Add Measurements to Your Customer Experience Metrics

I led the “Developing Customer-Focused Metrics to Drive Your Customer Experience (B2B)” Unwound Sharing Session at last week’s CXPA Insights Exchange. This was a session where participants shared what’s working for them.

As we shared our best practices, one member pointed out how we were all focusing on metrics – questionnaire-based responses from customers. And sure enough, most of the debate revolved around whether to use Net Promoter Score, the Loyalty Index, satisfaction, or another survey-based metric.  This makes sense – we often have a budget for this type of work, and this is one of the few areas where the customer experience team may actually have some control.  So it’s what we typically use to gauge how our customer experience is doing.

And what’s wrong with that?  Nothing by itself. Except that these measurements can feel disconnected for your teams that are trying to deliver a great customer experience. Telling teams to improve their Net Promoter Score is equivalent of telling managers to make their employees happier.  Both are good goals, but neither gives any direction about how to do it. Read more

4 ways to bring the customer into your journey mapping workshop

A journey mapping workshop is a powerful way to build customer intelligence and to create customer-based capabilities.

Journey mapping workshops bring together members from different parts of your company to walk through a particular customer’s journey, documenting your customer’s steps and emotions throughout. Where these workshops really show their value is by documenting how your silos impact your customer. Are there missed handoffs? Perhaps you have redundant emails coming from different departments, or conflicting incentives that lead to contradictory programs. They also show the systems and groups that impact that customer, and are a superior way to create alignment on your needs. See here for more details on how to conduct a journey mapping workshop.

Done right, what differentiates a great journey mapping workshop from a process flow discussion is this focus on your customer. And this focus can be really hard to create.

We spend 30-50 hours a week interacting with our internal processes and procedures, and only a small fraction of that time actually talking to customers. It’s hard to leave that behind to really put yourself in your customer’s shoes. But you need to find a way to do that to make your journey mapping workshop successful.

For example, when I was leading a workshop, we started by identifying the customer steps. Our first volunteer began by, “Well, of course the first step our customer takes is to call us.”

That’s when we had to call a pause. From his perspective, what he said was true. This is his first step in the process, so it’s a natural place to begin. But by accepting this, we cut off our best opportunities to make improvements. Read more

Customer Journey Mapping Made Easy

I’m getting ready to speak at a conference next month on customer journey mapping.

Journey mapping is a topic I find myself spending a lot of time talking about. The biggest challenge with the topic is how it’s pretty much a wild west. While most customer experience folks know what I mean when I say “customer journey mapping,” it turns out that their internal definition is one of two very different things:

  1. A research-based map of how customers experience your journey, including the touch points and moments of truth. This is how Forrester uses the phrase. I wrote a popular post on the topic here, which was also published as a white paper and a slideshare. I do a lot of research-based customer journey maps for my clients.
  2. An internal workshop to document your customer journey, also called a customer ecosystem map. This is how Oracle uses the term. While some involve customers in these workshops, in practice they’re often limited to employees. A number of my clients who do customer journey mapping use this method.

This was also the result when I hosted the CXPA journey mapping round table in December – while many companies do customer journey mapping, they typically do one or the other.

So, which one is correct? Of course, they both are. And I’ve found that combining the two, along with an initial hypothesis mapping workshop, is the key to really putting yourself in your customer’s shoes.

That’s what I’ll be discussing at the conference next month. I’ve put a slightly modified version of my journey mapping presentation out on slideshare – use this to help you integrate both types of customer journey mapping into your company.

“No, Bill. You don’t want wider seats.”

At a recent dinner party I explained what I do for a living. One attendee responded, “Well, then can you please call Delta, and tell them I want wider seats?”

I responded, “Actually, you don’t.  People say they want wider seats, but their behavior says that they really don’t.”

“Oh, you mean the hypothetical general public doesn’t want wider seats?”

“No, Bill.”  I responded. “I mean that you specifically don’t want wider seats.”

