Minneapolis CX

Minneapolis Customer Experience Consulting Experts

Learn more about customer experience best practices from experts around the Twin Cities area. These leaders in customer experience consulting have much to offer from their own experiences throughout their CX careers and can help get you started on your own journey towards improving your customer experience.

Journey mapping has become a must-have approach to customer experience

Before it became a business five years ago, Heart of the Customer was a blog I started when I was leading CX at a Fortune 100 company. Along the way I learned about journey mapping, and created the post Customer Journey Map – the Top 10 Requirements to reflect the limitations I saw at the time. That post has since had over 108,000 views, including over 4,000 in the last year. When I started the business, that post drove us to number 1 in any Google ranking on the topic – journey map, customer journey map – even “journey mapping software,” we didn’t even offer software!

Since then, journey mapping has become even more popular, as you can see from the chart on the right.

Journey mapping is now the go-to customer experience tool, and has been discussed in Forbes, the Harvard Business Journal, and countless other journals.

Read more

Reflections after Five Years of Journey Mapping

Last month we celebrated Heart of the Customer’s 5th year anniversary. The team got together to share where we are, discuss best practices, plan for the future, and—most importantly—to celebrate! We were also grateful to have Angelica Bonacci from Allianz come to tell us about the ways her organization is using our journey mapping work to drive internal change.

This led me to reflect on what has occurred over the last five years in terms of journey mapping as an art. Next week, we’ll have five posts discussing journey mapping and how it has changed. The five are:

  1. Journey mapping has moved from a nice-to-have to a must-have in customer experience.
  2. We’re still challenged by navigating trade-offs when deciding what to map.
  3. Too many see journey mapping as just a workshop.
  4. Journey mapping tools still don’t address the most critical challenges.
  5. Journey mapping is still happening in silos.

These all reflect, to varying degrees, the five journey mapping questions that you should consider before embarking on a project: Read more

Trust: I Don’t Think Wells Fargo Gets it Yet

I attended an excellent conference today. The Carlson School of Management sponsored their second annual Ignite Conference which focused on “Protecting Trust in Today’s Consumer Journey.”

The opening speaker gave some great stats about trust, including research that 73% of the variance in how customers have trust with you is predicted by team members’ trust of the organization.

At the end of the day, Wells Fargo’s Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Moldafsky spoke on their journey to regain trust. It was a well-crafted speech, showcasing all that Wells Fargo was doing to admit wrong-doing and earn back the trust earned over 150+ years in business.

All in all, it was impressive. But two warning signs have me concerned that they have further to go than they think. Read more

Do you have what it takes to succeed at CX?

Have you taken a look at our latest whitepaper? Also accessible from the resources page, it details strategies and insights for ensuring that your next CX initiative is a successful one that will pay for itself with opportunities for profit and growth.

Access it here: How to Select a CX Platform for Maximum Impact


Interested in workshops? Read more here.

Interested in journey mapping? Read more here.

Interested in improving your CX? Read more here.

CX Webinar Invitation, August 27th

Do your employees love your company?

Jim Tincher joins Shiftonomics to break down the customers’ journey, and how strongly it is impacted by corporate culture and the effort the company puts into empowering its frontline teams.

You’ll Learn

  1. How to hire people who care
  2. Keys to maintaining employee engagement
  3. How to map each customer’s journey
Taylor Pipes

About Taylor Pipes and Jim Tincher

Taylor Pipes, an industry specialist from Branch Messenger, is joined by Jim Tincher to talk about the customer and employee experience. With a lifelong passion for customer experience, Jim founded Heart of the Customer to help companies of all sizes increase customer engagement.

Reserve your spot here.


Interested in workshops? Read more here.

Interested in journey mapping? Read more here.

Interested in improving your CX? Read more here.

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

Guest Post: We Hold These Truths: Implementing CX Governance

1JFMNQLRE8This guest post comes from Darin Byrne, Senior Director of Professional Services at Wolters Kluwer.

