Backorder Issues: The High Cost of Reduced Inventory

Heart of the Customer maps customer journeys for a wide range of B2B organizations, from healthcare to manufacturing to distribution and more. We’ve found one area of friction common across industries: backorder issues.

Whether mom and pop retail storefronts or global manufacturers, customers with products on backorder face similar situations. Here’s how it generally plays out:

  • They take an order from their customer and promise a delivery. Then they find out that the product is on backorder. That puts them in an difficult position. Do they scramble to find a new supplier? Look for an alternate product? Disappoint their customer?

Read more

Six Ways to Show B2B CX Value

After more than 150 hours of interviewing CX leaders – and surveying 200+ more! – it’s clear that one thing separates the best from the rest:

The best CX programs start, end, and do everything in between, based on how their efforts will add value to the business.

Some companies start with their survey scores, then try to validate that the scores matter. Others never do that, and just hope improving survey scores will lead to higher loyalty.

The best – those we call “Change Makers” – start by understanding how the business generates value from an improved customer experience, then ensure that every activity is focused on achieving that outcome. Read more

Interview: Kate Nightingale of Style Psychology

Heart of the Customer’s Jim Tincher sat down with Style Psychology Founder and CEO Kate Nightingale recently, to discuss the role of emotions in the customer experience. (But it’s 2021, so of course “sat down with” means “met on Zoom.”) Below is a lightly edited transcript of that conversation. You can watch the complete video here.

Jim:
So we were on a panel together [The Art and Science of Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences, now available on demand] and we were talking about emotions in the experience. And one of the other panelists brought up the “effortless experience.” Both you and I had a visceral reaction to that book. I have my thoughts, but let’s start with you. Tell me more why you reacted to that. Read more

Turn Your Dashboards Up to 11

Does it take you five hours to update your customer health dashboard, only to have three people barely glance at it?

Worse yet, did someone else send out an Excel report that everyone read instead, even though you have a dashboard for their use?

In other words, is your dashboard on mute? Read below for three ideas related to dashboards that you might not have considered. Read more

One Size Fits All? Not for Metrics!

Imagine if your HR partners told you they were going to use one metric to measure all of your employees, and that should be how you determine each one’s overall effectiveness.

You’d push back immediately.

You’d say that your software developers should have different measurements than your salespeople, who should have different measurements than your trainers and your customer service reps.

And you’d be right.

So, why do we think all companies should use the same customer measurement? Read more

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

Don’t Leave Your Customers in the Dark!

At Heart of the Customer, we work across many different industries – in the past six months alone, we’ve partnered with life insurance, SaaS software, healthcare delivery, property and casualty insurance, non-profits, and staffing enterprises.

These organizations serve a wide variety of customers who have very different needs.

Or do they?

We’ve found that there’s one need that crops up in nearly every industry and journey. (It almost feels like we could reuse this section of our recommendations for every client!)

It’s the need to keep the customer informed. Read more

UPS Fail: Mishandled With Care

Operational mistakes happen. If a company handles them well, customers will forgive the occasional lapse.

But UPS’s recent operational lapse on a very sensitive item actually went from bad to worse.

The good news is, we can learn from their mistakes to produce a better emotional outcome for our customers.

And that outcome matters: When customers rate the emotional experience highly, they are much more likely to forgive you for a problem (63% vs. 11%) and much more likely to recommend your brand (76% vs. 6%). Read more

Interview: Creating a Clean Experience

How would you respond if your deliberately behind-the-scenes customer experience efforts were suddenly thrust to the foreground?

That’s the challenge Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services’ CEO Todd Hopkins faced when COVID changed the way we all think about cleaning.

I met Todd after customer service guru Shep Hyken recommended him in response to my call for customer-focused leaders I should interview. It was an awesome recommendation!

In addition to founding Office Pride, a faith-based cleaning service, Todd has also authored/co-authored four best-selling faith-based books: The Carrot Chaser, The Janitor, Five Wisdoms for Entrepreneur Survival, and most recently, The Stress Less Business Owner. Read more

What Is a Living Journey Map?

Once you find out what a living journey map can do, you won’t have any trouble understanding why it’s so important to the success of your CX initiatives.

So what can it do?

Unlike a static journey map, a living journey map doesn’t remain fixed in particular point in time. It changes and evolves as your journey does, tracking updates in customer/operational data and KPIs across the entire journey as you implement improvements. This allows you not only to see what’s working, but to prove it with the kind of hard business data the C-suite is eager to see. (And who here isn’t eager to please the C-suite?) Read more