Posts

Why Do Bonuses for NPS Scores *Seem* Wise?

I’ll get right to the point: Change management is cheaper than bribing employees. It’s more effective, too.

The CEO of a client organization recently asked us about offering a bonus tied to their Net Promoter Score (NPS). He believed that this would motivate employees to think more about customers and improve their experience.

Without mincing words, I told him I thought that was a terrible idea – one that is universally frowned upon.

He pushed back: “Why? What’s the evidence? Other organizations are doing it. Why is it so bad?” Read more

Follow the Chain of CX Value to Drive Impact

Done right, CX is a business discipline where organizations thrive by investing in an improved customer experience. That notion is largely accepted, even though it’s not always practiced.

The challenge there is knowing where to invest.

Success requires finding the sweet spot where an improved experience leads your customers to spend more with you, stick around longer, and/or engage with you in less-costly ways.

So how do you find that sweet spot?

By working the issue backward and managing it working forward, through the Chain of CX Value.

Read more

Six Ways to Show B2B CX Value

After more than 150 hours of interviewing CX leaders – and surveying 200+ more! – it’s clear that one thing separates the best from the rest:

The best CX programs start, end, and do everything in between, based on how their efforts will add value to the business.

Some companies start with their survey scores, then try to validate that the scores matter. Others never do that, and just hope improving survey scores will lead to higher loyalty.

The best – those we call “Change Makers” – start by understanding how the business generates value from an improved customer experience, then ensure that every activity is focused on achieving that outcome. Read more

Interview: Kate Nightingale of Style Psychology

Heart of the Customer’s Jim Tincher sat down with Style Psychology Founder and CEO Kate Nightingale recently, to discuss the role of emotions in the customer experience. (But it’s 2021, so of course “sat down with” means “met on Zoom.”) Below is a lightly edited transcript of that conversation. You can watch the complete video here.

Jim:
So we were on a panel together [The Art and Science of Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences, now available on demand] and we were talking about emotions in the experience. And one of the other panelists brought up the “effortless experience.” Both you and I had a visceral reaction to that book. I have my thoughts, but let’s start with you. Tell me more why you reacted to that. Read more

One Size Fits All? Not for Metrics!

Imagine if your HR partners told you they were going to use one metric to measure all of your employees, and that should be how you determine each one’s overall effectiveness.

You’d push back immediately.

You’d say that your software developers should have different measurements than your salespeople, who should have different measurements than your trainers and your customer service reps.

And you’d be right.

So, why do we think all companies should use the same customer measurement? Read more

Don’t Leave Your Customers in the Dark!

At Heart of the Customer, we work across many different industries – in the past six months alone, we’ve partnered with life insurance, SaaS software, healthcare delivery, property and casualty insurance, non-profits, and staffing enterprises.

These organizations serve a wide variety of customers who have very different needs.

Or do they?

We’ve found that there’s one need that crops up in nearly every industry and journey. (It almost feels like we could reuse this section of our recommendations for every client!)

It’s the need to keep the customer informed. Read more

What Is a Living Journey Map?

Once you find out what a living journey map can do, you won’t have any trouble understanding why it’s so important to the success of your CX initiatives.

So what can it do?

Unlike a static journey map, a living journey map doesn’t remain fixed in particular point in time. It changes and evolves as your journey does, tracking updates in customer/operational data and KPIs across the entire journey as you implement improvements. This allows you not only to see what’s working, but to prove it with the kind of hard business data the C-suite is eager to see. (And who here isn’t eager to please the C-suite?) Read more

Learn From West Elm’s Missed Opportunity

One of the most critical findings from our 100+ interviews with CX pros over the course of 2020 was the importance of selecting one emotional outcome for your experience and using it as a design target. This is because emotions are the heart of your customer experience.

But for some reason, few programs deliberately measure and manage their emotional outcomes, even though emotions strongly outweigh effectiveness and ease. (This holds true even for B2B, as Jen Zamora of Dow so eloquently demonstrated in my interview with her.)

This omission was particularly glaring for me during my recent experience with West Elm, Williams-Sonoma’s chain of high-end, artfully designed furniture stores.

Read more

Customer health dashboards are an effective CX tool.

Customer Health Dashboard Tips

Far tooCustomer health dashboards are an effective CX tool. many companies with CX programs cannot show that they are making a difference to the business. This prevents them from being included in decision making and contributing to the health of their companies. There’s a solution to this problem: customer health dashboards.

Customer health dashboards are foundational to measuring and improving (and proving!) the impact your CX efforts. The research Heart of the Customer undertook over the course of 2020 clearly showed that the vast majority of leading programs used customer health dashboards. Read more

The Truth About Moments of Truth

After reviewing The Journey Mapping Playbook earlier this month, it struck me that one of the biggest misses in the book (outside of the flawed methodology) was its failure to touch on Moments of Truth. Those are the key interactions that have a disproportionate impact on a customer’s overall perception of the journey.

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring this critical data point! Moments of Truth are where you determine customer outcomes, so there’s really no point doing journey mapping if you don’t focus on revealing and addressing them.

But too many companies just don’t understand the opportunity they present.

Some take a watered-down approach. Some define them overly expansively as “any opportunity a customer (or potential customer) has to form an impression about a company, brand, product, or service.” Read more