As the summer goes on and the Fourth of July approaches, I’ve found myself thinking once again about the principles that our nation was founded upon. I am reminded that the signing of a document, even one as revered as the Declaration of Independence, was such a decisive point in our history – actually in the history of the world. And I’ve been pondering even more broadly about all of our governing documents, from the Magna Carta to the Constitution: how they came about and how they still affect us today. We agreed amongst ourselves what our goals were, how we would operate as a country, the checks and balances we would put in place to achieve our goals, and then we wrote them down and implemented them, and – even more amazing – we continue to adhere to them today. It really is pretty amazing.

And that, of course, got me thinking about what I do every day. Because, much as we might like it to be true, a bunch of people don’t just show up to work and decide individually what they’re going to do all day—we need guidance in the way of a set of goals and principles. And while a so-called “benevolent dictator” might rule in some companies, the truth is that this is not a sustainable model for a business. In order to achieve your company goals, you have to have guiding principles, an overriding plan, and people to maintain and carry out that plan—that is, governance. Read more

“If you need a video to explain the process, fix the process!” – Lessons from a journey mapping workshop

I had the opportunity to conduct journey mapping with a state agency working to transform the employer’s unemployment experience. The group followed our first rule of journey mapping – always make sure the customer is included in the process – by conducting multiple levels of research, including in-depth interviews with employers who were new to the process and usability interviews.

Next they engaged us to map out the existing employer’s journeys. I knew they were the right type of people for this work when I overheard one say, “If you need a video to explain the process, fix the process!”

Unfortunately, that’s not always the approach.  I can’t tell you how often I’ve run across a broken process, and the response is, “We need to train our customers.”

The reality is, our customers are already trained.  They’re trained by Amazon to have a streamlined process.  They’re trained by Apple to expect simplicity. And, if we’re not careful, they can be trained by your competition to expect something better.

The irony is, this came from a state agency with no competition. But they understand that while loyalty may seem irrelevant, it really isn’t. Being loyal in this context doesn’t mean using their services more – nobody wants to use unemployment insurance any more than they need to. No, in this context, loyalty means being less costly to serve. It means less calls, and less irritation when those calls happen.

That’s what journey mapping is all about – making customer-focused change to improve the process for everybody. And, if the state gets that, then there’s hope for the rest of us, too!

How Wolters Kluwer Financial Services builds a great B2B customer experience – an interview with interim president Pete Koehn

KOEHN_WebsiteImagine a former accountant leading an organization that helps banks manage regulatory compliance.  You might picture a reliance on financial facts and figures making it unlikely for a customer experience program to take root. If so, then you clearly haven’t spent any time with Wolters Kluwer Financial Services.

Pete Koehn is interim president of Wolters Kluwer Financial Services’ Risk, Originations and Compliance business unit. Prior to this position, he served in both finance and operations. But both led him to appreciate the role of engaged customers and employees, and of their dual role in driving results.

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services has been growing rapidly, with some of that growth through acquisition. Shortly after Pete stepped into his current role, his Senior Director of Professional Services Darin Byrne approached him about how customer experience practices could help alleviate any customer service disruptions, while paving the way for even greater growth.

His initial response?  “My immediate question was, ‘Is this a real discipline?’

Darin, a CXPA member, assured him it was, sharing maturity models and best practices, and Pete quickly bought in. Since that time, “We’ve used customer experience as a mantra – let’s understand the voice of the customer. With customer experience in mind, we’ve made changes that have really helped us with this overarching idea of getting our business to act as one.”

Three of those key changes they’ve made are in the area of structure, governance, and culture. Read more

Why is Ace Hardware trying to buy my loyalty?

Settergren'sNo neighborhood is complete without the local hardware store. Ours is Settergren’s, an Ace Hardware that’s been in business for over a hundred years.

Like most of it’s compatriots, it’s the anti-Home Depot. You get a good selection at a decent price. But what really matters is the convenience and the really good advice from people with dirt under their fingernails who know what kind of nail to use and can recommend the best caulk for your situation. We stop by there not just to get tools, but to ask for advice on a job or to look for a contractor.

Settergren’s is a neighborhood institution. On a Saturday afternoon it’s crowed with people coming for paint, nails, mulch or a shovel. They’re active in the community and neighbors regularly talk about how much they love Settergren’s.

So it surprised me when they came out with a loyalty program. You earn points by spending money with them which comes back in the form of a card good for $5 in purchases.

Who thought THAT was a good idea? Read more