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The Bots are Coming!

Actually, they’re already here. But are you aware of them?

Today, I’m flying back from the CCW’s Executive Exchange. I not only enjoyed speaking at the event, but also the opportunity to attend its presentations. The audience was primarily made up of contact center leaders, each having a lot to say– and do –about the overall customer experience. Based on the silence at the CX conferences I attended, I’m not sure CX has a seat at the bot design table–and this is something you should be thinking about. Read more

What Makes a Great Customer Experience Leader

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to interview dozens of CX leaders, and still more as we wrote our book. Combining that knowledge with some of the industry research, such as CustomerThink’s report on winning CX programs, we’ve identified three traits that separate the best customer experience leaders from the rest.

For too many, CX has fallen into a rhythm:

  1. Conduct an NPS survey
  2. Analyze the results
  3. Share the results with anybody who will listen
  4. Implement some quick wins
  5. Repeat the NPS survey
  6. Wonder why things haven’t changed

Read more

How Hard is it to Be Your Customer Book

Is Your Customer Experience Program Making Your Customer Experience Worse?

How Hard is it to Be Your Customer Book

We launched our book at this year’s CXPA Insight Exchange. We’d shipped them to the hotel ahead of time, but when I arrived, they were nowhere to be found. My tracking information showed they had been delivered, but nobody knew where they were.

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Dustin Kirkpatrick Unsplashed

Are You Ready for Your Close-Up? Using Video to Bring the Customer Experience to Life

Dustin Kirkpatrick UnsplashedThis post, written by Heart of the Customer B2B Practice Lead Nicole Newton, is the third in a week-long series about some of the ways journey mapping differs from traditional market research. Guest authors Corey Pawlak, Cathy McLane and Nicole Newton will share their expertise in recruiting and interviewing B2B customers, why 10-page reports are better than 50-page reports, and using video to bring the customer experience to life. 

Background

As a long-time marketing research practitioner, I am focused on gathering the most accurate data to answer the problem being researched. Why are sales lower than anticipated? Why is our customer retention rate lower than projected for certain product lines? What can we do to make it easier for customers to work with us?

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Life Insurance Journey Map

Who’s the Right Customer to Map? Your Third Journey Mapping Question

 

Note: We’re celebrating the upcoming launch of our new book “How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? Using Customer Journey Mapping to Drive Customer-Focused Change,” by Mapper-In-Chief Jim Tincher and B2B Practice Lead Nicole Newton. We’re using the launch as a cheesy excuse to walk through the Five Journey Mapping Questions.

Two weeks ago, Jim covered “What’s the Business Problem or Opportunity,” and, last week, Nicole introduced the topic of “What is the Right Journey?

Read more

Defining Scope: Should You Map an End-to-End Journey or a Specific Sub-Journey?

 

Editor’s Note: As we get ready for our book launch in May, we’re previewing the major topics. This post was written by co-author Nicole Newton, HoC’s B2B Practice Lead. You can read more about our book at https://heartofthecustomer.com/book/.

Mapping the Right Journey

At Heart of the Customer, we recommend starting a journey mapping project by answering these five questions:

  1. What is the business problem or opportunity behind mapping?
  2. What is the right journey to map?
  3. Who is the right customer to map?
  4. What is the right approach to gathering the voice of your customer?
  5. Who are the right people to be on your journey mapping team?

Read more

Create Your CX Vision Through Journey Mapping

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

Yogi’s quote applies to much more than baseball – it gets to the heart of what limits so many customer experience (CX) programs. When I ask most CX leaders what they’re trying to accomplish, I get a general statement like, “We’re working cross-functionally to create a better customer experience, in order to create more loyal customers.”

That’s an awful statement because it doesn’t actually say anything. Read more

Trust: I Don’t Think Wells Fargo Gets it Yet

I attended an excellent conference today. The Carlson School of Management sponsored their second annual Ignite Conference which focused on “Protecting Trust in Today’s Consumer Journey.”

The opening speaker gave some great stats about trust, including research that 73% of the variance in how customers have trust with you is predicted by team members’ trust of the organization.

At the end of the day, Wells Fargo’s Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Moldafsky spoke on their journey to regain trust. It was a well-crafted speech, showcasing all that Wells Fargo was doing to admit wrong-doing and earn back the trust earned over 150+ years in business.

