A Journey of One: The Future of CX

In customer experience, we believe in the power of frontline workers. We build training and processes so that they can better engage our customers and improve outcomes for both those customers and our business.

Also, as a whole, we’re an optimistic lot. We believe, with the right systems in place, that individual frontline workers can provide an anticipatory experience that will delight customers and create the better outcomes we strive for.

It’s a laudable belief, and there are even times when it works. Read more

Don’t Leave Your Customers Stranded

I rarely post about bad customer experiences I myself have endured. On a professional level, I note what’s going on – and of course, what the company should be doing differently! – but on a personal level, I understand these kinds of things happen and typically don’t let them get to me.

But I’m calling out a recent trip with Delta, because it hinges on lessons we should all learn.

First, let me say that I typically enjoy traveling with Delta and have had mostly excellent experiences. And many of the initial problems in this instance were beyond Delta’s control.

Until they weren’t. Read more

ICYMI, Part 2: 2021 Impact Roundup

Last week, I spotlighted some of our best tech-related posts from 2021.

This week, as we close the book on this challenging year, I’m focusing on 2021 posts about the most important outcome of our work in CX: showing business impact.

We know we can do this by improving the experience for customers, but to get the necessary support for from leadership to make that happen, we have to be able demonstrate that it works! Read more

ICYMI, Part 1: 2021 Tech Roundup

Last week, I posted my prediction that 2022 will be The Year of Data Integration.

So this week, as we prepare to tie a bow on 2021, I want to draw your attention to a handful of posts from earlier this year by Heart of the Customer CTO Shawn Phillips.

They offer insights on CX technology (current state and what’s to come) and provide background and context for my prediction. Read more

2022: The Year of Data Integration

Late last year, I predicted that 2021 would be The Year of Data. And while it’s against my nature to say I told you so…boy, did I nail that one!

(That said, I also forecasted that Mall of America wouldn’t last five years, so my predictions aren’t always that good.)

My 2021 prediction stemmed from our 2020 research, which showed that leading CX programs were analyzing the behavioral, operational, and financial data in journeys to discover what customers were actually doing; the business’s behaviors that impacted the customer; and the financial outcomes that resulted from the interaction of those two factors. Read more

Drive Your CX Strategy With Dashboards

My time as a CX practitioner (as opposed to a consultant) is a bit dated, in that I left that role more than a decade ago. But it’s still important (even more so in my current role) to keep up to date on the state of the practice.

That’s how I deliver best-in-class services to our clients. And why I regularly interview CX leaders to learn more about their efforts, successes, and challenges.

Before COVID, I did this by spending two days on-site, embedded in a selected organization. During that time, I’d shadow a CX leader, attend meetings, and ask interview questions.

In the eight years since I founded Heart of the Customer, these were the days I learned the most. Read more

A Wonkish Look at Hiring a CX Leader

I’m pretty sure I’m going to take some flak for my recommendations, but today I want to talk about what it takes to be a successful customer experience leader, and how to hire the right person for the role.

Before I get into our findings, let’s stop by my bookshelf…

There you’ll find Outliers from Malcolm Gladwell, which popularized the 10,000-hour rule. That’s Gladwell’s contention that to be successful in a domain, you need 10,000 hours of dedicated practice. Read more

A Wonkish Look at First-Principles Thinking

I’ve been thinking lately about why we measure things like, for example, Net Promoter Score (NPS).

What are we actually doing?

These thoughts are prompted by Reid Hoffman’s great new book, Masters of Scale. (In addition to writing books and hosting a podcast, Hoffman is the co-founder of LinkedIn and serves on the boards of Microsoft and PayPal, among others.) Read more

CX Is Complicated, Not Complex

The Cynefin framework, developed more than 20 years ago by researcher and management consultant David Snowden, remains a solid context for strategic decision-making.

It helps categorize business issues, enabling you to respond more effectively…and in the process, create a successful, science-based approach to improving customer loyalty.

The framework defines five states:

  • Simple (aka Obvious, Clear) Marked by repeating cause-and-effect patterns and consistent events that represent “known knowns.”
  • Complicated Representing “unknown knowns” and requiring some effort and expertise to reveal cause-and-effect relationships.
  • Complex The “unknown unknowns” marked by flux and unpredictability.
  • Chaotic High turbulence with no clear cause-and-effect connections, requiring urgent action to establish order.
  • Disorder Comprising a domain of shifting, unknowable states with no clarity.

Read more

Execs: It’s Time to Raise Your Expectations!

As I wrote previously, the jostling in the customer experience (CX) technology marketplace over the summer saw Kitewheel purchased by CSG, Usermind purchased by Qualtrics, and Medallia taken private by Thoma Bravo. Then Qualtrics bought Clarabridge, too.

Earlier this month, Genesys acquired Pointillist and Exceed.ai.

And there’s likely more to come.

All that activity might have escaped your notice, but that doesn’t mean you’ll escape the ramifications.

So what do these developments mean for you? Opportunity, if you play your cards right; danger, if you sit out this hand. Read more