapping to be traditional market research with a nice-looking report. It’s this latter group that we’re focusing on this week in a series of posts about what exactly is different between traditional market research and best-practice journey mapping. Read more