Voice of the Customer

Building Empathy Through the Voice of the Customer

At the core of every successful business is a strong focus on customer experience. But in order to focus on customers, you have to hear firsthand what they think, feel, do, and say during their interactions with your company. Too often companies rely on their internal hypotheses about what customers want. But these are almost always flawed, because they’re tainted by organizational biases. Learn below how to capture the voice of the customer and use it to build empathy and drive change within your organization. Heart of the Customer helps you employ innovative tools, best practices methodology, and industry-leading analytics.

Seizing This Moment, Solving Problems

Despite all the hardship, trauma, and loss endured by the global community the past few months, I can’t help but feel a sense of awe at times. I truly believe this is the greatest period of innovation I have experienced in my lifetime.  Read more

Surveys in the Time of Pandemic

I’ve been posting weekly videos on LinkedIn with advice on what CX professionals can do during this unsettling time.

During Week 2 of the pandemic, I received a survey request that I felt was ill-conceived. The email –entitled “We’d love to hear your thoughts!” – had your standard “based on your current level of happiness with [vendor], how likely are you to recommend [vendor] to a friend or a colleague?”

There was no “we realize this is a difficult time but hope you can give us a few minutes of your time,” or any other acknowledgement that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. To me, it screamed “sure, people are dying, but we really need to capture our metrics, so please stop what you’re doing and fill out our survey.”

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CX Pros: Help Your Company & Your Customers Deal With COVID-19

The jolt that nations, and communities, all over the world have experienced in the past few weeks due to the relentless spread of COVID-19 is enough to induce whiplash. While the situation is extremely fluid, all signs point to it getting a lot worse in the U.S. before it gets better.

I’m not going to presume to address what this means for the people, and their loved ones, who are directly impacted, and suffering or even dying as a result of contracting this virus. I am devastated for my fellow human beings all over the world and here at home.

But medicine isn’t my area of expertise and I can’t alleviate that suffering, beyond, of course, taking the recommended precautions to prevent further spread of this pandemic.

Customer experience, however, is my area of expertise. And in that arena, I might be able to be of service. And you probably can be, too – more than you may realize. Read more

I Got Great Service From CenturyLink – Eventually! 

The improbable happened. I got great service from CenturyLink.  

Less improbable was the Kansas City Chiefs’ come from behind win in Super Bowl LIV.  It was the third time in as many games they came from behind to win. 

On any given weekend during football season, any NFL team can rise up and beat all odds to get a win. That is what happened on a recent Saturday with CenturyLink. And the moral of the story is horrific online experiences can be saved offline.  Read more

Heart of the Customer

Guest Post: Best Way to Engage Customers, Gather Feedback and Engender Brand Loyalty? Think Customer Advisory Boards

Today we feature an article by Rob Jensen who writes about the benefits of customer advisory boards and how they are a way to improve executive engagement. Read more

Heart of the Customer

When CX Is a Matter of Life or Death

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that customer experience (CX) is important. But even the staunchest CX advocates might not realize that CX done right can save lives.

Earlier this week in this space you met Lee Becker, Chief of Staff of the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He discussed the challenges of integrating CX principles into governmental structures, and the four CX capabilities – Data, Tools, Technology, and Engagement – on which the VEO’s successful program is based.

Today we focus specifically on how the VEO is maturing its data capabilities to address trust, a fundamental component of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

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VA CX Framework

Creating a Customer-Centric Agency at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

I heard Lee Becker, Chief of Staff of the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) of the VA speak at a recent Medallia conference and was blown away by his remarks. I reached out for an interview because I wanted to share with a broader audience his thoughts on what it’s like to drive change within a massive organization, what’s at stake, and what success at the VA might mean for government services in broader terms.

A Navy Veteran with a background in medical care and case management, Lee is one of the architects behind a turnaround at the VA, and he believes the same solid customer experience (CX) principles they have implemented there can transform the way other federal agencies work, too.

“The fundamental challenge of government is figuring out how you make room for experience when financials and operations are the focus.” Read more

Don’t Ask How to Get Executives to Care About Your CX Program; Ask Instead How You Can Support Your Executives

I go to a lot of Customer Experience (CX) events. Although I learn a lot of new things, I also hear some common concerns throughout all of them. No matter the venue, you can be certain that somebody in the audience will ask a presenter, “How can I get executives to care about customers?”

That’s the wrong question. Believe it or not, your executives actually do care about your customers. These are smart people, and they know that pleasing customers is the secret to success.

They simply don’t care about your so-called “customer experience” program. Read more

Fees = Lazy CX

I spoke in Austin last week and while there, I rented a car to visit my youngest in San Antonio. I stopped at Dollar’s counter and the agent told me that, if I wanted, I could skip refilling the gas for $27. I didn’t have to decide right then – I could just bring it back without refilling, and they’d fill it up and charge me the flat fee.

That may not sound like a big deal to you, but it blew me away. Most rental agencies require you to decide up front whether you’ll refill the car. I always say no.

What happens when you forget to refill? Last year I rented with Enterprise and rushed back to the airport, forgetting to refill. As I checked in, I was told it would be $9 a gallon – $36 for four gallons of gas! I told the attendant, “Forget it. I’ll just go refill it,” but the car was already checked in. Finally he gave me a $5 rate, but it certainly frustrated me.

Why do they do this? Clearly to change my behavior. “If you make us do extra work, we punish you.” It’s not that unusual – but it’s unnecessary. Dollar used choice architecture to accomplish the same outcome without the punitive nature.

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Reduct: A Great Tool for Sharing Your Customers’ Videos

I wrote last week about the importance of video in sharing your customers’ experience (Video Interviews=CX Impact).

A major limitation of working with video is the task of managing all of that content. Historically, our process for working with video involved:

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