Build an Executive-Level CX Change Coalition

You can’t create an improved customer experience without active executive support. The top barrier to customer experience (CX) initiatives is “Other priorities.” Unless you actively engage executives on an ongoing basis, your program will become another flavor of the month. Read more

Not Making CX Progress? Start Saying No

Too many customer experience (CX) programs get stuck. 

Stuck with no influence. No change. No leadership buy-in. 

We see it all the time. As a CX leader, you’re spread so thin, trying to juggle dozens of balls at once. You’re building a new measurement program while sharing your existing scores with anybody who will listen. You’re creating new training programs. You’re in meetings to support the new portal, the new customer campaign, the Customer Advisory Board, and the new loyalty program. 

You’re incredibly busy. You burn through your unused vacation time just trying to keep up. But when you get to the end of the year, the most important thing – customer loyalty – remains unchanged.  

A year filled with effort, but no actual change. 

That’s a problem.  Read more

To Spur Action, Create a Sense of Urgency

I wrote last week about the importance of change management for customer experience (CX) programs, using John Kotter’s model. This post dives deeper into Step One of his approach: creating a sense of urgency.

Without a doubt, this can be challenging. If your company is doing well, it’s hard to get people’s attention. Why tinker with anything if the business is growing? Conversely, if your company is struggling – as, due to COVID-19, so many currently are – noise and anxiety make it hard to focus.

When we look at successful CX programs, this is often where they move ahead of the pack. Those programs are creating a sense of urgency while others are content to focus on survey scores.

There are infinite ways to create a sense of urgency, but below are a few approaches you can try. Read more

CX Needs Change Management

You probably moved into customer experience (CX) because of a passion for customers. You chose this space because you know that if you can improve customers’ experiences with your company, they will be happier, they’ll stay with you longer, and both the business and your customers will prosper.

But actually improving the experience is hard.

If you’re like most of the 85 CX professionals we’ve interviewed so far this year, the reality has hit you that it’s incredibly difficult to move your silos enough to substantially improve the customer experience. That’s where change management comes in. It’s the missing element in most CX programs. Read more

Experiences Designed for Everybody Satisfy Nobody

In my role as Heart of the Customer’s mapper-in-chief, I get the opportunity to view a lot of journey maps. Beautiful ones, ugly ones, those built to drive change, and those that are little more than gussied-up Excel spreadsheets.

But, as mentioned in our book, one thing that continues to surprise me is how few include personas. In our research a few years back, we found that nearly one-third of the CX practitioners surveyed didn’t include segments or personas in their work.

That’s a big mistake.

Read more

Chase Business Results, Not Survey Scores

We had a great discussion on LinkedIn a few weeks ago about the disconnect between customer experience and leadership. This post kicked things off:  

As I interview CX leaders and CEOs, it’s been fascinating (but not surprising) to hear the vast differences in focus. 

CX people focus on survey results; their thoughts are on how to improve the experience in order to improve survey results. Since they often can’t track the survey’s impact on revenue, costs, or retention, they spend their time on what they can measure – promoters vs. detractors.  Read more

The Secret of CX Success

Swing for the fences! Shoot for the Moon! You got this! 

During my many years as a high school and collegiate lacrosse player and coach, I heard (and said) encouraging platitudes like these more times than I can possibly count.  

But I think many CX professionals – myself included – could benefit from a reminder of just how much confidence caimpact outcomes. 

Read more

Journey Map or Customer Experience Map?

At Heart of the Customer, we’re known for creating world-class journey maps. (You could even say I’m driven by it, as you can see from my license plate!)

But sometimes, it’s not a journey that you need to map.

When a potential client contacts us to inquire about journey mapping, one of the first questions we ask is, “What are you looking to learn?” If the answer is “the customer journey,” we’re going to be asking a lot more questions. Read more

Use Smart AI to Reduce Churn in Three Steps

Most customers don’t just suddenly disappear. When dissatisfied, they move over to an exit lane and chug along while waiting for an excuse to cut ties to your organization.

If, like many companies, you’re not paying attention when they turn on their blinkers to make that move, you’re making a costly mistake.

To avoid missing your chance to reduce customer churn and bring these customers back into the flow of traffic (where they can fulfill their lifetime value), look first to “customer math” – more specifically, tracking those customers who have already stopped their journey. Read more

The Myth of the Customer-Focused CX Leader

Back in February (which feels like a century ago!), our analyst Diane and I were at the offices of Legrand AV, interviewing VP of Customer Experience Laurie Englert and her team. During a break, I turned to Diane and said, “There’s something here. I’m not sure what it is, but something stands out as different.”

“I know what it is,” she said. “Each one of them mentioned how they talk to customers multiple times a week.”

That was it! And it definitely separated Laurie and her team from the other 82 or so CX professionals we’ve interviewed so far this year. Read more