Posts

For B2C, Cleanliness Is the New Black

Let’s not beat around the bush: $#@&*%! coronavirus trashed your journeys.

Prior to the pandemic, organizations had clear strategies on how to serve their customers, working to deliver an ever-improving experience to earn loyalty.

A better experience is still required…but how we go about providing it – and what “it” even is – has completely changed, particularly for B2C companies, where among other things, face-to-face interactions now take place mask-to-mask.

When I hosted a fireside chat earlier this month with Alison Circle, the Chief Customer Experience Officer for the Columbus Library system, she told me how difficult new protocols necessitated by the pandemic have made it to forge personal connections between staff and customers. But safety just has to come first. 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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NPS Pop-Ups—Low-Cost, Yet Low-Quality

Jean Fasching, Lead Consultant

This is a guest post written by one of our very own Lead Consultants, Jean Fasching. 

A friend of mine who’s new to NPS research recently shared that she was frustrated with the response rate (less than 1% of those asked) from a B2B, NPS (Net Promotor Score) question recently added to her company’s website. Executives dictated the addition as a low-cost and efficiency method to get at NPS. So, to keep it simple, she had it added as a one-question pop-up for every “n” visitor to their home page.

She was frustrated at the low response rate, especially to a one-question survey—it was as simple as it could get, so what could she do to get more responses? As we chatted, I mentioned a low response rates (let’s say, below 3%) for the clear majority of website surveys is a common issue, and I’ve only seen good response rates (let’s say above 10% – 50%) using pop-up website surveys in a very few instances. Read more

Sometimes, meeting customer promises isn’t so impressive.

A few weeks ago, I found myself flying Air Canada for the first time. There were multiple issues – both flights were delayed without notification, three flights were scheduled from the same gate within an hour, leaving nowhere to put all the passengers, and agents didn’t have working scanners so had to manually write down each person’s seat as they boarded.  Read more

You can’t have a customer journey map without a customer

At a CXPA event my good friend Lisa told me about a conversation she recently had. She was talking about the need to do some journey mapping, and mentioned how a good map takes 12-16 weeks. Her conversational partners’ response was, “What do you mean? I have the software – I can have that knocked out in a half-day.”

You can probably guess Lisa’s response, and it wasn’t positive. And Lisa’s not alone. In our survey of journey mapping best practices, CX practitioners agreed that involving customers was one of the top three requirements for a successful journey map (the other two were to involve a broad cross-functional team and to select the right journey to map). Yet, so many people seem to think it’s about the map itself.

Let’s set the record straight. Yes, the map is critical. The right map is a strategic tool in the hands of a CX leader. It helps her engage stakeholders and help them understand customers’ critical moments of truth – those points in the journey with a disproportionate impact on loyalty. And we spend a lot of time making sure that our maps clearly call out the customer needs.

What Really Drives Chnage?

But as powerful as a journey map can be, it’s the mapping itself that truly matters. Getting your teams to hear the literal voice of the customer is a critical driver of customer-focused improvements. Customers’ open-ended feedback on the journey offers a goldmine of information that can showcase where you’re building loyalty – and where you’re destroying it.

The right method of involving customers vary. I love a good digital ethnography, as reported in last week’s post. In-home (or in-office) interviews are also powerful, since they show the customer in his or her natural setting. Even a focus group can sometimes work wonders, although I’m not a huge fan of that methodology.

But the most critical component of any journey map is that it’s based on the raw voice of your customer. And that’s not going to happen in a half-day in your office.

It’s time to rethink transactional surveys

Greensboro_MarriottAs a CX profession we’re addicted to surveys.  We want to know more about our customers, and a survey is our first response.

A survey by itself is neither good nor bad.  But what we forget is the unintended side effects of our surveys.  Remember – how you survey your customers is another part of your customer experience.  It does no good to learn how you’re doing if the result of your survey is a worse customer experience.

What Did They Want?

Take my recent stay at the Greensboro Marriott.  It’s a nice hotel, and I probably would have given a 9 or 10 on their survey.  Until I received this email (emphasis theirs – not mine): Read more

Refunds are for cowards

No-refund-online-legal-serviceTuesday I had a major issue with my host provider Inmotion Hosting. I discovered that my beautiful new site no longer looked so beautiful, instead offering searches for heart valves and similar terms. Obviously, they were no longer hosting my domain.

I immediately called support, and my tech acknowledged their systems did not execute my domain renewal. He emailed their hosting provider and told me I’d be fixed within 24-48 hours. I had a focus group to attend, so hung up and asked to have a supervisor call me. After a few hours with no call I called back. This tech understood my urgency and had the problem resolved within 20 minutes.

On thing that’s interesting is that Inmotion Hosting doesn’t do surveys. Instead, they send an automated email from the tech asking me to email the supervisor if I had great service.

Aftermath

Oh, I emailed the supervisor. I told her my tech was great, but that this was a mess. It’s their job to discover when they mistakenly fail to renew a domain, not mine. That’s customer experience 101 – reduce your customer’s effort.

I wish I could say she understood the problem and called me back as I requested. Instead, the next thing I saw was a refund “as I requested” for the $11.99 domain registration fee with no explanation.

Yippee! That certainly made up for my website and email being down for 4-6 hours! 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

man having poor customer service

Training Customers = Losing

iStock_000024086772XXLarge“Customers aren’t filling out our form completely. We need to train them to fill it all out, and then we’ll be able to serve them better.”

“Our members just don’t understand the benefits of volunteering. If we educate them better, more will volunteer.”

“We just need to teach our customers how to use our website so they won’t call us so much.”

“If we can teach people trying to get their licenses that it’s okay to wait hours on end in really uncomfortable seats before talking to soul-dead, disengaged employees who are just waiting until 5:00 so that they can go home, everything would be much better.”

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These are all actual quotes from employees we’ve worked with while leading customer experience workshops. Okay, I made the last one up (it’s been a bad week at the DMV).  But the other three are real.

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