Customer Experience is a Sales Job. And We’re Doing it Badly.

Are you selling your customer experience?Rising profits

A friend of mine is in her first year leading her company’s customer experience. A few weeks ago she told me, “I never realized how much selling is involved with this job!” I met another CX leader yesterday, who said much the same thing: “I always need to have my elevator speech ready, to explain to people why they should care about customer experience.”

It’s unfortunate but true: most leaders don’t naturally think about customer experience, and we need to be evangelists for the cause. But recent research from Teletech suggests that we’re not really helping ourselves to sell the mission.

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Nominations Open for Customer Experience Impact Awards

The CXPA is now accepting nominations for their CX Impact Awards.  These awards recognize individuals from all levels and all backgrounds that are making an impact in customer experience. Please take a moment to nominate yourself or someone you know. Nominations will be accepted until August 28 at which point an open judging will occur to narrow down to our finalists.

Submit a nomination here!

Slideshare – Creating a Customer-Focused Customer Experience Journey Map

For you Slideshare fans, I have uploaded a presentation on creating a customer-focused Customer Experience Journey Map.

Customer journey maps go by different names, such as customer experience maps, journey maps, and touch point maps. Journey maps serve as a visual means to identify the steps your customer goes through as they experience your product or service and the impact of each. Customer journey maps chart your customer’s experience and help you target improvements with the greatest return. By identifying those steps in the customer experience with the greatest impact, your journey map becomes a centerpiece of your customer experience planning process.

Enjoy!

Sometimes, Customer Experience is Hard

Rite-Aid Wellness Discount for Snickers

I’m on my annual sabbatical to Maine, where my family spends a week at the cabin then a week exploring the coast.  I have seen a number of questionable customer experiences here, but two stand out.

First, a visit to Rite-Aid, the regional pharmacy chain.  Like many retailers, Rite-Aid has a loyalty card – in their case, it is named a Wellness+ card.  So far, so good.  Except that they apparently their governance is lacking, since last week the loyalty discount is applied to Snickers!

Rite-Aid_WellnessIf you call your program a Wellness+ card, you need to have the discipline to apply it to items that actually improve wellness.  I realize this could fall under the +, but that’s taking it a bit far.

The second item: It was my birthday yesterday, and the local radio station sent an email wishing me a happy birthday, including a promotion.  Again, nothing wrong with that – except the email was addressed to “FirstName!”

Kool 108 Email

Sending a birthday message is a great way to build customer intimacy.  But only if you do it right.  This message is the opposite of intimacy.

You need to take the time to test your messages – and don’t send them until they’re right.

Your takeaway:  We all have loyalty programs that are designed to improve our customer experience.  But if you do not have the discipline to think through the implications and test them, they can actually detract from, rather than add to, your customer experience.

Four Trends Changing the Customer Experience Movement

Our Customer Experience capability is growing!  In the last two months the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) has added about 300 members, with four new sites hosting local events.  Here in Minneapolis we hosted a great session to discuss Forrester’s Customer Experience Maturity Model, and how members are helping their companies move up the model.

As with any movement, this growth is leading to maturity and change.  Here are four trends I am seeing impact our practice today:

  • Customer Experience is moving beyond just NPS
  • Increasing recognition on the role of employee engagement
  • Customer Journey Mapping 2.0
  • Emerging Comprehension of Customers’ Non-Rational Thinking

Customer Measurement is Moving Beyond Just NPS

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is still the cornerstone of many customer experience programs.  What is changing is that companies are moving beyond the notion of using just one number, surrounding it with other factors, including satisfaction (yes, it’s still popular for many), loyalty, and the Customer Effort Score.

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A Tale of Two (or Three?) Customer Experience Speakers

What is the heart of your customer experience?  Do you have very specific outcomes you are trying to accomplish?  Two recent opportunities to hear fellow customer experience speakers reminded me of the importance to be tight on your desired outcome and design your entire experience towards accomplishing that goal.

In the least year I have been speaking quite a bit on customer experience, so I was excited to hear two of my fellow speakers within 24 hours to compare notes.  How did they compare, and what lessons do these speakers offer for your customer experience?

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Minneapolis CXPA Event: Starting a Customer Experience Capability

Join me at our CXPA Minneapolis Local Networking Event.  We’ll have a great discussion on how different organizations have started their journey, with lots of time for Q&A!

