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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
I received a call from a CX leader wanting to drive action in her program. I discussed how we use the voice of the customer to create an organizational drive to act, and she stopped me to say “We don’t need more voice of the customer. We know what customers want.” I asked her what Voice of the Customer (VoC) she had, and she referenced how her executives regularly talk with customers. But nobody else does. So, they “know” what customers want.
Note: We’re celebrating the upcoming launch of our new book, “How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? Using Customer Journey Mapping to Drive Customer-Focused Change,” by Mapper-In-Chief, Jim Tincher and B2B Practice Lead, Nicole Newton. In the book, we introduce five journey mapping questions to answer as you launch your customer journey mapping effort.
Three weeks ago, Jim walked through “What’s the Business Problem or Opportunity?,” two weeks ago Nicole introduced the topic of “What is the Right Journey?” and last week Jim wrote about “Who’s the Right Customer?”
Interested in the five journey mapping questions? Watch the intro to our youtube series on the topic here.
Once you’ve defined the customer and the journey you would like to map, you will need to select the best approach to collect information about the experience.
At Heart of the Customer, we’re pleased to introduce our forthcoming book on journey mapping best practices!
Journey mapping opens up extraordinary avenues for business growth, but only when done wisely and well. Through insight from CX pros, extensive research, and real-world case studies, you can learn the best way to capture your customers’ experiences to drive action that gets results, boosting loyalty, satisfaction, and your bottom line.
In preparation for the upcoming Customer Contact Week, CCW shared their special report on journey mapping with me. Given our focus and expertise on journey mapping, I’m commonly asked to review these types of reports. Unlike most, however, CCW’s special report truly gets to the heart of the matter – journey mapping is not about creating a map; it’s about driving customer-focused change in your organization.