Customer Experience

Customer Experience Strategy and Planning

It is widely cited that attention customer experience is lacking in most organizations. This barrier stifles potential and can greatly harm the health of your business. Implementing customer experience planning and customer experience strategy can greatly increase your ROI.By putting the customer at the core of your business, you will create immense opportunity for growth and development. But how should you go about planning and carrying out these changes? Below, you can learn straight from CX industry professionals about the skills, tools, and resources you need in order to plan an effective strategy that will drive customer satisfaction and the overall success of your business.

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

Delight your customers – but only if they want to be delighted

Delight your customers, or make it easy for them? How do we reconcile two popular CX books with opposite conclusions – The Effortless Experience vs. The Power of Moments?

Consultancy CEB is the driver behind The Effortless Experience. They conducted thousands of surveys after service calls across multiple industries, and this research led to a clear message: delighting customers doesn’t create loyalty –  consistent delivery and easy experiences do. The book offers compelling research to back this up, showing why you need to reduce effort in your service experience. It’s a great read, and I highly recommend it. This book also introduces the second version of the Customer Effort Score, which is their preferred way to measure transactions. According to the CEB, companies earn the most loyalty when they move customers from a low to a moderate score.

The Power of Moments is another great book, and I included a Q&A of the authors here. They use data from rival consultancy Forrester to come to the opposite conclusion – that it’s most important to delight your customers. Forrester similarly conducted thousands of surveys across multiple industries to show that companies receive disproportionate levels of loyalty when they delight customers. According to Forrester, companies earn the most loyalty when they move customers from a moderate to a high Customer Effort score.

Wait, what? How can both be true? Read more

What is the point of a journey map?

We held an offsite today. As our team expands, it’s important to connect and learn from each other, and this was one of those rare opportunities.

Engagement Lead Kathleen Hoski led us in an exercise to review our past journey maps, discussing and aligning on best practices. As she led the discussion, something interesting happened.

Even though we were in a room with sixteen people whose job it is to create customer journey maps, we had slightly different ideas as to the exact role of the customer journey maps: Read more

Join Jim at the CXPA’s Insight Exchange

Are you going to the CXPA’s Insight Exchange? Along with the incomparable Nancy Porte, I’ll be co-hosting the event. Plans are coming along – you can see the agenda here. I’ll also be leading a Show and Tell table with journey mapping best practices on Wednesday.

Look for me at the “We’ve Arrived” welcome mixer. I look forward to meeting you!

B2B Journey Mapping Best Practice: Follow Up

B2B journeys are different from those of consumers. Consumer relationships are often anonymous – how many Coke customers have ever met somebody from the company? As ironic as it sounds, business relationships are much more personal.

I’ve never met anybody from most of my consumer relationships. I know nobody from Soda Stream, Dell, J. Crew, Nordstrom, Cross, Costco, or Shutterfly, for example. But my clients have a personal relationship with both the team and me. And I talk regularly with people from my suppliers, such as our online platform and recruiting partners. That’s not true of all our B2B relationships – I’ve never met anyone from Amazon Business or Intuit – but overall there’s more of a personal relationship, and therefore increased expectations, from our business interactions.

That’s why it’s so surprising to find the biggest issue with B2B journey mapping: failure to follow up with customers after the Customer Immersion phase. After spending a half day talking with your client company, learning the ins and outs of their business and taking a tour, you owe them more than a thank you email. The best way to destroy a B2B relationship is to ask for feedback, then never follow up afterward. You owe it to your customers to tell them what you’re going to do with the feedback. Read more

Creating a CX Capability Interview – Part 2

We posted part 1 last week. Here’s part two of Jim’s interview with Intouch Insight:

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In part-one of our interview, Jim – founder of Heart of the Customer and Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) – provides many great insights for customer experience (CX) professionals looking to build a standout CX program across their organization.

In part-two, Jim continues the conversation with:

    • How to lead change towards a more customer-centric organization
    • The biggest CX misconception
    • The business value of great customer experience
    • Where to invest first in your CX transformation

Read more

Interview: Building a World-Class CX Capability

I recently did an interview with Intouch Insight–see below for Part 1.

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We recently sat down with Jim Tincher, founder of Heart of the Customer and Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP), to get his take on the customer experience landscape and how it is changing in 2018.

In part-one of this two-part article series, Jim discusses several key topics around customer experience (CX):

    • The importance of Customer Experience Management (CEM)
    • Where companies should focus their efforts in the early stages of developing a CEM program
    • Key challenges CX professionals face and how to overcome those challenges
    • Innovations in technology that will shape the future of CX

Read more

White Paper: Designing a World-Class CX Approach

What does it take to design a customer experience (CX) program that drives business results? 

The CXPA identifies six disciplines as core to an effective CX program: 

  • CX Strategy 
  • Customer-Centric Culture 
  • VOC Customer Insight & Understanding 
  • Experience Design Improvement &Innovation 
  • Metrics &Measurement ROI 
  • Organizational Adoption & Accountability 

This CX white paper, written in conjunction with Intouch Insight, walks through the six disciplines, with tips on how to use them to build a roadmap to success.