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.

Creating a Customer Experience Capability – Interview with Mara Bain, Chief Experience Officer, Western National Insurance

Aiming for the Heart of their Customers

This is the second in our Aiming for the Hearts of their Customers interview series, with seven Minnesota customer experience leaders sharing their strategy for the coming year. You can see all of the interviews here:

Overview

The Western National Insurance Group is a 500-person private company that offers property and casualty insurance. Mara is the company’s Chief Experience Officer, a role she began mid-year. Mara came to Customer Experience through an unusual route, having previously served as their Controller. She has hit the ground running, however, working with teams from throughout the company to create a Customer Experience framework, and launching programs to help further improve an experience that already has many strengths.

Defining Customer Experience

Mara Bain, Chief Experience Officer, Western National Insurance

“We have three customer segments. First are our independent agencies.  We recognize that many key policyholder touch points are controlled by our agents.  By optimizing our agents’ experience with us, we are positively impacting the service they provide our ultimate customer.   Next is our ultimate policyholder, which can be either an individual or a business. Finally, we have our employees as customers.” The employee was unique. While most customer experience programs recognize the employee as a key stakeholder, it is unusual to include them as actual customers.

Read more

Setting the Customer Experience Stage – Interview with Dave Kirsch, CEO of Shipper’s Supply

Aiming for the Heart of their CustomersWe’re starting off 2014 with the interview series Aiming for the Hearts of their Customers. These interviews showcase the current state and 2014 plans for seven customer experience leaders in Minnesota. You can see all of the interviews here:

Overview

Shipper’s Supply is an 85-year-old distributor of everything a manufacturer needs to create a great impression, from the actual shipping supply to the automation equipment needed to package products.

This is the first in the series Aiming for the Hearts of their Customers. I chose Shipper’s Supply to begin the series because they are in the very beginning of their customer experience journey, and serve as a great case study of this phase. CEO Dave Kirsch shared the history behind their approach and how they are beginning their focus.

Building Customer Intelligence

DKirsch Read more

Aiming for the Hearts of their Customers

Welcome to the new year! To kick things off, I have been fortunate to interview a number of Minnesota customer experience leaders on their plans for next year. Seven have agreed to have their interviews published over the next two weeks. The list includes two CEOs, two VPs with responsibilities that include customer experience, and three who are specifically tasked with running customer experience in their companies.  The list includes:

Dave Kirsch, CEO, Shipper's Supply Dave Kirsch, CEO, Shipper’s Supply

Mara Bain, Chief Experience Officer, Western National Insurance Mara Bain, Chief Experience Officer, Western National Insurance

Ghita Worcester, Senior VP of Public Affairs and Marketing, UCare Ghita Worcester, Senior VP of Public Affairs and Marketing, UCare

Lisa Hoene, VP of Brand and Marketing Services, Allianz Lisa Hoene, VP of Brand and Marketing Services, Allianz

Robin Schribman, Vice President, Customer Insight and Customer Experience, Thomson Reuters Robin Schribman, Vice President, Customer Insight and Customer Experience, Thomson Reuters

Ingrid Lindberg, Chief Customer Officer at Prime Therapeutics Ingrid Lindberg, Chief Customer Officer at Prime Therapeutics

Rhoda Olsen, CEO of Great Clips Rhoda Olsen, CEO of Great Clips

Look for their interviews over the next two weeks.

Minnesota Customer Experience Folks – a new LinkedIn Group

For those Twin Cities who weren’t able to attend the Customer Experience Day CXPA event here in Minnesota, you missed a terrific event. Allianz’s Lisa Hoene, Xcel Energy’s Lisa Mahoney and Trane’s Mike Nealey led our panel discussion on influence without authority.  The 60 attendees learned a ton, and met many of their fellow Customer Experience pros.

In the follow-up from the event, Mary Rapaport asked whether there was a LinkedIn group that could keep the conversation going.  So, Mary, your wish is my command!  We now have the group Minneapolis CX Pros.  In invite you to join the group and ask the tough CX questions of your fellow customer experience enthusiasts.

P.S. Sorry for the Minneapolis-centric title.  Folks from St. Paul are still invited…

Create an Engaging Customer Experience Workshop

iStock_000019575299LargeAre you looking to improve your customer experience?  I will be hosting a full-day course on Creating an Engaging Customer Experience in partnership with the Performance Excellence Network.  You can learn more at http://performanceexcellencenetwork.org/events/minnesota-innovation-spark-2013/.

Creating an Engaging Customer Experience

October 2, 2013 | 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

A great customer experience begins with a solid understanding of your customers.  But it also requires that your employees use those insights to build programs that your competitors cannot duplicate.

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Jim Tincher, Senior Business Advisor with Satisfaction Management Systems, to a special full-day workshop September 10: “Creating a Great Customer-Inspired Experience.”

Jim will build off of the PEN breakfast earlier this summer, sharing the three keys to build a great customer-inspired experience for your business, and you will pick up actionable steps you can implement literally tomorrow!

Learning objectives for the workshop include: Read more

Minneapolis CXPA Event: Starting a Customer Experience Capability

Join me at our CXPA Minneapolis Local Networking Event.  We’ll have a great discussion on how different organizations have started their journey, with lots of time for Q&A!

