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.

Qualitative Research: Are Your Teams Up to the Task?

As Heart of the Customer’s CX Practice Lead and a long-time marketing research practitioner, I’m always focused on gathering the most accurate data to answer the problem at hand. Why are sales lower than anticipated? Why is the customer retention rate lower than projected for certain product lines? What can we do to make it easier for customers to work with us?

Back when I was first developing marketing research methodologies, I considered how to gather data as quickly, accurately, and cost-effectively as possible.

Internet-based surveys were relatively easy to conduct and could get me results fast…as long as I had access to email addresses. But with response rates less than 1.5% – on a good day! – I worried about non-response bias. Read more

Easy Listening…and CX Learning

I love to break up my day by getting outside for a nice, long walk. And with a hint of spring in the air, those of us in northern climes will soon be able to do that more comfortably, more often.

In addition to warmer weather, this spring may also usher in a host of workplace reopenings, as pandemic restrictions ease across the country. For many, that means the return of the office commute.

In other words, it’s a great time to cue up some podcasts!

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Drive Your CX Strategy With Dashboards

My time as a CX practitioner (as opposed to a consultant) is a bit dated, in that I left that role more than a decade ago. But it’s still important (even more so in my current role) to keep up to date on the state of the practice.

That’s how I deliver best-in-class services to our clients. And why I regularly interview CX leaders to learn more about their efforts, successes, and challenges.

Before COVID, I did this by spending two days on-site, embedded in a selected organization. During that time, I’d shadow a CX leader, attend meetings, and ask interview questions.

In the eight years since I founded Heart of the Customer, these were the days I learned the most. Read more

Don’t “Go the Extra Mile” in the Wrong Direction!

“What does ‘good’ look like?”

That’s a question CX leaders spend a lot of time pondering. For example, I’m often asked questions like, “How fast does our response rate need to be?”

The easy answer? “As quick as you can make it.” That’s the lazy answer, too.

It should come as no surprise that easy, lazy answers – even when they seem logical – might not be the best. But they can also seriously harm your brand.

Because nothing comes without tradeoffs.

For example, one Heart of the Customer client focused on same-day shipping for every service request. You ask for it today, they get it out to you today. That sounds better than “good,” right? It seems downright greatRead 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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Fitbit Proves Rich Emotions Can Overcome Poor Quality

Customer experience has three components: Effectiveness, Ease, and Emotion. But too often, CX programs focus only on the first two. Why? Because they’re simpler to address.

Emotion is more elusive and complicated. But it’s where true loyalty is earned (as opposed to just preventing disloyalty).

That message hit home to me when my Fitbit died…again!

I was an early adopter and have owned several Fitbits over the past decade or so. Almost all of them managed to fail shortly after the warranty expired. (Show of hands – who doesn’t love that?)

When the unit I was using  just over a year ago died, I decided to upgrade to the Versa 2 Smartwatch, hoping that the higher-end product would last a bit longer. No such luck.

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What Can the CX Tech Stack Do for You?

a pyramid showing the elements of the cx tech stackCX is all about driving customer-focused change in your organization, with initiatives that drive top or bottom-line value.

And in today’s world, 10 out of 10 of those initiatives will involve technology in some way. (Actually, given all the ways we’ve gone virtual due to COVID-19, make that 12 out of 10!)

At Heart of the Customer, we know from our research that Change Makers – the most effective programs in the CX space – rely heavily on the tools in the CX Tech Stack to accelerate journey improvements and business impact, and boost the value they bring to their customers.

The good news? These tools are all readily available on the marketplace, so you can (and should) be using them, too. The CX Tech Stack is key to making a difference…and perhaps even more importantly, proving the difference you are making. Read more

3 Tips to Manage the Voice of the Last Lost Customer

As CX practitioners, we work to uncover the Voice of the Customer (VoC) and use it to drive the company to improve. We combine qualitative and quantitative methods to understand what customers need and communicate this to the rest of the company to ensure we remain relevant to customers. 

But if you’ve ever worked within a B2B company, you may have come across another source of feedback that, if you’re

 not careful, can trump your VoC – the VoLLC. You may not have heard of this term – largely because I just made it up – but it’s certainly something you’ve run across. The Voice of the Last Lost Customer.  Read more

customers consumers producers

What’s in a Name? Your Ability to Please Your Customers

I’ve always been a big reader, but the pandemic has given me even more time to indulge my passion. I recently devoured Conscious Capitalism, by John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia.

It really struck a chord with me, particularly this paragraph calling on businesses to stop using the term consumer: “Businesses must think of their customers as human beings to be served, not as consumers to be sold to. In fact, the very word consumer objectifies people, suggesting that their only role is to consume.”

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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