Posts

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

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

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

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

Follow the Chain of CX Value to Drive Impact

Done right, CX is a business discipline where organizations thrive by investing in an improved customer experience. That notion is largely accepted, even though it’s not always practiced.

The challenge there is knowing where to invest.

Success requires finding the sweet spot where an improved experience leads your customers to spend more with you, stick around longer, and/or engage with you in less-costly ways.

So how do you find that sweet spot?

By working the issue backward and managing it working forward, through the Chain of CX Value.

Read more

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

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