Interviews

Interviews with CX Experts

CX is the backbone of every business – any CX expert can tell you this. And what better way to learn about CX than from the experts themselves. We’ve interviewed a variety of CX experts from around the world and gathered their valuable insights below.

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

Designing Customer Journey Maps: An Interview with Kris LaFavor

We sat down recently to chat with Kris LaFavor, Heart of the Customer’s Data Visualization Designer, about her work designing journey maps.

What do you do when you start the process of designing a customer experience journey map?

It’s important for me to have context before I start. I make sure I understand the background material and information in regards to what the client wants to map and what they’re trying to achieve with the map. This understanding ensures that I’m not mapping extraneous information. The high-level information is plotted out first and hierarchy flows from there. Read more

Bringing the Voice of the Customer into CX Design – an Interview with Beth Berg

I met Beth Berg—a customer experience researcher—at a journey mapping round table at this year’s CXPA Insight Exchange, and really enjoyed her approach. So, I invited her to get together and discuss her approach, and she agreed.

First, tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.

My area of expertise is bringing the voice of the customer into customer experience design efforts. As part of the CX team within a company, I provide research support to our CX efforts. I work primarily via qualitative research, providing data the company can use, but I also work to bring in research conducted by other parts of the company that’s useful to our CX work, such as marketing research, analytics, and competitive intelligence.

It’s great that your company has a dedicated CX team—it sounds like they’re committed to using CX within the company. Where are you and your team brought into the CX process?

I’m fortunate to work for a company that has support for CX at the executive level. CX absolutely has a seat at the table through strategy development. We involve VPs and Senior VPs from across the company in CX design through workshops—all facilitated by a CX Architect and informed by research. Read more

The Best Way to Learn from Your Customers? Sit Down and Shut Up!

We all like to talk. It’s part of being human. We like to share ideas and concepts. It’s natural.

It’s also a terrible way to learn from your customers.

This may seem obvious. But then why do so many do this wrong?

I was reminded of this in a journey mapping round table I recently led. About 15 to 20 practitioners and vendors participated, going over journey mapping practices, and sharing how we all went about the process. Unfortunately, not all methodologies are created equally.

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

Heart of the Customer in Expert Interview Series

Something different. I was recently interviewed by Netscout as part of their Expert Interview Series for CIO Brief. A copy is below. Enjoy!

Jim Tincher is the Mapper-In-Chief of HEART OF THE CUSTOMER, where he helps brands understand how hard it is to be their customer. We recently asked for his insight on how businesses can better know their customers and improve their customer experience. Here’s what he shared:

Can you tell us about the mission behind Heart of the Customer? What are your goals?

Our mission is to help change agents transform their organization to fully internalize the voice of their customer and to drive action against that. Our goals are to provide those change agents with the call to action needed to drive change.

How has the way brands engage with customers evolved since you launched your business?

Customer experience is now being taken more seriously. In the last few years we have seen the rise of the customer experience (CX) organization, charged with driving the company to build a customer-centric approach. However, we’re still at a fairly early stage, so methodologies are not yet robust. We’re in a very exciting time, as we are building the tools that will become the standard. 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