Posts

An Effortless Experience Isn’t Enough

In CX, we all focus on making the experience easier on our customers. (We even made it the title of our book.) But building loyalty isn’t as simple as removing friction.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely worthwhile to simplify your customer experience. Friction is a key driver behind loyalty destruction, and your organization will benefit from streamlining processes and making it easier for customers to resolve issues.

But it won’t build fans who will go out of their way to order from you. That takes something bigger. Read more

3 Tips to Manage the Voice of the Last Lost Customer

As CX practitioners, we work to uncover the Voice of the Customer (VoC) and use it to drive the company to improve. We combine qualitative and quantitative methods to understand what customers need and communicate this to the rest of the company to ensure we remain relevant to customers. 

But if you’ve ever worked within a B2B company, you may have come across another source of feedback that, if you’re

 not careful, can trump your VoC – the VoLLC. You may not have heard of this term – largely because I just made it up – but it’s certainly something you’ve run across. The Voice of the Last Lost Customer.  Read more

Business and Customer Experience Metrics

If All Customers are Important, You have a Bad B2B Customer Experience

“When all customers are important…none will be.” – Syndrome from The Incredibles (slightly paraphrased)

Are all customers worth the same to your business? No! But odds are, your CX program doesn’t recognize this.

Read more

The Perfect Customer Experience Score!

IMG_3315I was meeting with the Executive VP of Sales for a national retailer, who asked me “Is there a holy grail of customer experience measurement?  We use satisfaction, and I’ve heard about this Net Promoter Score.  Is there one score that’s the best?”

This is an important question, and one I’m frequently asked. Opinions differ, with some companies advocating their favorite metric with the zeal of the converted.  NPS is the only question you need.  Satisfaction is absolutely not predictive.  Or it’s just as predictive as NPS.  Or more predictive.  The Customer Effort Score is far more predictive than either one.

With all these contentions, why do I keep reading case studies that contradict each other?  Why do some companies find NPS is more predictive of financial results than satisfaction, where others find just the opposite?

Could it be that there’s not one perfect score for everybody? Read more

Create an Engaging Customer Experience Workshop

iStock_000019575299LargeAre you looking to improve your customer experience?  I will be hosting a full-day course on Creating an Engaging Customer Experience in partnership with the Performance Excellence Network.  You can learn more at http://performanceexcellencenetwork.org/events/minnesota-innovation-spark-2013/.

Creating an Engaging Customer Experience

October 2, 2013 | 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

A great customer experience begins with a solid understanding of your customers.  But it also requires that your employees use those insights to build programs that your competitors cannot duplicate.

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Jim Tincher, Senior Business Advisor with Satisfaction Management Systems, to a special full-day workshop September 10: “Creating a Great Customer-Inspired Experience.”

Jim will build off of the PEN breakfast earlier this summer, sharing the three keys to build a great customer-inspired experience for your business, and you will pick up actionable steps you can implement literally tomorrow!

Learning objectives for the workshop include: Read more

Sometimes, Customer Experience is Hard

Rite-Aid Wellness Discount for Snickers

I’m on my annual sabbatical to Maine, where my family spends a week at the cabin then a week exploring the coast.  I have seen a number of questionable customer experiences here, but two stand out.

First, a visit to Rite-Aid, the regional pharmacy chain.  Like many retailers, Rite-Aid has a loyalty card – in their case, it is named a Wellness+ card.  So far, so good.  Except that they apparently their governance is lacking, since last week the loyalty discount is applied to Snickers!

Rite-Aid_WellnessIf you call your program a Wellness+ card, you need to have the discipline to apply it to items that actually improve wellness.  I realize this could fall under the +, but that’s taking it a bit far.

The second item: It was my birthday yesterday, and the local radio station sent an email wishing me a happy birthday, including a promotion.  Again, nothing wrong with that – except the email was addressed to “FirstName!”

Kool 108 Email

Sending a birthday message is a great way to build customer intimacy.  But only if you do it right.  This message is the opposite of intimacy.

You need to take the time to test your messages – and don’t send them until they’re right.

Your takeaway:  We all have loyalty programs that are designed to improve our customer experience.  But if you do not have the discipline to think through the implications and test them, they can actually detract from, rather than add to, your customer experience.

Customer Effort Score: How Hard is it to be Your Customer?

How much effort is your customer experience?Are you familiar with the Customer Effort Score (CES)?  It is rapidly gaining converts as a way to measure the transactions that make up your customer experience.

(Editor’s note: More details on the CES 2.0 can be found here.)

The Net Promoter Score, or NPS, measures your overall customer experience.  But it doesn’t show where to focus to improve your results.  Imagine telling your store manager, B2B sales team, or director of your call center only that “Your NPS scores are low. Fix them!”  Where do they begin?

Transactional measurements show what segments of your experience impact your customer loyalty. Some companies have tried to use NPS to measure transactions, but it was never designed for this.  Asking “Would you recommend your call center rep?” doesn’t work, as most customers have no desire to call your call center in the first place.  Similarly, “Would you recommend [Company] website”  causes confusion – are your customers recommending the company behind the website, the design, the functionality, or all three?  This is where the Customer Effort Score shines.

When customers have to expend more effort than they expect, they leave.  High effort equals low customer loyalty.  The CES helps you monitor this.

Read more

Event: June 6 – “Create a Great Customer-Inspired Experience”

Join me at the upcoming Performance Excellence Network event.  Details:

Knowledge Forum: Create a Great Customer-Inspired Experience (Minneapolis)

June 6, 2013 | 7:30 am – 9:00 am
Jim Tincher, Senior Business Advisor with Satisfaction Management Systems
Create a Great Customer-Inspired Experience

A great customer experience begins with a solid understanding of your customers. But it also requires that your employees use those insights to build programs that your competitors cannot duplicate.

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Jim Tincher, Senior Business Advisor with Satisfaction Management Systems, to our June 6 PEN: “Create a Great Customer-Inspired Experience.”

Jim will share the three keys to build a great customer-inspired experience for your business, and you will pick up actionable steps you can implement literally tomorrow! A great customer experience leads to enhanced loyalty and significantly higher financial returns. Join this discussion to learn more!

The discussion is from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on June 6 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m.) at MCTC, 1501 Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis (near the Basilica). Admission to PEN is FREE for Network members; $15 for partner organizations; $30 for the public. Space is limited so register today by emailing brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org.

A Case Study in Loyalty: The Cabela’s CLUB

Cabela's Logo How do you create a world-class customer loyalty program? Focus less on providing best-in-class benefits and more on creating a great customer experience. That’s the advice of Sean Baker, the incoming CEO of Cabela’s World’s Foremost Bank and leader of the Cabela’s CLUB program.

I interviewed Sean to learn more about Cabela’s CLUB and its critical role in driving their customer experience. The lessons certainly apply to retailers as a class, but also have something to teach anybody wanting to create better relationships with customers.

CLUB Components

First, a quick background on the program. The Cabela’s CLUB is a loyalty program paired with a Visa card. It began as a partnership with a small regional bank as a way to give their best customers free gear, but in 2001 Cabela’s brought the program in-house. They are now one of only two retailers who entirely own their own bank to run their loyalty program (Nordstrom’s is the other). Read more

Customer Experience Irony

I attended a webinar today titled Understanding the Voice of the Customer: How to Effectively Gather and Leverage Customer Insight from Multiple Channels to Enhance the Customer Experience. I’m obviously all about both Voice of the Customer and the Customer Experience. But they immediately lost me when the presentation began with:

UnderstandingVOC-FirstPage Read more