All in all, it was impressive. But two warning signs have me concerned that they have further to go than they think. Read more

Stuck? Here are Three Ways to Gain CX Traction

As one of the CXPA’s CX Experts, as well as a journey mapper, I’m often called by companies trying to create momentum for their CX program. Sometimes it’s a midsize manufacturer trying to start their CX program. Other times, it’s a Fortune 50 company who has a program, but seeing its influence wane.

I wrote a white paper on starting a program, in conjunction with Intouch Insight. In it, I walked through the CXPA’s six CX disciplines (CX Strategy, Customer-Centric Culture, VOC Customer Insight & Understanding, Experience Design Improvement & Innovation, Metrics & Measurement, and ROI & Organizational Adoption & Accountability). All six are critical to a successful program.

But most people who call know they need to do all this. That’s not the question. What they really want to know is: how do they build momentum? “How do I break through the noise, in order to get the company’s attention, so I can get permission to build a CX-focused design and governance program?”

If you’re stuck and can’t get the attention, focusing on all six disciplines equally is the surest way to stay stuck. To gain this attention, you need to hit your employees – and your executives – in the gut. You need to create a visceral connection to your current customer experience and its limitations. And the best way I know to do that is through visual voice of the customer. Read more

The Top 10 Reasons Customer Journey Mapping Fails

While the journey mapping practice is maturing, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Here at Heart of the Customer, we have spent our careers researching, learning, and applying the best practices for customer journey mapping. So much so, we wrote the book on journey mapping!

Based on our 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.

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.

In the spirit of sharing best practices, we put together our Top 10 Reasons that Journey Mapping Projects Fail, a la David Letterman.

Why Journey Mapping Fails

10. Not doing your homework. Too many try to rush into journey mapping projects, without taking the time to dig out what’s already known in the organization today. And we don’t just mean existing customer research. Call center logs, operational KPIs, social media complaints – all should be included in the approach. This effort lays the groundwork to show business impact for your CX program.

9. Treating it as a market research project. Let’s be clear here. While creating journey maps uses some market research skills, there’s a clear difference between your typical market research project and best-in-class customer journey mapping. Journey mapping is more comprehensive than a typical market research project, including customer videos, action planning sessions, and graphic journey maps. Our experience is that most market research focuses on the report, while customer journey mapping focuses on the action that is a result of the mapping.

8. Boiling the ocean. In our interviews with companies who have run successful journey mapping projects, this one phrase keeps coming up over and over. Focusing on a specific scope that allows you to drive customer-focused change is critical to make a difference. Read More >

7. Forgetting executive engagement. I love the story of a bottoms-up customer engagement revolution as much as the next person. But they’re not common. Sustainable action requires sponsorship. Jumping into the program without engaging executives is a sure way to ensure your journey map sits on a shelf.

6. Leaving out the nay-sayers. The surest way to get stuck driving action is to only include the true believers in the journey mapping project. It’s rare that legal and compliance are part of journey mapping efforts. As a result, they have no context, making it easy to say no to the ideas that come out of the effort. Starting with friendly faces is a really good way to get going quickly – leading to a crashing halt when those other teams have to sign off on your changes. Involve them up front to ensure engagement when it comes time to do something.

5. No defined business problem. Don’t take on a project until you can define a business problem – including KPIs – that you want to attack. We’ll often work with companies that haven’t yet reached this level of detail, and will sometimes spend months defining the right business problem, journey and customer to map. Too often companies get so excited to do journey mapping that they don’t take the time to identify what they want to be different afterward.

4. Not including customers. It’s called customer journey mapping for a reason. Do we really have to discuss this? Apparently so, because we continually run across these maps that were done by talking to internal employees only.

3. Using a small team. “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” That’s probably true if you’re making chili. But you need a broad team to ensure success. Also see #6.

2. No governance. You don’t need governance to do journey mapping – as long as you don’t want to do anything with the results. But it’s hard to engage the organization in change without it. Executive governance ensures that changes are made – and sustained – coming out of journey mapping.

And the number one reason customer journey mapping fails?

1. It’s treated as a project. Projects have defined beginnings and endings – programs don’t. Effective journey mapping is the beginning of a continuous program to put your customers at the center of how you operate. When journey mapping is a project, it leads to some quick wins – but long-term benefits are lost.


Interested in journey mapping? Read more about our journey mapping approach, take a look through our research, and Contact Us to start a conversation.