Posts

Backorder Issues: The High Cost of Reduced Inventory

Heart of the Customer maps customer journeys for a wide range of B2B organizations, from healthcare to manufacturing to distribution and more. We’ve found one area of friction common across industries: backorder issues.

Whether mom and pop retail storefronts or global manufacturers, customers with products on backorder face similar situations. Here’s how it generally plays out:

  • They take an order from their customer and promise a delivery. Then they find out that the product is on backorder. That puts them in an difficult position. Do they scramble to find a new supplier? Look for an alternate product? Disappoint their customer?

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Five Questions To Answer for Customer Journey Mapping Success

Successful customer journey maps drive customer-focused change like improving customer experience, developing a new way to deliver value to customers, or reducing the cost to serve current customers.

Based on a 2016 study of customer experience professionals, over two-thirds of respondents did not rate their journey mapping project as successful. The reason? A lack of action from the mapping endeavor.

When we work with clients at Heart of the Customer, our goal is to drive action from the journey maps. We require our clients to work through the Five Questions as a foundation for their journey mapping. Ask yourself and your team to work through these Five Questions before launching your customer journey mapping initiative: 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

Interview: Creating a Clean Experience

How would you respond if your deliberately behind-the-scenes customer experience efforts were suddenly thrust to the foreground?

That’s the challenge Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services’ CEO Todd Hopkins faced when COVID changed the way we all think about cleaning.

I met Todd after customer service guru Shep Hyken recommended him in response to my call for customer-focused leaders I should interview. It was an awesome recommendation!

In addition to founding Office Pride, a faith-based cleaning service, Todd has also authored/co-authored four best-selling faith-based books: The Carrot Chaser, The Janitor, Five Wisdoms for Entrepreneur Survival, and most recently, The Stress Less Business Owner. Read more

Fitbit Proves Rich Emotions Can Overcome Poor Quality

Customer experience has three components: Effectiveness, Ease, and Emotion. But too often, CX programs focus only on the first two. Why? Because they’re simpler to address.

Emotion is more elusive and complicated. But it’s where true loyalty is earned (as opposed to just preventing disloyalty).

That message hit home to me when my Fitbit died…again!

I was an early adopter and have owned several Fitbits over the past decade or so. Almost all of them managed to fail shortly after the warranty expired. (Show of hands – who doesn’t love that?)

When the unit I was using  just over a year ago died, I decided to upgrade to the Versa 2 Smartwatch, hoping that the higher-end product would last a bit longer. No such luck.

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CX Loses a Visionary

As I’m sure many of you were, I was shocked to hear of Tony Hsieh’s untimely death this past weekend.

In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Tony is the recently-retired CEO of Zappos. In that role, he shepherded an online shoe seller with annual sales around $1 million (Zappos started as ShoeSite.com) into a massive e-commerce enterprise that sold to Amazon just 10 years later for $1.2 billion.

It’s a testament to his talent and vision that that accomplishment isn’t the most notable thing about him. (But you should still read his fascinating, candid account of how the sale went down!) Read more

Unmask the Power of Social Proof

At Heart of the Customer, we recently had a software client who wasn’t winning as many sales as they expected. We mapped their customers’ pre-sales journey and found that the company was putting out their best practices, but prospective clients were ignoring them.

They just didn’t consider our client a trusted authority.

It’s common problem among CX pros. You see customers making “bad” choices, such as not making the best use of your company’s products or services. So you create communications to share the recommended approach, but you just can’t get customers to change their behavior.

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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

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What’s in a Name? Your Ability to Please Your Customers

I’ve always been a big reader, but the pandemic has given me even more time to indulge my passion. I recently devoured Conscious Capitalism, by John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia.

It really struck a chord with me, particularly this paragraph calling on businesses to stop using the term consumer: “Businesses must think of their customers as human beings to be served, not as consumers to be sold to. In fact, the very word consumer objectifies people, suggesting that their only role is to consume.”

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Use Smart AI to Reduce Churn in Three Steps

Most customers don’t just suddenly disappear. When dissatisfied, they move over to an exit lane and chug along while waiting for an excuse to cut ties to your organization.

If, like many companies, you’re not paying attention when they turn on their blinkers to make that move, you’re making a costly mistake.

To avoid missing your chance to reduce customer churn and bring these customers back into the flow of traffic (where they can fulfill their lifetime value), look first to “customer math” – more specifically, tracking those customers who have already stopped their journey. Read more