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.

What really matters in patient experience?

patientTransactional surveys are risky. With so much riding on them, there’s too much temptation to game the system – not just by front-line employees, but by managers as well.

But healthcare brings it to a whole new level. As a part of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are judged on standardized patient experience scores (called HCAHPS, or Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems), with low scores having significant financial implications. And it’s really impacting healthcare – particularly those organizations with lower scores.

The reactions are interesting to watch. This article is clearly in the anti-survey camp, and it’s over the top.  As one of my clients said, “I’ve heard this over the years, but it was surprising to see it in print.”  Apparently, hospitals have to decide between letting people sleep at night and letting them get infections! One interviewee grudgingly admits that patient experience isn’t completely worthless.

This is a better article, from The Atlantic Journal, forwarded by another client. While it’s still a bit over the top (“Patients can be very satisfied and dead an hour later,”) it does suggest that some hospital leaders are gaming the system. This introduces some lessons for all of us. Read more

It’s time to rethink transactional surveys

Greensboro_MarriottAs a CX profession we’re addicted to surveys.  We want to know more about our customers, and a survey is our first response.

A survey by itself is neither good nor bad.  But what we forget is the unintended side effects of our surveys.  Remember – how you survey your customers is another part of your customer experience.  It does no good to learn how you’re doing if the result of your survey is a worse customer experience.

Take my recent stay at the Greensboro Marriott.  It’s a nice hotel, and I probably would have given a 9 or 10 on their survey.  Until I received this email (emphasis theirs – not mine): Read more

What the heck IS loyalty, anyway?

Is it your Net Promoter Score (NPS)? Customers who say they’re likely to purchase again? Some other survey metric?

Or is it something else.

If you spend as much time reading customer experience (CX) reports as I do, you might pick up on a theme. Many of us actually believe that if a customer says they’ll purchase more from us, then they actually will. So we call that loyalty.
Read more

BCBSM Customer Experience Room

CX people are digital, customers and employees are analog

BCBSM-Customer-Experience-Room-3-300x199There’s been an ongoing discussion on the CXPA’s LinkedIn group around an article listing the most effective journey mapping tools.  Tools mentioned were Visio, a presentation tool and a spreadsheet. But this discussion isn’t really just about journey mapping. It goes to the heart of how we communicate with the rest of our organization.  And it shows that sometimes we fall into the same traps that we try to keep the rest of the company out of: thinking about ourselves instead of our customers. Read more

Customer Effort Score 2 – Is it easy?

Loyalty impact of support callsEffort is the bane of your customer experience. Or, as I like to say, “Thinking is bad.” But is customer effort the right measurement to use?

First, an overview. The CEB created the Customer Effort Score (CES) as a transactional measurement. You can see my early post here. Its original phrasing was “How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request?” and a lot of blogs still point to this confusing phrase. Luckily, the CEB reworded it to “The company made it easy for me to handle my issue” in the CES 2.0.

Unfortunately, they haven’t taken the next step to call it the Customer Easy Score, which is much more fun to say. Read more

What’s the customer experience focus for 2015?

Yesterday, four of the CXPA’s CX experts spoke about the year in review, and what customer experience has in store for 2015.  Is it the role of emotions?  Employee engagement? Crowdsourcing journey maps?  Watch the Google Hangout with Jim, Tabitha Dunn, Lynn Hunsaker, and Peter Haid as they discuss.

Webinar: Thinking is Bad

nanoRep and I recently partnered on a webinar to discuss reducing effort in your customer experience. We discuss the Customer Effort Score, simplicity, and how to use self-service to prevent customer disloyalty.  You can view a summary at http://nanorep.com/blog/VIDEO—Thinking-is-Bad-Drive-Customer-Loyalty-by-Simplifying-Your-Service-Experience.  Enjoy!

customer service letter

The future of surveys? Maybe no surveys at all

scan0002Ending the tale of being rear-ended, I found another great lesson. Geico took care of my car, having ABRA Auto Body put on a brand-new bumper. As I checked out, ABRA gave me a document to “help” me fill out my survey. Yes, they told me exactly how I should fill out my questions!

Perhaps this shouldn’t surprise me. We’ve all heard of car salespeople, retail employees and restaurant staff who game the system. But to actually create a document telling me how to fill out the scores was a new one!

Now combine gaming with survey fatigue. So many of us are becoming customer-obsessed, that we each send out more and more surveys. Each individual survey isn’t bad, but I can no longer go through a day without at least one survey request. Our local paper had a great column talking about the survey experience here.

Maybe it’s time to start thinking about the post-survey world.  What would you do if you could never use a 10-point scale again? Read more

Go analog to create customer empathy with a customer experience room

Customer Experience RoomThere’s no question about it – we live in a digital world. Checking our Facebook statuses, watching our videos, sending texts, our instincts are becoming digital.

Given that, it’s no surprise that many efforts at teaching about customers are also digital. Citrix created a digital customer room. YouTube channels are another common approach, as are intranets. Companies create all kinds of ways for employees to learn more about customers and their needs.

So why isn’t it working?  Why are companies still so disconnected from the needs of their customers? Read more

Are you actively interfering with your mission?

hobylogoI’ve been active in HOBY Minnesota for seven years now.  HOBY is an international program that offers annual leadership seminars to high school sophomores, challenging them to log 100 hours of community service in the following year. We have a clear vision on what we need to measure.  Whereas businesses often use revenue as a primary measurement, we focus on logged community service hours.

But as with revenue, logged hours is a trailing indicator. So how do we get a sense on how we’re doing while at the seminar?

This isn’t just a non-profit question.  My clients struggle with this, as well.  When we build our customer experience program, how do we measure how we’re doing today, so we can predict tomorrow’s results?  And most businesses get it wrong, because they focus on what feels right.

Two quick examples: Read more