—————-

The problem with many customer experience surveys is that they recommend the equivalent of “make my seats wider.” It’s a common practice to ask customers to rate importance for different factors, then compare that to satisfaction. But it just doesn’t work.  Since you measure each item in isolation, everything is free.  And so there’s nothing to ensure that respondents’ answers match their actual behaviors. Expensive things like wider seats have just as much weight as free peanuts.

To show what I mean, let’s play this out.  I call Delta and somehow find the magical IVR prompts to reach the right person. She hears my plea and responds, “My goodness – you’re right!  We’ve been looking at this wrong! We’ll fix that immediately.”  So they remove one chair from each row to allow for wider seats.  What will happen? Will travelers flock to Delta to take advantage of the space?

Read more

Target shows the difference between customer experience and customer service.

A recurring theme among my customer experience friends and clients is the frequent confusion between customer experience and customer service.  We explored this theme in several of my recent interviews, with two particularly good examples:

  • “Customer service is about 5-6 percent of the customer experience. The only time service really matters regarding the long-term loyalty of a customer is when it goes wrong.” Ingrid Lindberg, Chief Customer Experience Officer  at Prime Therapeutics
  • “Customer service is a person-to-person interaction. Customer experience extends to every interaction with your brand,” Mara Bain, Chief Experience Officer, Western National Insurance.

Read more

Driving a Customer Experience Culture Change – Interview with Ingrid Lindberg, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Prime Therapeutics

Aiming for the Heart of their Customers

This is the sixth 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

Prime Therapeutics (Prime) manages pharmacy benefits for health plans, employers, and government programs including Medicare and Medicaid. Prime is collectively owned by 13 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, subsidiaries or affiliates of those plans, and Ingrid is the chief customer experience officer, a role she took in 2012 after serving as the customer experience officer at CIGNA.

Defining Customer ExperienceIngrid Lindberberg

“Customer experience is the sum of all interactions a company has with its customers. From who you are as a firm, to your mission, value and purpose, all the way through to how you price your products. It’s about what you bring to the market, and how you talk about yourself, whether in the public relations world or how you answer the phone. It’s the sum of everything you do.” Read more

Customer Experience is a Partnership – Interview with Robin Schribman, VP of Customer Insight and Customer Experience, Thomson Reuters

Aiming for the Heart of their Customers

This is the fifth in our Aiming for the Hearts of their Customers interview series, with seven Minnesota customer experience leaders sharing their strategy for the coming year. In this article, we catch up with Robin Schribman, VP of Customer Insight and Customer Experience at Thomson Reuters.

You can see all of the interviews here:

Overview

Robin SchribmanThomson Reuters is a global B2B information, software and news company, with customer experience roles within each of their professional business units. Robin’s role, in the Global Brand Marketing Group is to focus on customer experience and insight that includes content creation, guidelines and integration efforts.  She has specific responsibilities for customer insight in the financial and risk business. Read more

Creating a great customer experience for agents AND consumers – an interview with Lisa Hoene, VP of Brand and Marketing Services, Allianz Life

Aiming for the Heart of their CustomersThis is the fourth in our Aiming for the Hearts of their Customers interview series, with seven Minnesota customer experience leaders sharing their strategy for the coming year. In this article, we catch up with Lisa Hoene, the VP of Brand and Marketing Services for Allianz Life. You can see all of the interviews here:

Lisa Hoene

Overview

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) helps Americans achieve their retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuities and life insurance products sold through independent financial professionals. As a leading provider of fixed index annuities, Allianz Life is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services industry. Read more

Serving Diverse Customers – an Interview with Ghita Worcester, Senior Vice-President of Public Affairs and Marketing, UCare

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

Imagine leading a customer experience program serving a very diverse population that speaks dozens of languages, has many members new to this country, and many on medical assistance, struggling to raise a family without a stable home. And you’re doing this as a non-profit. That’s the challenge UCare faced when they began formalizing their customer experience program in 2013.

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

UCare is a health plan primarily serving members through government programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and other government assistance programs. Ghita Worcester is the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Marketing at UCare, one of two executive sponsors of their customer experience program.

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.