Voice of the Customer

Hearing the Voice of the Customer

At the core of every successful business is a strong focus on customer experience. The voice of the customer is one of the most important things to a business, yet it is too often overlooked. Learn below how to channel the voice of the customer into your business and how to really listen to what they’re saying by using 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

Interactive Customer Experience Map

Customer Journey Maps: The Top 10 Requirements

It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since I launched my customer experience consultancy, Heart of the Customer, way back when CX was still in its infancy.Interactive Customer Experience Map

At that time, when I first wrote Customer Journey Maps – the Top 10 Requirements, I didn’t know the post would be viewed hundreds of thousands of times, and reposted around the world. But I did know that customer experience as a discipline – given its proven ability to boost customer loyalty and company results – was here to stay.

I enjoyed revisiting and updating the post back in 2015, but in the intervening years, the world has changed, the CX industry has evolved, research methodology has gotten more nimble, and technology has advanced. (And yet, somehow, none of us has aged a day – it’s uncanny!)

So it’s time once again to refresh the content. I am proud that the underlying philosophy and framework remains solid and consistent, but I’ve tweaked some terminology, techniques, guidelines, and examples.

In short, it’s an oldie, but a goodie, and I hope that regardless of whether you’re rereading it or encountering it for the first time, you will come away with something new and helpful. 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.”

Read more

Make the Most of Your CX Toys – er, Tools

I remember the joy of getting a new Lego set as a kid, and I see the same joy in my kids now, when they do. It’s hard to contain the temptation to rip the box open, dump the pieces out, and start building. Inevitably, I’d end up with something that kinda sorta looked like what was on the cover of the box, and always, a few ‘extra’ pieces left over.

The same temptation exists with new CX toys.

You get a voice of the customer (VoC) platform like Qualtrics and pump out a survey, because you can and it’s so easy! You buy a state-of-the-art journey orchestration engine (think Usermind), build a journey, and get creative with some actions! In both cases, more likely than not, you end up with something a little ugly and not very useful. Read more

Heart of the Customer

Exploring Customer Journey Mapping – An Interview with Jim Tincher

Today’s blog post features an interview of Jim Tincher completed by SurveySparrow, the maker of widely celebrated online survey software. They asked such great questions around Heart of the Customer’s origins, Jim’s involvement in the CXPA, and how to best use customer surveys, we felt like it had to be shared!

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.

Read more

1 in 4 of you will loose your job this year

Why 1 in 4 of You Will Lose Your Job in 2020

1 in 4 of you will loose your job this yearYour CFO doesn’t care about your customer experience (CX) surveys. She cares about the health of the business, and it’s unlikely she sees a direct link between your survey scores and the measurements she follows.

Meanwhile, your CEO is focused on your customers, but that doesn’t mean he cares about your surveys, either. As one business leader confessed to me, “I keep seeing these survey scores saying we’re doing great. Then I meet with customers who they tell me how frustrated they are. So I don’t believe in the surveys.”

By extension, that means he doesn’t believe in his CX team.

So by focusing on customers’ scores, you’re at risk. Forrester predicts that one in four CX pros will lose their jobs in the year ahead, because they aren’t showing business impact. Read more

In CX, Relationships Matter

A few months ago, I was interviewing a Senior VP customer of my client, and asked her, “Do you have a relationship with [my client]?” She replied, “Well, yes, we have a commercial relationship…” I cut her off (probably a bad thing to do in an interview!) and said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t explain myself well. Do you have a relationship with my client?” 

She stopped, thought about it for 10 or 15 seconds, then responded. “Actually, I don’t. A few years back I did, but not anymore.” She continued, “You know, I get a call from a competitor each week. And now it’s easier to take those calls. Because, since I don’t have a relationship, I don’t feel like I’m letting anybody down.” 

My client – who was in the room with me – listened to this exchange, and the power of her client’s comment stuck with her. She realized that you can make the experience easy. But without a relationship, it might not matter. 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. Read more