Customer Experience Vision

CX Vision

Developing a customer experience vision is the first step in pursuing organizational change for the way your business provides services to its customers. Design and implement your future-state CX vision by developing ideas and prioritizing initiatives. A customer experience vision clarifies these aspirations and why they matter to your customers.

Do the CX Buttons You Push Matter?

Research from CustomerThink, Forrester, Pointillist, and the XM Institute agree: Few CX programs can prove that their work matters to business outcomes.

This reminds me of a story from my college days.

I was visiting my buddy Rick, and we went down to the rec room in the basement of his dorm to shoot some pool. Tucked in the corner was a video game.

A little background you should know: When I was in high school, I had a paper route that included a vending machine. That meant I always had pocketsful of quarters. Which, given the era, meant lots of afternoons at an arcade, happily feeding those quarters into video games. 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.

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Lessons From a Change Maker

It’s hard to overstate how much building an emotional connection with customers matters.

According to the XM Institute, when the emotional experience is rated highly, 76% of customers are promoters. When it’s rated low, only 6% are. More importantly, when the emotional experience is rated highly, 63% will forgive you when problems arise.

But if you haven’t created that strong emotional experience? Only 11% will. Read more

Backorder Issues: The High Cost of Reduced Inventory

Heart of the Customer maps customer journeys for a wide range of B2B organizations, from healthcare to manufacturing to distribution and more. We’ve found one area of friction common across industries: backorder issues.

Whether mom and pop retail storefronts or global manufacturers, customers with products on backorder face similar situations. Here’s how it generally plays out:

  • They take an order from their customer and promise a delivery. Then they find out that the product is on backorder. That puts them in an difficult position. Do they scramble to find a new supplier? Look for an alternate product? Disappoint their customer?

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Interview: Kate Nightingale of Style Psychology

Heart of the Customer’s Jim Tincher sat down with Style Psychology Founder and CEO Kate Nightingale recently, to discuss the role of emotions in the customer experience. (But it’s 2021, so of course “sat down with” means “met on Zoom.”) Below is a lightly edited transcript of that conversation. You can watch the complete video here.

Jim:
So we were on a panel together [The Art and Science of Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences, now available on demand] and we were talking about emotions in the experience. And one of the other panelists brought up the “effortless experience.” Both you and I had a visceral reaction to that book. I have my thoughts, but let’s start with you. Tell me more why you reacted to that. Read more

Interview: Creating a Clean Experience

How would you respond if your deliberately behind-the-scenes customer experience efforts were suddenly thrust to the foreground?

That’s the challenge Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services’ CEO Todd Hopkins faced when COVID changed the way we all think about cleaning.

I met Todd after customer service guru Shep Hyken recommended him in response to my call for customer-focused leaders I should interview. It was an awesome recommendation!

In addition to founding Office Pride, a faith-based cleaning service, Todd has also authored/co-authored four best-selling faith-based books: The Carrot Chaser, The Janitor, Five Wisdoms for Entrepreneur Survival, and most recently, The Stress Less Business Owner. Read more

bad cx data

2021: The Year of CX Data

Given the year we’ve had, we need to talk hygiene. Because I suspect you’ve been neglecting it.

Not because of the sweatpants you wore in that Zoom meeting, or that you don’t always sing “Happy Birthday” twice when you wash your hands.

I mean digital hygiene, and the need to clean your data.

Each of the past five years have been hailed as the “The Year of Digital Transformation.” We thought we were working hard to digitize our experiences.

Then the pandemic hit. And we realized we weren’t doing nearly enough. New digital capabilities came up almost overnight, as agile teams worked to pivot toward emerging customer needs. E-commerce sites, digital notifications, ship from store – all capabilities that were just “in the works” a year ago were deployed quickly. Read more

An Effortless Experience Isn’t Enough

In CX, we all focus on making the experience easier on our customers. (We even made it the title of our book.) But building loyalty isn’t as simple as removing friction.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely worthwhile to simplify your customer experience. Friction is a key driver behind loyalty destruction, and your organization will benefit from streamlining processes and making it easier for customers to resolve issues.

But it won’t build fans who will go out of their way to order from you. That takes something bigger. Read more

For B2C, Cleanliness Is the New Black

Let’s not beat around the bush: $#@&*%! coronavirus trashed your journeys.

Prior to the pandemic, organizations had clear strategies on how to serve their customers, working to deliver an ever-improving experience to earn loyalty.

A better experience is still required…but how we go about providing it – and what “it” even is – has completely changed, particularly for B2C companies, where among other things, face-to-face interactions now take place mask-to-mask.

When I hosted a fireside chat earlier this month with Alison Circle, the Chief Customer Experience Officer for the Columbus Library system, she told me how difficult new protocols necessitated by the pandemic have made it to forge personal connections between staff and customers. But safety just has to come first. Read more

Create a Compelling CX Vision

Rallying your teams to move to a more customer-focused approach requires letting them know what needs to be done. And nothing is more effective at accomplishing that than having a compelling CX vision for what the future looks like.

A clear vision is the accelerator for customer experience (CX) change. Sure, you can improve the experience without a vision – but it will be much more difficult.

A compelling vision is Kotter’s third step in change management. (I’ve explored the first two steps here and here.) As the firm explains in 8 Steps to Accelerate Change in Your Organization, “You can’t appeal to people with data and facts alone. You must also account for how people feel. If you can provide greater meaning and purpose to their efforts, amazing things are possible.” Read more