Event Details: “I think we need to be more of a customer centric organization” said the CEO. “I am concerned about price pressure and wonder if service could be a differentiator for us. I have been hearing about customer experience. I would like you to figure out what this is and what it could mean for our organization. Let me know what we need to do.” While not a real conversation, many customer experience practitioners have been faced with a charge about that vague. What is customer experience? How do you start when your organization is just beginning to think about a more disciplined approach? How do you build a sustainable approach that will be embraced across the organization? Come participate in an interactive discussion as we talk about customer experience maturity models and how to begin the journey. We will introduce a model that moves from early thinking to fully embedded in the organization, with a very focused discussion on the first stages. Come with your experiences, stories and questions as we learn from each other.

Speaker: Ingrid Lindberg, Chief Customer Experience Officer for Prime Therapeutics

When: Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Register at http://www.cxpa.org/events/event_details.asp?id=332434&group=

Where: 900 2nd Ave S
Ninth Floor, Room 9014
Minneapolis, MN

Cost: CXPA Members – FREE; Non-members – $20

Sponsored by

Please join me at the next Minneapolis CXPA Event

CXPA logoWednesday, July 17, 2013, from 5-7.  Ingrid Lindberg, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Prime Therapeutics, will be speaking on how to get started on your customer experience journey.

Event Details: “I think we need to be more of a customer centric organization” said the CEO. “I am concerned about price pressure and wonder if service could be a differentiator for us. I have been hearing about customer experience. I would like you to figure out what this is and what it could mean for our organization. Let me know what we need to do.” While not a real conversation, many customer experience practitioners have been faced with a charge about that vague. What is customer experience? How do you start when your organization is just beginning to think about a more disciplined approach? How do you build a sustainable approach that will be embraced across the organization? Come participate in an interactive discussion as we talk about customer experience maturity models and how to begin the journey. We will introduce a model that moves from early thinking to fully embedded in the organization, with a very focused discussion on the first stages. Come with your experiences, stories and questions as we learn from each other.

More details are available at http://www.cxpa.org/events/event_details.asp?id=332434&group=.  I hope to see you there!

Event: June 6 – “Create a Great Customer-Inspired Experience”

Join me at the upcoming Performance Excellence Network event.  Details:

Knowledge Forum: Create a Great Customer-Inspired Experience (Minneapolis)

June 6, 2013 | 7:30 am – 9:00 am
Jim Tincher, Senior Business Advisor with Satisfaction Management Systems
Create a Great Customer-Inspired Experience

A great customer experience begins with a solid understanding of your customers. But it also requires that your employees use those insights to build programs that your competitors cannot duplicate.

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Jim Tincher, Senior Business Advisor with Satisfaction Management Systems, to our June 6 PEN: “Create a Great Customer-Inspired Experience.”

Jim will share the three keys to build a great customer-inspired experience for your business, and you will pick up actionable steps you can implement literally tomorrow! A great customer experience leads to enhanced loyalty and significantly higher financial returns. Join this discussion to learn more!

The discussion is from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on June 6 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m.) at MCTC, 1501 Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis (near the Basilica). Admission to PEN is FREE for Network members; $15 for partner organizations; $30 for the public. Space is limited so register today by emailing brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org.

Does your satisfaction survey show disrespect for customers

Note: This article was originally posted in 2012. Best Buy no longer uses this survey, but this poor design is still used by companies who insist on extra-long surveys.

How do you know when a company’s on the ropes?  Some observers watch cash flow.  Others look at turnover.  Me?  I look at how a company treats its customers.  When a company’s customer experience starts to drop, it’s time to sell the stock. I’m afraid that may have happened at Best Buy, especially when I look at their new customer satisfaction survey.

Customer satisfaction surveys are critical for creating your customer experience.  A great survey puts your customer at the center of your customer experience design, allowing you to learn and improve as you go.  But this only works when you design the survey from a perspective of customer respect.  When your customer satisfaction survey design assumes your customers aren’t paying attention to the survey, then why bother?  In the past, Best Buy’s culture was centered on the customer experience. But their recent update to their customer satisfaction survey shows that at least one group thinks their customers are unworthy of respect. Read more

Excerpts from “From People to Profits: The Business Case for Employee Engagement”

Last month I had the opportunity to give the keynote speech at MindSurfFrom People to Profits: The Business Case for Employee Engagement.  This 4-minute video gives some of the highlights.  Read below for more information.

httpv://youtu.be/f6i7ky0mWNM

The description:  Employee Engagement is not just a feel-good program. Companies are seeing significant productivity and profitability gains through building a culture of engaged employees, as reported by Gallup, Towers-Perrin, Hay Group and others. The worst economic downturn in decades left many employees afraid to leave their jobs. Now that the economy is loosening up, experts warn we may see increasing turnover as employees leave for greener pastures. How will you keep your best people? This session will focus on best practices to engage employees, including the ROI of engagement and how you can get started at your company tomorrow.

The Three Keys to Great Employee Engagement:

  1. Point to a clear direction
  2. Develop your coaches
  3. Let your employees find the way

Learn more in, “From People to Profits: The Business Case for Employee Engagement!”  Contact Jim at Heart of the Customer to learn more about how he can help you improve your employee engagement.  Or visit here to see another sample video and more speaker information.