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.

Don’t Neglect Self-Service to Engage Customers

You probably don’t view Amazon as a competitor. That’s where you’re mistaken. 

When we look to build a better CX, it’s natural to focus on our people. After all, they are often the heart of our customer experience. 

However, while we need to ensure a strong person-to-person experience, we also need to make sure the experience is strong even when customers don’t want to talk to our people. The research shows that we’re not doing so well there. Read more

How do you operationalize “Customers are our #1 priority”?

I recently moved to a new part of town, and the local Wendy’s has “We love customers” on their placard. My dry cleaner has the same message printed on their hangers.

Who cares?

What is the purpose of such a generic statement? Do other dry cleaners have hangers that say, “We’re really indifferent about customers, but thanks for using us”? Do they expect an emotional connection to result from this supposed outpouring of love? I guess it’s possible – but very unlikely. Read more

An Interview with Devin Anuzis of Benchmark Senior Living

Devin Anuzis is Corporate Manager, Customer Experience at Benchmark, the leading provider of senior living services in the Northeast. Serving as the “voice” of the customer program, Devin manages multiple feedback channels and deciphers the feedback for company stakeholders to ensure the customer’s voice is clearly heard and considered in all decisions. In her role, she combines her experience in marketing and communication with her strong, empathic nature to respond to every form of customer input. 

Devin joined Benchmark in 2013 as Coordinator of Customer Experience after receiving a master’s degree in business administration from Lynn University with a focus on mass communication and media management. She earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Tampa.   

A former Division 1, intercollegiate soccer player, Devin is an eager traveler and animal-lover living in Norwood, Massachusetts, with her husband, George, and their toy poodle, Summer, and cockapoo, Wesley.  

Contact Devin at Danuzis@benchmarkquality.com. 

Tell me a little about your organization and your role within it. 

Benchmark Senior Living was founded in 1997, and we now have 56 properties throughout the northeast, from Vermont to Pennsylvania. Our goal is to provide exceptional care, but our mission focuses on the whole experience of our residents and family members. We provide assisted living, memory care, independent living, and we also have 4 continuing care retirement communities with skilled nursing capabilities.  

I oversee the customer experience—more specifically relating to the family members or influencers, but I also support our teams that oversee the experience of our residents. I’m also fortunate enough to be involved in a lot of the more strategic discussions that happen throughout the company—anything that would involve our residents and family members. 

We recently did a complete rebrand of the company—a new mission statement, new vision, new values. Our focus is on transforming lives through human connection, and in turn that’s all about the experience we provide to our residents and family members and anyone who interacts with our organization. Our CX is really at the heart now of who we are as an organization.  Read more

Stuck? Here are Three Ways to Gain CX Traction

As one of the CXPA’s CX Experts, as well as a journey mapper, I’m often called by companies trying to create momentum for their CX program. Sometimes it’s a midsize manufacturer trying to start their CX program. Other times, it’s a Fortune 50 company who has a program, but seeing its influence wane.

I wrote a white paper on starting a program, in conjunction with Intouch Insight. In it, I walked through the CXPA’s six CX disciplines (CX Strategy, Customer-Centric Culture, VOC Customer Insight & Understanding, Experience Design Improvement & Innovation, Metrics & Measurement, and ROI & Organizational Adoption & Accountability). All six are critical to a successful program.

But most people who call know they need to do all this. That’s not the question. What they really want to know is: how do they build momentum? “How do I break through the noise, in order to get the company’s attention, so I can get permission to build a CX-focused design and governance program?”

If you’re stuck and can’t get the attention, focusing on all six disciplines equally is the surest way to stay stuck. To gain this attention, you need to hit your employees – and your executives – in the gut. You need to create a visceral connection to your current customer experience and its limitations. And the best way I know to do that is through visual voice of the customer. Read more

Use Commitment Science to Drive CX Change

At Heart of the Customer, our team is reading Influence, the classic book by Robert Cialdini. While it’s an older book, it has a ton to offer to anybody looking to build action, including in the area of customer experience (CX).

