Posts

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

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

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

Learn From West Elm’s Missed Opportunity

One of the most critical findings from our 100+ interviews with CX pros over the course of 2020 was the importance of selecting one emotional outcome for your experience and using it as a design target. This is because emotions are the heart of your customer experience.

But for some reason, few programs deliberately measure and manage their emotional outcomes, even though emotions strongly outweigh effectiveness and ease. (This holds true even for B2B, as Jen Zamora of Dow so eloquently demonstrated in my interview with her.)

This omission was particularly glaring for me during my recent experience with West Elm, Williams-Sonoma’s chain of high-end, artfully designed furniture stores.

Read more

Customer health dashboards are an effective CX tool.

Customer Health Dashboard Tips

Far tooCustomer health dashboards are an effective CX tool. many companies with CX programs cannot show that they are making a difference to the business. This prevents them from being included in decision making and contributing to the health of their companies. There’s a solution to this problem: customer health dashboards.

Customer health dashboards are foundational to measuring and improving (and proving!) the impact your CX efforts. The research Heart of the Customer undertook over the course of 2020 clearly showed that the vast majority of leading programs used customer health dashboards. Read more