Posts

Change Management, Not “Bribes,” Improves CX

This post picks up where last week‘s left off…

In giving bonuses based on overall survey results, companies are assuming that 1. teams actually know what to do in order to improve customer satisfaction and 2. they won’t do it unless incented to.

Both points in that statement need to be analyzed.

First, understanding how to drive customer satisfaction (I’m using this as a catch-all for NPS, customer effort, etc.) isn’t that easy.

When I led a CX program in the health savings account (HSA) marketplace, I asked teams what they thought the top drivers of satisfaction were. Product thought it was about features. Marketing thought it was about educating on how to use the HSA. Sales thought it was about pricing.

They were all wrong. Read more

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

Do the CX Buttons You Push Matter?

Research from CustomerThink, Forrester, Pointillist, and the XM Institute agree: Few CX programs can prove that their work matters to business outcomes.

This reminds me of a story from my college days.

I was visiting my buddy Rick, and we went down to the rec room in the basement of his dorm to shoot some pool. Tucked in the corner was a video game.

A little background you should know: When I was in high school, I had a paper route that included a vending machine. That meant I always had pocketsful of quarters. Which, given the era, meant lots of afternoons at an arcade, happily feeding those quarters into video games. Read more

Lessons From a Change Maker

It’s hard to overstate how much building an emotional connection with customers matters.

According to the XM Institute, when the emotional experience is rated highly, 76% of customers are promoters. When it’s rated low, only 6% are. More importantly, when the emotional experience is rated highly, 63% will forgive you when problems arise.

But if you haven’t created that strong emotional experience? Only 11% will. Read more

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?

Read more

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

UPS Fail: Mishandled With Care

Operational mistakes happen. If a company handles them well, customers will forgive the occasional lapse.

But UPS’s recent operational lapse on a very sensitive item actually went from bad to worse.

The good news is, we can learn from their mistakes to produce a better emotional outcome for our customers.

And that outcome matters: When customers rate the emotional experience highly, they are much more likely to forgive you for a problem (63% vs. 11%) and much more likely to recommend your brand (76% vs. 6%). 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

young man with boombox and sunglasses

Learn Everything You Need to Know About CX From ’80s Music

I admit it – I’m a child of the ‘80s. We’ve got 150+ stations on our satellite radio, but it stays tuned to 80s on 8 or First Wave, except for those rare occasions when I stray to the ‘70s or ’90s stations. (Much to the chagrin of my wife, who has broader musical tastes. But marriage is compromise, right?  

During the pandemic, I’ve been listening even more, and it occurred to me one day recently that the music of that era informed my views about customer experience early on. 

Obviouslythe ‘80s were the decade of (the) Journey. Their sage advice taught me how important it is to put customers in control and deliver an experience Any Way You Want It  Read more

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