This week we’re up to Chapter 3, Commitment. Cialdini uses a ton of examples, including Chinese prison camps in Korea, fraternities, and small kids playing with toys. Through these examples, Cialdini shows how by convincing others to publicly claim their support for a specific philosophy, you are leading people to subsequently act in a manner consistent with that philosophy – even if they previously did not strongly support such a position. Read more

B2B Companies: Focus on Onboarding First

In any customer experience, certain phases have more impact than others – either positive or negative – and create a measurable impact on the rest of the relationship. Positive results lead to customer who trust you, are more willing to forgive mistakes, and are more interested in your other products or services. But if they don’t go so well, customers are more likely to stray; they pounce on every mistake, and they’re very reticent to use your other offerings.

The moments that matter vary by experience, and even by individual. Effective journey maps show these Moments of Truth. But even if you don’t have a journey map – or if yours just isn’t very good – there’s one area that is consistently important in B2B experiences: The new customer onboarding journey. Read more

Not making #CX progress? Start saying no

Too many customer experience (CX) programs get stuck. 

Stuck with no influence. No change. No leadership buy-in. 

We see it all the time. As a CX leader, you’re spread so thin, trying to juggle dozens of balls at once. You’re building a new measurement program while sharing your existing scores with anybody who will listen. You’re creating new training programs. You’re in meetings to support the new portal, the new customer campaign, the Customer Advisory Board, and the new loyalty program. 

You’re incredibly busy. You burn your unused vacation time just trying to keep up. But then you get to the end of the year, and the most important thing – customer loyalty – remains unchanged.  

A year filled with effort. But no actual change. 

That’s a problem.  Read more

Why Your CEO Isn’t Impressed with Your Work 

I wrote last week about why Your CX Scorecard is Probably Measuring the Wrong Thing. Now, on a flight home from a client workshop, I have a chance to catch up on some old reading. And it turns out that your CEO likely agrees. You may not be spending time in the right areas – or, at least, not making that clear to the organization. 

Walker’s The CEO View of CX includes a survey of Business-to-Business Customer Experience (CX) employees. The survey asked them about their CEO’s top areas of focus, and they selected “Competitive advantage” and “Growth, profitability and valuation” as their top two. But when presented with the same list to describe what they were focusing on, the answers were “Identifying what to do AND how to do it,” “Creating a customer-focused culture,” and “Incorporating CX capabilities throughout the org.” The same list, but completely different areas of focus identified. 

Are the two necessarily a mismatch? Of course not. All three areas of CX focus can be building blocks to accomplish the CEO’s goals. However, it’s telling that the CX employees didn’t choose the outcomes, but instead the tasks. And that puts you at risk of being marginalized.  Read more

Three steps to create customer-focused change

Customer experience (CX) is about change.

I wrote about this last week. But there’s a lot of confusion about the best way to create this change.

Immature CX practitioners often see themselves there to drive the business. They see their role as being on the outside, there to show the business what the customers really want. And this role feels good. “I represent the customer, and am here to show you what they want” is an easy go-to place.

It’s also a terrible way to create sustainable change.  Read more

Building Customer Empathy: An Interview with Natalie Schneider

Anthem, Inc. is in the middle of customer experience (CX) resurgence. I had the chance to catch up with Natalie Schneider, VP of Customer Experience, to learn more about their efforts to help build customer empathy in their employees.

Tell us a little about what led you to start working on customer experience.

A few years ago we at Anthem realized that our company’s growth was going to have to start coming from consumers—a B2C approach, rather than what we had been doing, which was largely B2B. Once we saw that, we quickly realized that our B2C operations were completely unsatisfactory—it was a kind of “OMG” moment for us, and so we started really investing in customer experience and putting together a team to try to fix what we were lacking.

We had a lot to learn—we hadn’t been looking at things from the customer’s perspective at all, and had a very insular, inside-out perspective. To buy a product on our website the customer had to go through 22 clicks! But we moved the needle. When we started, there were probably fewer than ten associates who even knew what the term Net Promoter Score even meant—three years later and we’ve improved our NPS by double digits, and business leaders talk about it constantly, across the company.

Read more