Five Questions To Answer for Customer Journey Mapping Success

Successful customer journey maps drive customer-focused change like improving customer experience, developing a new way to deliver value to customers, or reducing the cost to serve current customers.

Based on a 2016 study of customer experience professionals, over two-thirds of respondents did not rate their journey mapping project as successful. The reason? A lack of action from the mapping endeavor.

When we work with clients at Heart of the Customer, our goal is to drive action from the journey maps. We require our clients to work through the Five Questions as a foundation for their journey mapping. Ask yourself and your team to work through these Five Questions before launching your customer journey mapping initiative: Read more

Ideas are Your Fuel for an Improved CX

Think about the last time you led brainstorming to improve your customer experience (CX). Did you give people Post-It Notes and have them shout out ideas while they put them on the wall?

Doing that is a ton of fun. But it’s also a terrible way to develop ideas. So, stop doing it. 

You reply, “But this approach is a staple of design thinking. Everybody’s doing it! Why shouldn’t I?  Read more

Good CX = Great Business Case

I’m returning home from a day and a half at Comcast’s headquarters, locked in a room with other marketing and CX thought leaders. (Okay, so not exactly locked in…)

They brought us to Philadelphia to share the work they’re doing in customer experience and to get our feedback and advice. But mostly to show us what they’re doing.

I came in pretty ambivalent. I’m not a customer – I wrote this post about firing them, but I’ve seen Graham Tutton speak twice (read about it here), and it appears they’re making a sincere effort to improve. What they shared today reinforces that positive belief – they really are working hard to change the trajectory. 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

Tell me why!

This week I listened to a colleague tell me that, three years ago, the company he worked for acquired another company of near equal size within the same industry. Within the last week, one of his peers from the acquiring company, a senior director with a large team, mentioned he was not sure why the acquisition occurred, whether or not there were any benefits, and what the impact was to his team.

Because very little information was shared, this acquisition represented a bigger and more complex product catalog and operating model to many employees, including senior leaders. This individual was angry that he was forced to change processes he was already comfortable with and was quoted saying “we need to go back to what we were doing before”. 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

No News is No Longer Good News

Domino’s went and spoiled it. And then Amazon made it worse.

It used to be that customers were patient and okay with waiting on your processes. Whether shipping a product, going through underwriting, or applying for a loan, we were okay with waiting in the dark. We didn’t like it. But we accepted that companies put their information into our black box and the results would eventually come out.

And then Domino’s created their pizza tracker. Suddenly, we all had a view of the behind-the-scenes processes that we never knew we wanted. We could see when the sauce went on, when the ingredients were added, and when it came out of the oven. Who cares if the pizza’s mediocre? We just loved the experience! 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

Make a Splash on CX Day

CX Day is coming on October 1 – you can learn more at www.cxday.org. It’s your annual moment to make a splash. You’re always looking for ways to bring your customers to life for your employees – here’s a great opportunity.

CX Day, sponsored by the CXPA, gives you the excuse to get in front of employees to share the latest information on your customers – their needs, their desires, and how to be of help to them. As you get ready for the day, I’d like to suggest a few guidelines: Read more

Why Spirit Airlines’ and Ryan Air’s Customer Experience is Better than Yours

I’m partway through a European holiday with my wife, celebrating 25 years of marriage. Okay, actually 26, but that’s a different story.

When a friend heard we were flying Ryan Air, she told me, “Uh oh. Pay attention to the experience you receive.” Interested, I did pay attention. And I realized that Ryan Air probably has one of the better CX programs out there.

Before you get ready with that hate email, first let me explain! Read more