Fitbit Proves Rich Emotions Can Overcome Poor Quality

Customer experience has three components: Effectiveness, Ease, and Emotion. But too often, CX programs focus only on the first two. Why? Because they’re simpler to address.

Emotion is more elusive and complicated. But it’s where true loyalty is earned (as opposed to just preventing disloyalty).

That message hit home to me when my Fitbit died…again!

I was an early adopter and have owned several Fitbits over the past decade or so. Almost all of them managed to fail shortly after the warranty expired. (Show of hands – who doesn’t love that?)

When the unit I was using  just over a year ago died, I decided to upgrade to the Versa 2 Smartwatch, hoping that the higher-end product would last a bit longer. No such luck.

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Fun Read/Flawed Approach (Book Review)

As an avid reader dedicated to continually expanding my professional knowledge, I’m always interested in new books relating to customer experience. This is doubly true for the topic of journey mapping, since I contributed to one of the early books on the subject (Mapping Experiences by Jim Kalbach) and co-wrote a comprehensive guidebook (How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? Using Journey Mapping to Drive Customer-Focused Change).

So I eagerly dug into Jerry Angrave’s new book, The Journey Mapping Playbook. Here’s what I found: it’s easy to read, is full of great information about setting up a journey mapping workshop…and it provides all the tips and tools you need to create really unfortunate outcomes for your business. Read more

young man with boombox and sunglasses

Learn Everything You Need to Know About CX From ’80s Music

I admit it – I’m a child of the ‘80s. We’ve got 150+ stations on our satellite radio, but it stays tuned to 80s on 8 or First Wave, except for those rare occasions when I stray to the ‘70s or ’90s stations. (Much to the chagrin of my wife, who has broader musical tastes. But marriage is compromise, right?  

During the pandemic, I’ve been listening even more, and it occurred to me one day recently that the music of that era informed my views about customer experience early on. 

Obviouslythe ‘80s were the decade of (the) Journey. Their sage advice taught me how important it is to put customers in control and deliver an experience Any Way You Want It  Read more

bad cx data

2021: The Year of CX Data

Given the year we’ve had, we need to talk hygiene. Because I suspect you’ve been neglecting it.

Not because of the sweatpants you wore in that Zoom meeting, or that you don’t always sing “Happy Birthday” twice when you wash your hands.

I mean digital hygiene, and the need to clean your data.

Each of the past five years have been hailed as the “The Year of Digital Transformation.” We thought we were working hard to digitize our experiences.

Then the pandemic hit. And we realized we weren’t doing nearly enough. New digital capabilities came up almost overnight, as agile teams worked to pivot toward emerging customer needs. E-commerce sites, digital notifications, ship from store – all capabilities that were just “in the works” a year ago were deployed quickly. Read more

What Can the CX Tech Stack Do for You?

a pyramid showing the elements of the cx tech stackCX is all about driving customer-focused change in your organization, with initiatives that drive top or bottom-line value.

And in today’s world, 10 out of 10 of those initiatives will involve technology in some way. (Actually, given all the ways we’ve gone virtual due to COVID-19, make that 12 out of 10!)

At Heart of the Customer, we know from our research that Change Makers – the most effective programs in the CX space – rely heavily on the tools in the CX Tech Stack to accelerate journey improvements and business impact, and boost the value they bring to their customers.

The good news? These tools are all readily available on the marketplace, so you can (and should) be using them, too. The CX Tech Stack is key to making a difference…and perhaps even more importantly, proving the difference you are making. Read more

CX Loses a Visionary

As I’m sure many of you were, I was shocked to hear of Tony Hsieh’s untimely death this past weekend.

In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Tony is the recently-retired CEO of Zappos. In that role, he shepherded an online shoe seller with annual sales around $1 million (Zappos started as ShoeSite.com) into a massive e-commerce enterprise that sold to Amazon just 10 years later for $1.2 billion.

It’s a testament to his talent and vision that that accomplishment isn’t the most notable thing about him. (But you should still read his fascinating, candid account of how the sale went down!) Read more

An Open Letter to My Friends in IT

Dear IT colleagues,

This is our time to shine. As the world changes rapidly, your company is looking to you to deliver the digital transformations necessary to support a new reality for your customers. Those digital adoption goals set for 2025? They’ve been moved up to 2021. With urgency.

This year has shown us that a successful customer experience requires technology. There simply aren’t any projects to deliver an improved journey that can afford to overlook IT. Heart of the Customer’s research this year has also shown this to be a key differentiator for market leaders, who utilize more kinds of technology than their peers. Read more

Unmask the Power of Social Proof

At Heart of the Customer, we recently had a software client who wasn’t winning as many sales as they expected. We mapped their customers’ pre-sales journey and found that the company was putting out their best practices, but prospective clients were ignoring them.

They just didn’t consider our client a trusted authority.

It’s common problem among CX pros. You see customers making “bad” choices, such as not making the best use of your company’s products or services. So you create communications to share the recommended approach, but you just can’t get customers to change their behavior.

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An Effortless Experience Isn’t Enough

In CX, we all focus on making the experience easier on our customers. (We even made it the title of our book.) But building loyalty isn’t as simple as removing friction.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely worthwhile to simplify your customer experience. Friction is a key driver behind loyalty destruction, and your organization will benefit from streamlining processes and making it easier for customers to resolve issues.

But it won’t build fans who will go out of their way to order from you. That takes something bigger. Read more

For B2C, Cleanliness Is the New Black

Let’s not beat around the bush: $#@&*%! coronavirus trashed your journeys.

Prior to the pandemic, organizations had clear strategies on how to serve their customers, working to deliver an ever-improving experience to earn loyalty.

A better experience is still required…but how we go about providing it – and what “it” even is – has completely changed, particularly for B2C companies, where among other things, face-to-face interactions now take place mask-to-mask.

When I hosted a fireside chat earlier this month with Alison Circle, the Chief Customer Experience Officer for the Columbus Library system, she told me how difficult new protocols necessitated by the pandemic have made it to forge personal connections between staff and customers. But safety just has to come first. Read more