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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

CX for Skeptics

Three Ways to Show Business Impact for Your CX Program

CX for SkepticsHere’s a story I’ve seen played out multiple times:

An executive believes in the power of customer experience (CX). Perhaps they read an article, or they heard about a CX program another company offered, or saw a competitor speak at a conference. For whatever reason, the executive saw the light, and wanted a CX program of their own. They hire someone to run it and tell them, “Just drive change. I’ll take care of making sure the other executives are on board.” Their employees implement surveys and work to engage the business, confident they’re making a difference. They present their survey results to whoever will listen, and lobby other silos to improve the experience in order to improve survey results. All is good.

Then that executive leaves. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not. Read more

CX Pros: Help Your Company & Your Customers Deal With COVID-19

The jolt that nations, and communities, all over the world have experienced in the past few weeks due to the relentless spread of COVID-19 is enough to induce whiplash. While the situation is extremely fluid, all signs point to it getting a lot worse in the U.S. before it gets better.

I’m not going to presume to address what this means for the people, and their loved ones, who are directly impacted, and suffering or even dying as a result of contracting this virus. I am devastated for my fellow human beings all over the world and here at home.

But medicine isn’t my area of expertise and I can’t alleviate that suffering, beyond, of course, taking the recommended precautions to prevent further spread of this pandemic.

Customer experience, however, is my area of expertise. And in that arena, I might be able to be of service. And you probably can be, too – more than you may realize. Read more

Heart of the Customer

When CX Is a Matter of Life or Death

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that customer experience (CX) is important. But even the staunchest CX advocates might not realize that CX done right can save lives.

Earlier this week in this space you met Lee Becker, Chief of Staff of the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He discussed the challenges of integrating CX principles into governmental structures, and the four CX capabilities – Data, Tools, Technology, and Engagement – on which the VEO’s successful program is based.

Today we focus specifically on how the VEO is maturing its data capabilities to address trust, a fundamental component of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

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Why Spirit Airlines’ and Ryan Air’s Customer Experience is Better than Yours

I’m partway through a European holiday with my wife, celebrating 25 years of marriage. Okay, actually 26, but that’s a different story.

When a friend heard we were flying Ryan Air, she told me, “Uh oh. Pay attention to the experience you receive.” Interested, I did pay attention. And I realized that Ryan Air probably has one of the better CX programs out there.

Before you get ready with that hate email, first let me explain! 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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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 Wells Fargo (and the Rest of Us) Can Learn from Samsung

  • “Who knows what happened to us two years ago?” Wells Fargo’s Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Moldafsky (I originally wrote about this here)
  • “Who’s heard of our product, the Note 7? [pause] Yes, pretty much everybody, in every plane trip, for about a year.” Michael Lawder, SVP, Customer Care, Samsung Electronics America

Both these speakers began their speech with a similar attempt at humor to grab the audience’s attention, referencing an event that happened in late 2016, but a small difference speaks volumes to their contrasting attitudes. This small difference shows why Samsung has fully recovered while Wells Fargo continues to falter.

Problems can happen in even the best-run company. Pixar, Amazon, GE – all have experienced problems. This post isn’t about preventing problems (although many of these – particularly Wells Fargo’s problems – should have been avoidable). Instead, it’s about what to do once it happens. 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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