Driving CX Culture Change

Driving Customer-Centric Culture Change

Customer experience is about more than simply offering great service. It’s about delighting your customers during every interaction with your brand. Driving customer-centric change within your organizational structure helps your business reach its full potential and sets you apart from your competitors.

Putting your customers at the core of your decision-making processes creates lasting customer value and loyalty, and increases profitability. Heart of the Customer shares change management best practices to help you drive customer-focused change to transform the way you do business.

Your Next CX Hire…Shouldn’t Be a CX Hire

As we interviewed hundreds of customer experience professionals across scores of organizations for our research initiative last year, we looked for what indicated the ability to drive impact.

We’ve documented the top items a few times in the past: linking everything to business value, understanding the technology and data, measuring and improving emotions, and using change management. Read more

Three Ways to Make Your Case

“We’ve all seen those studies where it says a one-point increase of CSAT equals this revenue, but to a Commercial Officer, a CEO, or a CFO, this doesn’t sound real. So it doesn’t put CX in a credible position. We need to prove this based on our own data: ‘These are the scores for the past year, and this is the revenue or the growth in revenue and the growth and shipments for these exact countries. And this is what it looks like. This is the correlation between the revenue and customer satisfaction and NPS.’” – 2020 interview participant

I bet that like me, you love to read research that shows that CX pays. Luckily for both of us, there’s plenty of industry data on the topic. The most compelling is Watermark Consulting’s tracking of stock prices. Read more

CX Needs Change Management

You probably moved into customer experience (CX) because of a passion for customers. You chose this space because you know that if you can improve customers’ experiences with your company, they will be happier, they’ll stay with you longer, and both the business and your customers will prosper.

But actually improving the experience is hard.

If you’re like most of the CX professionals we interviewed last year, the reality has hit you that it’s incredibly difficult to move your silos enough to substantially improve the customer experience. That’s where change management, the missing element in most CX programs, comes in. Read more

Change Management, Not “Bribes,” Improves CX

This post picks up where last week‘s left off…

In giving bonuses based on overall survey results, companies are assuming that 1. teams actually know what to do in order to improve customer satisfaction and 2. they won’t do it unless incented to.

Both points in that statement need to be analyzed.

First, understanding how to drive customer satisfaction (I’m using this as a catch-all for NPS, customer effort, etc.) isn’t that easy.

When I led a CX program in the health savings account (HSA) marketplace, I asked teams what they thought the top drivers of satisfaction were. Product thought it was about features. Marketing thought it was about educating on how to use the HSA. Sales thought it was about pricing.

They were all wrong. Read more

Why Do Bonuses for NPS Scores *Seem* Wise?

I’ll get right to the point: Change management is cheaper than bribing employees. It’s more effective, too.

The CEO of a client organization recently asked us about offering a bonus tied to their Net Promoter Score (NPS). He believed that this would motivate employees to think more about customers and improve their experience.

Without mincing words, I told him I thought that was a terrible idea – one that is universally frowned upon.

He pushed back: “Why? What’s the evidence? Other organizations are doing it. Why is it so bad?” Read more

Revealing Change Makers’ Secrets

As regular readers have probably noticed, I’ve been referencing the massive research project we undertook last year often in recent blog posts, especially while sharing learnings.

Today I want to take you behind the curtain and describe the impetus for the project, explain some of the methodology, and tell you about my motivation and goals. To do that, I need to start at the beginning.

Once upon a time, I was a customer experience failure.

Back in the olden days (olden in CX terms, anyway, as it was more than a decade ago), I led a customer experience program in a division of a large health insurance organization.

Read more

CX Loses a Visionary

As I’m sure many of you were, I was shocked to hear of Tony Hsieh’s untimely death this past weekend.

In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Tony is the recently-retired CEO of Zappos. In that role, he shepherded an online shoe seller with annual sales around $1 million (Zappos started as ShoeSite.com) into a massive e-commerce enterprise that sold to Amazon just 10 years later for $1.2 billion.

It’s a testament to his talent and vision that that accomplishment isn’t the most notable thing about him. (But you should still read his fascinating, candid account of how the sale went down!) Read more

customers consumers producers

What’s in a Name? Your Ability to Please Your Customers

I’ve always been a big reader, but the pandemic has given me even more time to indulge my passion. I recently devoured Conscious Capitalism, by John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia.

It really struck a chord with me, particularly this paragraph calling on businesses to stop using the term consumer: “Businesses must think of their customers as human beings to be served, not as consumers to be sold to. In fact, the very word consumer objectifies people, suggesting that their only role is to consume.”

Read more

Culture Is the Cart, Change Is the Horse

There’s no doubt about it – culture change is sexy. So sexy, that it’s where most customer experience programs focus. But starting with culture is putting the cart before the horse. And we all know you’re not going to get anywhere that way.

In this final post in my CX-focused series on applying John Kotter’s 8 Steps to Accelerate Change in Your Organization, we cover the eighth step: Institute Change.

The problem is that most employees believe they’re doing the right thing for customers – it’s those people in [insert name of some other department] who are messing up. So if you start with culture change – putting together training, creating a customer room, waiting for improved outcomes – you’re loading your cart before you have the means to propel it forward.

Read more

sustain acceleration

Don’t Just Drive CX Success, Sustain It

We’re in the homestretch of my series on how to apply John Kotter’s change management work to customer experience! The penultimate seventh step, Sustain Acceleration, is an important reminder that you can’t rest on your laurels.

As Kotter writes in 8 Steps to Accelerate Change in Your Organization: “So you’ve had a few wins. It can be easy to lift your foot off the gas pedal after experiencing some success. Instead, this is the time to press harder and use those wins as momentum to further fuel the change.” Read more