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Interactive Customer Experience Map

Customer Journey Maps: The Top 10 Requirements

It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since I launched my customer experience consultancy, Heart of the Customer, way back when CX was still in its infancy.Interactive Customer Experience Map

At that time, when I first wrote Customer Journey Maps – the Top 10 Requirements, I didn’t know the post would be viewed hundreds of thousands of times, and reposted around the world. But I did know that customer experience as a discipline – given its proven ability to boost customer loyalty and company results – was here to stay.

I enjoyed revisiting and updating the post back in 2015, but in the intervening years, the world has changed, the CX industry has evolved, research methodology has gotten more nimble, and technology has advanced. (And yet, somehow, none of us has aged a day – it’s uncanny!)

So it’s time once again to refresh the content. I am proud that the underlying philosophy and framework remains solid and consistent, but I’ve tweaked some terminology, techniques, guidelines, and examples.

In short, it’s an oldie, but a goodie, and I hope that regardless of whether you’re rereading it or encountering it for the first time, you will come away with something new and helpful. Read more

Don’t Boil the Ocean

When Eating the Elephant, Don’t Boil the Ocean

I’ve interviewed about twenty CX pros this year, as we work our way up to 100 interviews exploring the current state of CX as a discipline. What I’m finding is that the massive nature of the end-to-end customer experience makes for some daunting challenges.

CX is the totality of all interactions between customers and your brand. This includes your sales team, your website, your product experience, your customer support, your third-party partners, Google, advertising, etc. Trying to move that big a needle is overwhelming. I’ve spoken with many who have led big initiatives – simplifying experiences, reducing unnecessary touchpoints, training reps to provide a better experience – without budging the company’s overall customer scores. What’s to be done? Read more

Press Release: Heart of the Customer and Usermind Partner to Accelerate CX Innovation for Enterprises

SEATTLEJan. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Heart of the Customer (HoC), one of the nation’s leading journey mapping consultancies, and Usermind, a pioneer in Experience Orchestration (XO), today announced a strategic partnership that will revolutionize how businesses map, orchestrate, and optimize their customer journeys.

The demand for ROI on experience-focused initiatives is higher than ever before, and Forrester predicts one in four customer experience (CX) professionals will lose their jobs in 2020 because they’re unable to show a positive business impact for their programs. Improving the CX is board-level priority in every business sector, but executives want to see results, and are looking for new strategies and technologies to achieve their goals. This innovative partnership will get it done.

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Measuring “ROE” – Return on Ease

ROI is the Holy Grail for customer experience (CX) programs – an elusive target that can validate your program and lead to greater influence.  Unfortunately, focusing on that big goal can be overwhelming. So for today, let’s target our efforts a bit more modestly, focusing on gains made through making it easier to be your customer.

Ease is the second key to a Game-Changing CX, along with Effectiveness and Emotion. While Emotion has the greatest long-term impact, don’t neglect Ease.

Return on Ease (ROE) is easier (hah!) to track and to impact than emotion. Whereas different personas have different emotional drivers, their appreciation for simplicity is more consistent. It also helps that there are some great examples to lead the way: Read more

Learn Customer Journey Mapping

What You “Know” about Your Customers Probably Isn’t True

Learn Customer Journey MappingI received a call from a CX leader wanting to drive action in her program. I discussed how we use the voice of the customer to create an organizational drive to act, and she stopped me to say “We don’t need more voice of the customer. We know what customers want.” I asked her what Voice of the Customer (VoC) she had, and she referenced how her executives regularly talk with customers. But nobody else does. So, they “know” what customers want.

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How Hard is it to Be Your Customer Book Cover

Develop a Killer Metric to Drive CX Action

How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer Journey Mapping BookAs our book gains traction, readers tell us they appreciate our focus on starting journey mapping by targeting an identified business problem and using this to drive customer-focused change.

We interviewed dozens of CX leaders on how they did this, including Mark Smith, formerly of Element Fleet Management Corporation. Mark spoke on multiple topics, but my favorite was the need to develop a Killer Metric.

The Killer Metric isn’t NPS, Trust, or Customer Satisfaction. It’s one business KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that you use to rally the team to focus on meaningful change. He discussed how Amazon uses contacts per order – the more people call or chat, the worse the experience (in Amazon’s world – notice that Zappos, owned by Amazon, has a very different philosophy). Delta uses canceled flights, which has the biggest impacts on their customers. Read more

What are the World’s CX Leaders Doing? Lessons from Medallia’s Exchange ‘19

I attended Medallia’s annual conference for the first time and was impressed with the quality of both the keynotes and the breakouts. While I captured many pages of notes, four findings really stuck out to me:

  1. There is no one “right” metric. Despite having NPS inventor Fred Reichheld speak the first day, participants used a variety of measurements to track their CX program. While there were certainly NPS fans, I was intrigued by other measurement systems. Bank of America didn’t share their question but did share that they only report on the % of 9s and 10s. Scotia Bank uses a multi-tiered sentiment system, while the VA uses Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Emotion (from Forrester’s model), but also adds “Trust,” which is their most important metric.
  2. Measurement isn’t restricted to metrics. Volvo Trucking discussed how they incorporate warnings from their trucks’ sensors into their programs; Bank of America incorporates product additions and subtractions, and others included calls to the call center and other business metrics that provided color to the measurement. As one breakout leader shared, “A 3 [in a 5-point scale] can mean everything’s fine, or that there’s high risk. So we bring in behavioral data to provide more meaning.”
  3. ROI can be tracked. We’ve found many CX programs shy away from tying to business metrics. Which is a huge mistake, because that’s what your cross-functional partners care about. The leaders find business problems that they can solve through CX, whether that’s client attrition, dropping of products, calls to the call center or even stock price, it is possible (and should be mandatory) to tie your work to what the business cares about.
  4. Frontline employees are starting to be incorporated. I’ve been wondering about this. CX fans have seen Bruce Temkin move from talking about CX to EX. In talks with attendees at the CXPA Insight Exchange, very few had a mandate to focus on the employee experience. But the leading brands who presented (and were likely hand-selected by Medallia) spoke elegantly about how they are engaging their front lines in the customer experience, sharing customer scores with them, as well as expanding the measurement tool to include employee engagement.

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How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer Journey Mapping Book

What Does Journey Mapping Do for You?

How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer bookI was recently in a call, and an executive new to her company’s journey mapping initiative asked, “Exactly what does this $150k I’m spending on a journey map buy us?” Luckily, our client had a ready answer, but that’s not always the case.

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Nicole Newton and Ben London-Customer Journey Mappers

Two Days to Journey Mapping Mastery


Nicole and Ben

The Heart of the Customer blog is a place where we share our insights on journey mapping, offer best practices based on our experiences, and share CX practitioner interviews – and we don’t normally place promotional items here. We are making an exception this week; aJim Tincher and I prepare to release our journey mapping book this monthwe want to get the word out about a new Heart of the Customer offering: a two-day, hands-on journey mapping workshop that will provide all you need to map journeys that drive action in your own organization. 
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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. 

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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