Event Details: “I think we need to be more of a customer centric organization” said the CEO. “I am concerned about price pressure and wonder if service could be a differentiator for us. I have been hearing about customer experience. I would like you to figure out what this is and what it could mean for our organization. Let me know what we need to do.” While not a real conversation, many customer experience practitioners have been faced with a charge about that vague. What is customer experience? How do you start when your organization is just beginning to think about a more disciplined approach? How do you build a sustainable approach that will be embraced across the organization? Come participate in an interactive discussion as we talk about customer experience maturity models and how to begin the journey. We will introduce a model that moves from early thinking to fully embedded in the organization, with a very focused discussion on the first stages. Come with your experiences, stories and questions as we learn from each other.

Speaker: Ingrid Lindberg, Chief Customer Experience Officer for Prime Therapeutics

When: Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Register at http://cxpa.org/events/event_details.asp?id=332434&group=

Where: 900 2nd Ave S
Ninth Floor, Room 9014
Minneapolis, MN

Cost: CXPA Members – FREE; Non-members – $20

Sponsored byOracle

Guest Post: Your chance to help a Millennial CX Advocate

Today’s guest post is from blog reader Samantha Klein.  Samantha had a terrific customer experience that has inspired her. Read on for more details!

—————

After being told by Apple and TekServe that I would have to pay $800 for them to repair my laptop (it accidentally drank a can of Diet Coke…), I decided to give it one more shot as I walked by a local mom & pop shop, Mike’s Tech Shop, a few blocks from my apartment. Not only did the folks at Mike’s Tech Shop fix my laptop for free after spending 15 minutes speaking with me and running diagnostics on my sick laptop, but they then proceeded to inform me that I was their 10,000th customer and proceeded to make me feel like a total celebrity!!

Inspired by this exceptional personalized customer service at a small local shop, along with my passion for constantly assessing and researching the customer experience, I decided it was time for me to take action on changing the future of retail by applying to The Millennial Train Project, a crowdfunded cross-country full of change-making Millennials.

MTP is a non-profit organization that will lead a crowd-funded transcontinental train journey this coming August to empower diverse groups of passionate, enterprising and civic-minded Millennials to advance a project that benefits, serves, and inspires others.

My mission is to help customers identify those unique retailers in different cities who provide exceptional customer service and to provide brick & mortar retailers with proof that customer service is critical to their survival and success.

I plan to visit local stores at each of the 10 stops along the journey to personally experience and then review their customer service in depth. I will post my reviews online on a website I will create, www.worththetriptothestore.com, where others will be able to read and post their own comments, reviews and opinions, much as Zagat does for restaurants, for everyone, including retailers, to share.

I need to raise a minimum of $5,000 to get my project funded, and every dollar toward that goal is greatly appreciated.

Please check out my project at the following link and help me get on board the Millennial Train!

http://crowdhitch.millennialtrain.co/campaign/detail/1494

Organization: LF USA

 

Please join me at the next Minneapolis CXPA Event

CXPA logoWednesday, July 17, 2013, from 5-7.  Ingrid Lindberg, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Prime Therapeutics, will be speaking on how to get started on your customer experience journey.

Event Details: “I think we need to be more of a customer centric organization” said the CEO. “I am concerned about price pressure and wonder if service could be a differentiator for us. I have been hearing about customer experience. I would like you to figure out what this is and what it could mean for our organization. Let me know what we need to do.” While not a real conversation, many customer experience practitioners have been faced with a charge about that vague. What is customer experience? How do you start when your organization is just beginning to think about a more disciplined approach? How do you build a sustainable approach that will be embraced across the organization? Come participate in an interactive discussion as we talk about customer experience maturity models and how to begin the journey. We will introduce a model that moves from early thinking to fully embedded in the organization, with a very focused discussion on the first stages. Come with your experiences, stories and questions as we learn from each other.

More details are available at http://cxpa.org/events/event_details.asp?id=332434&group=.  I hope to see you there!

Customer Effort Score: How Hard is it to be Your Customer?

How much effort is your customer experience?Are you familiar with the Customer Effort Score (CES)?  It is rapidly gaining converts as a way to measure the transactions that make up your customer experience.

(Editor’s note: More details on the CES 2.0 can be found here.)

The Net Promoter Score, or NPS, measures your overall customer experience.  But it doesn’t show where to focus to improve your results.  Imagine telling your store manager, B2B sales team, or director of your call center only that “Your NPS scores are low. Fix them!”  Where do they begin?

Transactional measurements show what segments of your experience impact your customer loyalty. Some companies have tried to use NPS to measure transactions, but it was never designed for this.  Asking “Would you recommend your call center rep?” doesn’t work, as most customers have no desire to call your call center in the first place.  Similarly, “Would you recommend [Company] website”  causes confusion – are your customers recommending the company behind the website, the design, the functionality, or all three?  This is where the Customer Effort Score shines.

When customers have to expend more effort than they expect, they leave.  High effort equals low customer loyalty.  The CES helps you monitor this.

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