Orchestrate…or Risk Becoming Irrelevant

Customer experience (CX) is about more than surveys.

CX is about understanding customers through operational and financial metrics, reaching into each individual’s journey, and making a difference.

So now might be a good time to ask for a raise, because you’re going to be doing a lot more!

Leaders in the CX space are spending money consolidating disconnected CX technologies into enterprise experience platforms. Your job as a CX leader is to lean in and take advantage of the upward momentum, and spread the reach of what CX is all about in your company. Read more

Change Management, Not “Bribes,” Improves CX

This post picks up where last week‘s left off…

In giving bonuses based on overall survey results, companies are assuming that 1. teams actually know what to do in order to improve customer satisfaction and 2. they won’t do it unless incented to.

Both points in that statement need to be analyzed.

First, understanding how to drive customer satisfaction (I’m using this as a catch-all for NPS, customer effort, etc.) isn’t that easy.

When I led a CX program in the health savings account (HSA) marketplace, I asked teams what they thought the top drivers of satisfaction were. Product thought it was about features. Marketing thought it was about educating on how to use the HSA. Sales thought it was about pricing.

They were all wrong. Read more

Why Do Bonuses for NPS Scores *Seem* Wise?

I’ll get right to the point: Change management is cheaper than bribing employees. It’s more effective, too.

The CEO of a client organization recently asked us about offering a bonus tied to their Net Promoter Score (NPS). He believed that this would motivate employees to think more about customers and improve their experience.

Without mincing words, I told him I thought that was a terrible idea – one that is universally frowned upon.

He pushed back: “Why? What’s the evidence? Other organizations are doing it. Why is it so bad?” Read more

Do the CX Buttons You Push Matter?

Research from CustomerThink, Forrester, Pointillist, and the XM Institute agree: Few CX programs can prove that their work matters to business outcomes.

This reminds me of a story from my college days.

I was visiting my buddy Rick, and we went down to the rec room in the basement of his dorm to shoot some pool. Tucked in the corner was a video game.

A little background you should know: When I was in high school, I had a paper route that included a vending machine. That meant I always had pocketsful of quarters. Which, given the era, meant lots of afternoons at an arcade, happily feeding those quarters into video games. Read more

Is the Net Promoter Score Really So Bad?

So, Gartner predicted that, by 2025, 75% of companies will stop using NPS to measure their customer support program.

I’m calling BS.

Now, I am a bit jealous, because it’s great click bait. I can just picture the folks at Gartner sitting around, thinking, “Wow – Forrester got a lot of interest when they predicted that one out of four CX people will lose their job. What can we do that will create similar buzz? I know! Let’s make a dramatic prediction that’s close enough to feel imminent, but far enough away that nobody will remember it when it’s time to see if we were right!” Read more

Don’t “Go the Extra Mile” in the Wrong Direction!

“What does ‘good’ look like?”

That’s a question CX leaders spend a lot of time pondering. For example, I’m often asked questions like, “How fast does our response rate need to be?”

The easy answer? “As quick as you can make it.” That’s the lazy answer, too.

It should come as no surprise that easy, lazy answers – even when they seem logical – might not be the best. But they can also seriously harm your brand.

Because nothing comes without tradeoffs.

For example, one Heart of the Customer client focused on same-day shipping for every service request. You ask for it today, they get it out to you today. That sounds better than “good,” right? It seems downright greatRead more

Revealing Change Makers’ Secrets

As regular readers have probably noticed, I’ve been referencing the massive research project we undertook last year often in recent blog posts, especially while sharing learnings.

Today I want to take you behind the curtain and describe the impetus for the project, explain some of the methodology, and tell you about my motivation and goals. To do that, I need to start at the beginning.

Once upon a time, I was a customer experience failure.

Back in the olden days (olden in CX terms, anyway, as it was more than a decade ago), I led a customer experience program in a division of a large health insurance organization.

Read more

Are Your “Averages” Obscuring Your CX Opportunities?

If I could only ask you one question to determine if you’re a Change Maker, it would be this: “Tell me about your data.”

Most of the more than 100 CX pros we interviewed in the course of our research last year responded with, “What do you mean?” Or they only mentioned survey data.

But not the Change Makers.

They understand that business data is what the organization runs on. And they have a thorough understanding of the metrics that make up their customer journeys, particularly their organizations’ key performance indicators (KPIs). Read more

Journey Mapping Mistakes to Avoid

The benefits of customer journey maps – static and living – can be transformational for both your organization and your customers. But your maps won’t lead to an increase in customer loyalty or company earnings if your journey mapping process is flawed.

So why do almost two-thirds of journey mapping initiatives fail to drive change?

Because journey mapping is an art and a science, and doing it right is hard. Which makes it tempting to cut corners and rush the process.

But you’re not going to gain anything with those shortcuts if your journey mapping project turns out to be a huge waste of time and resources as a result. And there’s even more on the line than that.

One failed journey mapping project makes it that much less likely that you’ll be able to muster the internal support needed to try again. Read more

Lessons From a Change Maker

It’s hard to overstate how much building an emotional connection with customers matters.

According to the XM Institute, when the emotional experience is rated highly, 76% of customers are promoters. When it’s rated low, only 6% are. More importantly, when the emotional experience is rated highly, 63% will forgive you when problems arise.

But if you haven’t created that strong emotional experience? Only 11% will. Read more