Tag Archive for: business problem

A Wonkish Look at First-Principles Thinking

I’ve been thinking lately about why we measure things like, for example, Net Promoter Score (NPS).

What are we actually doing?

These thoughts are prompted by Reid Hoffman’s great new book, Masters of Scale. (In addition to writing books and hosting a podcast, Hoffman is the co-founder of LinkedIn and serves on the boards of Microsoft and PayPal, among others.) Read more

CX Is Complicated, Not Complex

The Cynefin framework, developed more than 20 years ago by researcher and management consultant David Snowden, remains a solid context for strategic decision-making.

It helps categorize business issues, enabling you to respond more effectively…and in the process, create a successful, science-based approach to improving customer loyalty.

The framework defines five states:

  • Simple (aka Obvious, Clear) Marked by repeating cause-and-effect patterns and consistent events that represent “known knowns.”
  • Complicated Representing “unknown knowns” and requiring some effort and expertise to reveal cause-and-effect relationships.
  • Complex The “unknown unknowns” marked by flux and unpredictability.
  • Chaotic High turbulence with no clear cause-and-effect connections, requiring urgent action to establish order.
  • Disorder Comprising a domain of shifting, unknowable states with no clarity.

Read more

Your Next CX Hire…Shouldn’t Be a CX Hire

As we interviewed hundreds of customer experience professionals across scores of organizations for our research initiative last year, we looked for what indicated the ability to drive impact.

We’ve documented the top items a few times in the past: linking everything to business value, understanding the technology and data, measuring and improving emotions, and using change management. 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 CX professionals we interviewed last 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, the missing element in most CX programs, comes in. 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

Journey Mapping Mistakes to Avoid

The benefits of customer journey maps – static and living – can be transformational for both your organization and your customers. But your maps won’t lead to an increase in customer loyalty or company earnings if your journey mapping process is flawed.

So why do almost two-thirds of journey mapping initiatives fail to drive change?

Because journey mapping is an art and a science, and doing it right is hard. Which makes it tempting to cut corners and rush the process.

But you’re not going to gain anything with those shortcuts if your journey mapping project turns out to be a huge waste of time and resources as a result. And there’s even more on the line than that.

One failed journey mapping project makes it that much less likely that you’ll be able to muster the internal support needed to try again. 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

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

bad cx data

2021: The Year of CX Data

Given the year we’ve had, we need to talk hygiene. Because I suspect you’ve been neglecting it.

Not because of the sweatpants you wore in that Zoom meeting, or that you don’t always sing “Happy Birthday” twice when you wash your hands.

I mean digital hygiene, and the need to clean your data.

Each of the past five years have been hailed as the “The Year of Digital Transformation.” We thought we were working hard to digitize our experiences.

Then the pandemic hit. And we realized we weren’t doing nearly enough. New digital capabilities came up almost overnight, as agile teams worked to pivot toward emerging customer needs. E-commerce sites, digital notifications, ship from store – all capabilities that were just “in the works” a year ago were deployed quickly. Read more

Unmask the Power of Social Proof

At Heart of the Customer, we recently had a software client who wasn’t winning as many sales as they expected. We mapped their customers’ pre-sales journey and found that the company was putting out their best practices, but prospective clients were ignoring them.

They just didn’t consider our client a trusted authority.

It’s common problem among CX pros. You see customers making “bad” choices, such as not making the best use of your company’s products or services. So you create communications to share the recommended approach, but you just can’t get customers to change their behavior.

Read more