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.

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

The Value of Customer Relationship Management: An Interview With Dawn Mergenthaler

Dawn Mergenthaler has been leading CRM marketing teams for healthcare, retail, and Software-as-a-Service companies for over a decade. She works closely with customer experience (CX) professionals to understand the insights gained that can be leveraged for CRM. She’s well-known for partnering cross-functionally to improve the customer’s communication experience across an organization, ultimately working to improve customer experiences and increase sales for an organization.

We caught up with Dawn to provide her insights into how CRM and CX best fit together in an organization.

CRM can mean different things to different organizations. To start off, could you give us a quick explanation how you describe CRM?

Sure. It stands for Customer Relationship Management, and like customer experience, it’s a strategy. CRM uses different initiatives and methodologies than CX to achieve the goals of improving customer experience and increasing sales.

Similar to CX, it involves collecting customer information and data that’s used in a variety of functional areas across an organization to provide a cohesive customer experience. Read more

Building a customer room at Prudential – an interview with Jason Kapel

A customer room is a fantastic way to communicate just what it’s like to be your customer. Jason Kapel of Prudential discussed their customer room at a CXPA meeting, and I asked him to share his experience with our readers.

How did you come up with the idea of a customer room?

I wanted to get people engaged with the idea of CX—not just hand them another article, or give yet another PowerPoint presentation. I wanted to get people really engaged in the idea. So after reading about a health insurer’s customer room, we built a room of our own and took it to Prudential’s primary employee locations as part of a CX roadshow.

And what is a customer room, exactly?

A customer room is exactly what it sounds like: a room full of information about customers that employees and other visitors can experience in a unique and interactive way. Simple to understand—but complex in how it helps people understand the purpose and usefulness of CX. Read more

Interview with Bob Thomas of the YMCA: Confident Employees Make Satisfied Customers

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Bob, not in the proper uniform

Bob Thomas is the chief experience officer for the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. He is responsible for engaging community members to help them meet their personal goals while ensuring a great Y experience through integrated marketing, membership sales, and healthy living programs including swim lessons, group exercise, personal training, chronic disease prevention, and healthy aging. Prior to joining the Y, Bob held marketing, sales, and sales operations leadership positions at Boston Scientific. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and English from the University of St. Thomas. Bob serves as the chair of the board of The Sheridan Story and actively volunteers at Colonial Church of Edina.

Bob recently led a rollout of new uniforms for the Y’s employees, referred to as team members. The goal was to influence team members to better engage with customers and further increase their pride in the Y brand.  Team branding creates a work environment where every decision and every behavior embodies the specific attributes of the brand. We asked him more about the move to the new uniforms.

You recently led a change to the YMCA team uniforms. Could you tell us a little about the background of the uniforms, and why it was time for a change?

About six years ago, the Y switched from their old, black-and-red logo to a dual-color logo that uses five different color combinations, which was meant to symbolize diversity and flexibility.  The change in logo came with a change in uniform: At the time the decision was made to embrace all of the colors of the new brand, so the uniforms consisted of polo shirts that came in a variety of colors, but were primarily white—which meant they showed dirt, and looked bad even after very little basic wear-and-tear. To add to that, they didn’t fit very well, and team members soon began to express their disappointment with the required uniform.  The uniform became known as the “bowling shirts.” Read more

Every customer experience project is a culture project

Culture is the biggest determinant of effective customer experience. While that’s especially evident in the service space, it’s also true for every other type of company. When your culture focuses more on its own viewpoint than your customers’, you end up with convoluted processes, terrible return policies, and overly-complicated products.

That’s why I was happy to see some of the results from our first-ever journey mapping survey. We’re finalizing the analysis, which will be available soon. So, here’s a teaser about some of the results that are relevant to building a customer-focused culture. Read more