Posts

To Spur Action, Create a Sense of Urgency

I wrote last week about the importance of change management for customer experience (CX) programs, using John Kotter’s model. This post dives deeper into Step One of his approach: creating a sense of urgency.

Without a doubt, this can be challenging. If your company is doing well, it’s hard to get people’s attention. Why tinker with anything if the business is growing? Conversely, if your company is struggling – as, due to COVID-19, so many currently are – noise and anxiety make it hard to focus.

When we look at successful CX programs, this is often where they move ahead of the pack. Those programs are creating a sense of urgency while others are content to focus on survey scores.

There are infinite ways to create a sense of urgency, but below are a few approaches you can try. Read more

Use Smart AI to Reduce Churn in Three Steps

Most customers don’t just suddenly disappear. When dissatisfied, they move over to an exit lane and chug along while waiting for an excuse to cut ties to your organization.

If, like many companies, you’re not paying attention when they turn on their blinkers to make that move, you’re making a costly mistake.

To avoid missing your chance to reduce customer churn and bring these customers back into the flow of traffic (where they can fulfill their lifetime value), look first to “customer math” – more specifically, tracking those customers who have already stopped their journey. Read more

Good CX = Great Business Case

I’m returning home from a day and a half at Comcast’s headquarters, locked in a room with other marketing and CX thought leaders. (Okay, so not exactly locked in…)

They brought us to Philadelphia to share the work they’re doing in customer experience and to get our feedback and advice. But mostly to show us what they’re doing.

I came in pretty ambivalent. I’m not a customer – I wrote this post about firing them, but I’ve seen Graham Tutton speak twice (read about it here), and it appears they’re making a sincere effort to improve. What they shared today reinforces that positive belief – they really are working hard to change the trajectory. Read more

Don’t Ask How to Get Executives to Care About Your CX Program; Ask Instead How You Can Support Your Executives

I go to a lot of Customer Experience (CX) events. Although I learn a lot of new things, I also hear some common concerns throughout all of them. No matter the venue, you can be certain that somebody in the audience will ask a presenter, “How can I get executives to care about customers?”

That’s the wrong question. Believe it or not, your executives actually do care about your customers. These are smart people, and they know that pleasing customers is the secret to success.

They simply don’t care about your so-called “customer experience” program. Read more

5 reasons why CX should focus on the B2B Pre-Sales Journey

In the Harvard Business Review article, “The New Sales Imperative,” the CEB reports that in just the last two years the average number of people involved in a B2B purchasing decision has increased from 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today. This change has made the journey far more complex, creating longer sales cycles and an overall more challenging sales process. 

This is the chance for customer experience (CX) to make a measurable difference to your company, by bringing in CX tools such as journey mapping to a very real and very visible business problem. 

A perfect opportunity. But one I don’t see many CX operations focused on.  Read more

Fees are rational. Customers aren’t.

I love the book Nudge. It’s a great reference on how to use small actions to make big changes, discussing such domains as 401(k)s, the environment, and health care. It’s a great read that has tons of applications to any change agent.

Unfortunately, one of their principles of choice architecture is frequently misapplied – using incentives to change behavior.

I’m not referring to the area that CX leaders get to see up close – the gaming that happens when you put too much emphasis on surveys. That’s a critical issue – but for another day. No, this post is about using fees to change customer behavior. It’s a rational approach that makes a lot of sense in theory – but can create havoc when not done carefully.  Read more

Get out of your office!

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In 2008, I left Best Buy. I had been there for six years, and before that had been with a small business. So I just assumed that every company was obsessed with their customers!

Yes, I was naïve. I still am.

From there, I joined a new company. And I learned there were other approaches to running a business.

This was a division of a Fortune 100 company that was growing at an incredible rate. We had the highest market share, and we were growing at 25%. So the organization felt like they had everything going right. They were so confident that their new strategy was to become a $1 billion business.

Missing the Point

Those who have read Good to Great probably know where this is going.

When I joined the company, I was amazed to discover that nobody in marketing or product development had ever met a client!  Their sales came because the parent company sold the products. The parent company had the relationships – so our product teams were comfortable sitting in their offices making up strategy PowerPoints. Read more

Interview with Laurie Englert – Customer Experience is a Team Sport

Laurie Englert HeadshotA new digital experience can make or break success for a manufacturer.  But what do you do when you discover that many of your customers’ pain points are analog?

That’s the situation that Laurie Englert was in. And the way she answered it was by creating an environment where customer experience is everybody’s job.

Laurie is the VP of Marketing at Milestone AV, a leading manufacturer of audiovisual mounting and display solutions. She is part of the commercial team whose primary customers are the independent dealers and distributors who sell and/or install their products into schools, corporations, hotels, stadiums and basically any other commercial application.

Building a cross-functional customer experience team

Milestone’s customer experience journey began as a web project. Two years ago they began building their digital experience, and Laurie co-created a customer experience team with her VP of IT. Read more

What the heck IS loyalty, anyway?

Is it your Net Promoter Score (NPS)? Customers who say they’re likely to purchase again? Some other survey metric?

Or is it something else.

If you spend as much time reading customer experience (CX) reports as I do, you might pick up on a theme. Many of us actually believe that if a customer says they’ll purchase more from us, then they actually will. So we call that loyalty.
Read more

Customer Effort Score 2 – Is it easy?

Loyalty impact of support callsEffort is the bane of your customer experience. Or, as I like to say, “Thinking is bad.” But is customer effort the right measurement to use?

First, an overview. The CEB created the Customer Effort Score (CES) as a transactional measurement. You can see my early post here. Its original phrasing was “How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request?” and a lot of blogs still point to this confusing phrase. Luckily, the CEB reworded it to “The company made it easy for me to handle my issue” in the CES 2.0.

Unfortunately, they haven’t taken the next step to call it the Customer Easy Score, which is much more fun to say. Read more